A self-described "radical, queer, emotionally driven, instinct-based concept artist and thinker," Machine Dazzle creates costumes and theater sets that push the boundaries of craft and identity.

Why you should listen

An artist, costume designer, set designer, singer/songwriter, art director, drag queen and all-around creative polymath, Machine Dazzle has worked with a host of New York downtown luminaries, including several projects with actor and playwright Taylor Mac. Their collaborations include the musical A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and The Lily's Revenge, which won an Obie Award in 2010.

In 2019, Dazzle was commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum and The Rockefeller Brothers Fund to create Treasure, a rock and roll cabaret of original songs with an accompanying fashion show, which debuted at Joe's Pub in New York City in the fall of 2022. That same season, he opened his first solo exhibition, Queer Maximalism x Machine Dazzle, at New York City's Museum of Arts and Design. Dazzle also recently designed and performed in Bassline Fabulous, a modern take on Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations, in collaboration with the Catalyst Quartet at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He won the 2017 Henry Hewes Design Award, was a 2022 United States Artists Fellow and most recently won the 2023 Obie for sustained achievement in design.

Machine Dazzle’s TED talk

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Live from TED2023

Ideas that are way, way out there: Notes on Session 4 of TED2023

April 19, 2023

In a session that was by turns soul-stirring, uproariously funny, deadly serious and brilliantly colorful, seven speakers transported the TED audience to a solar engineering project in outer space, a 24-hour concert and performance, a movement to prove that birds aren’t real and more. The event: Talks from Session 4 of TED2023: Possibility, hosted by […]

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