I was born on April 26th in Pottstown, PA to Carol Marie Bias (née Joseph) and William Edgar Bias.
My folks divorced about a year later and my mom and I relocated to Charleston, WV.bonus tracks A year of turmoil and change Year of the Monkey Taurus
By the age of six, I was living in Martinsburg, WV with two complete families. Two moms, two dads, a couple of half-brothers and a new half-sister (with another on the way).
Fresh off my first TV appearance on the local iteration of Romper Room, I spent the majority of my time memorizing the entirety of Merrie Melodies, Looney Tunes and Schoolhouse Rock.bonus tracks Mouse in a Burlesque Show Me & Dad, circa 1971
Like most suburban boys in the early 80's, I was up to my eyeballs in Star Wars, D&D and Atari. I traded bootlegged floppies for my VIC-20 and collected KISS posters. In school, I got to peel away from my classmates once a week to tap on an Apple II for T.A.G. class.
On July 31st, I stayed up late to watch the debut of a new network called MTV. Unbeknownst to me, those weeks in front of the tube set the course of my future career.
I graduated Salutatorian of my class at Martinsburg High School. After my speech and an epic beach vacation, I left for Marshall University in Huntington, WV. My dad lived there and he had a new room set up for me - with its own dedicated entrance...
Eight months later, I moved out, grew a Robert Smith-inspired coiffure and started sporting eyeliner, bolo ties and a (really fantastic) vintage silk brocade tux jacket.
That fall, I got a gig as a DJ in the town's one "underground" club, beginning my oddly enduring and enduringly odd career in the music business.bonus tracks Pre-Coiffure, 1986 Playlist: "On My Way" Rent-a-Wreck, June 1989
The music I loved slowly going mainstream and I was guiding its way as Huntington's own "micro-music-mogul."
I co-owned the local record store, Davidson's. I booked bands and DJ'd at Gumby's, the coolest club in town. I produced the "alternative" radio program at the college radio station. Along with my friends, we collectively willed a music scene into being.
On the side, I was shelling in to the VAX server at my college to access IRC and FTP sites on my tricked-out Amiga 1200. In '93, I got a subscription to Wired and watched the Internet get born.bonus tracks The Year Punk BrokeOh, the Amiga...
My life completely changed, three times, leading into Y2K. I was looking for something new and following my nose.
In '95, I traded my Amiga for a Mac, moved to Wilmington, NC and became a writer, then designer and editor for a music and skateboarding 'zine called Juice.
I continued on to New York City in the fall of '97 and somehow got hired as the Creative Director for The Knitting Factory, where I worked 80-hour weeks in the most intense environment I've ever experienced, producing every kind of design asset imaginable.
By December '99, I was burned out. I quit The Knit and started a one-man design business out of my East Village apartment.
West Virginia to New York by way of North Carolina inside of five years. I was pretty damn proud of myself for a little while, but NYC gleefully slapped some humility on me.bonus tracks Juice, 1996 The Knit, 1999
Somewhat randomly, I became obsessed with vintage film cameras - especially anything with a bellows.
1281 transactions later, I possess a deep well of relatively useless knowledge about most cameras manufactured in the 20th century.
I bought my first Polaroid SX-70 in that year and fell back in love with Edwin Land, the genius inventor of Polaroid, and his ground-breaking instant SLR.
When I met Anne Bowerman in the summer of 2007, we bonded over SX-70s. For our first date, I took her to a Sonic Youth concert. She got sick and had to leave, but I called her back and we've been together ever since.bonus tracks 100K-ish Vintage Cameras The Polaroid SX-70 Side Project: Toycam Handbook
In February of '08, Polaroid casually announced the end of instant film. Within a few days, some Flickr friends and I launched SavePolaroid.com. We were heavily involved in the analog scene that had come together on Flickr, and we were confident that someone would pick up the torch.
We were right.
In the summer of '08, an Austrian entomologist bought the last standing Polaroid factory. I spent Thanksgiving on my phone, tracking the online launch of The Impossible Project. Within a year, I set aside my design business (mostly) and took charge of starting up the US sister-company. Anne was working with me, building an Impossible online community (her superpower).bonus tracks Literally Impossible My old Flickr account
Impossible was a mission more than a traditional job. We came together and saved Polaroid film for another generation, and I'm proud to say that I was involved.
By 2014, the "mission" phase of the company was ending and I saw an opportunity for a new mission.
An old film factory in Italy was being revived. The one that made film for Fellini. I sent the founders a blind, unsolicited email in the fall of 2013, and by November of 2014, we had closed a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $322,420 to purchase some critical production equipment.bonus tracks Me, knolled, circa 2014 Side Project: M.F. Box Co
As I write this in December 2021, looking back in a way that is uncharacteristic of me, I marvel at the technological delta between 1968 and today.
I've watched all of the hard-won trappings of my youth become commoditized, wiki-ed, YouTubed and eBayed to death. The cultural barnacles earlier generations accrued through years of experience are now curated, bundled and available for instant download. Assemble a bespoke persona while waiting for your Chipotle.
I've also watched computers shrink from room-size government installations to small slabs of mostly glass in everyone's pockets. I used to have to change the TV channel by hand!!! To one of the four available channels.
I still have plans. Goals. Passions. A good story can still inspire me. Anne still makes me laugh. And I know I'm not a monster because I get 13-year-old-excited thinking about The Book of Boba Fett.bonus tracks Side Project: Murtch "Wake Up Geek Culture, Time to Die"