Mar Williams, Denver Artist and Hacker, Exhibits at Cabal Gallery | Westword

Colorado Creatives

100 Colorado Creatives 4.0: Mar Williams

Mar Williams is a hacker in a strictly DIY-driven way, following an arc meant to empower ordinary people and remove obstacles from the unending road that is life.
Denver artist/hacker Mar Williams poses with "Cat Blob."
Denver artist/hacker Mar Williams poses with "Cat Blob." Courtesy of Mar Williams
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#100: Mar Williams

Mar Williams is a hacker in a strictly DIY-driven way, following an arc meant to empower ordinary people and remove obstacles from the unending road that is life. Whether teaching a class on picking locks or the creative use of Arduino technology, making grotesque art or soaring past social taboos with a spirit of experimentation and a focused ignorance of the meaning of “no,” Williams is fine with going where no man or woman has gone before, and invites others to do the same at Cabal Gallery, the South Broadway arts-incubator collective (and previously, the hackerspace the Concoctory) where you’ll most likely find the artist at work. Want to think outside the box, as Williams does? Get a head start by reading the dedicated hacker’s replies to the 100CC questionnaire.

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Cabal Gallery
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Mar Williams: I've become pretty shy about who I collaborate with. Lately I think I'd like to hang around John B. Calhoun and his mouse dystopias.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

My daughter, Ada. She has amazing conversations with bugs.

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Mar Williams, "Ada Bot."
Courtesy of Mar Williams
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Click-bait ironic vanity nonsense like this awful site:

What's your day job?

My job at the moment is filling out questionnaires to promote myself:

Oh, hello there! You can support my art on Patreon, or come down to Cabal Gallery on August 12 for my solo exhibition, Probably Cats.

I'm also contributing to a project called FakerSpace. We're like a pop-up makerspace collective without the latest wave of business-incubator garbage that tends to exploit creatives and price out the ones that need access to equipment in the first place.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

I'd buy all the buildings on South Broadway and stop charging rent. I'd reopen the laundromat. I'd open a completely free hackerspace/makerspace full of whatever equipment people want to play with. I'd declare myself block captain and drive around on a segway with a megaphone and a little cape until people called me an asshole. Then, in a fit of insecurity, I'd throw my segway on the ground. I wouldn't even take it home. I'd just leave it there. I think it'd be a really positive change for the neighborhood.

Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?

Love. Rent has gotten difficult, but this is home.

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Mar Williams, "Boneyard."
Courtesy of Mar Williams
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

Stop shutting down DIY spaces.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

The people that I make art alongside at Cabal Gallery: Joshua Finley, Jesse Frazier (FAIM Worldwide), and Corrina Espinoza (Autonomous Soup).

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Some design work by Mar Williams for Def Con.
Courtesy of Mar Williams
What's on your agenda in the coming year?

Struggle less, maybe. Answer questionnaires faster.

Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

No idea. I hope that people go out to visit the spaces in their neighborhood to support the art they enjoy. I think that's more important than who the buzz is about.

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Williams with artworks.
Courtesy of Mar Williams
Next up at Cabal Gallery is Autonomous, a robot-inspired group show opening with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 15. Mar Williams’s solo exhibition, Probably Cats, opens August 12, also at Cabal. Learn more about Mar Williams online and on Instagram.
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