Tom Sepe is a multimedia artist, fabricator, performer, designer and organizer with a penchant for collaboration, community and activism. He credits his multidisciplinary tendencies to his deep roots in theater, where at the age of five, he joined the performance group in his hometown of Moraga, CA. From acting and singing, to painting and building, to sound and lighting production, Tom came of age in an atmosphere of can-do ingenuity and creative inspiration.
After majoring in physics and then shifting to environmental studies, Tom returned to the arts to find his sweet spot. In 1995 he received his BA in Creative Studies with a focus on multi-disciplinary art and performance from the prestigious College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara.
As an activist he participated in protests and actions against the first Persian Gulf war, as well as numerous environmental causes. This provided a strong foundation of proactive leadership and organizing skills, which have carried over into his professional art and fabrication career.
Though billed as a party in the desert, the annual Burning Man Art Festival provided Tom an unprecedented opportunity to work on large-scale interactive art installations and collaborate with other artists and volunteers on their unique projects. He’s worked extensively with Michael Christian to engineer, fabricate and install many of his fantastical sculptures, over the course of a decade. He’s also worked with Five Ton Crane, an Oakland, CA based artist collective, to build and install the Steampunk Treehouse, the Raygun Gothic Rocketship, and the Nautilus Submarine Art Car, as well as numerous smaller projects.
During this time he designed and built the famous Whirlygig Emoto – the world’s first steam electric hybrid time machine, as well as the Raygun Rover Art Car and the Runamock Fishvan, which was born out of the “How to Build and Art Car” class that Tom pioneered at the Crucible, an industrial-arts school in West Oakland, CA.
When not tinkering in a dirty warehouse, Tom has been producing video projects for The Crucible, He’s filmed, edited and produced promos, full-length theater productions and a documentary about the Crucible’s ‘Diemoto’, a bio-diesel powered custom motorcycle that set the world-land speed record in 2007.
From 2012-2015, Tom worked as a Technical Director for Obscura Digital designing, building and installing advanced boutique technology solutions ranging from touch-screen kitchen tables to larger-than-life immersive video projection events. Obscura honed Tom’s skills as a project engineer, coordinating a crew, managing large budgets, teams of fabricators, software designers and event producers, while staisfying high profile clients such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, Diageo, Genentech, Westfield and the City of San Francisco.
When not living somewhere else, Tom calls Oakland home.
Graphic Design, Web Design, Digital Video and Editing, Professional Chef, Modern and Post-Modern Dance, Stilt-builder, stilt-walker and teacher, Fire Breathing, Internal Combustion Engine Repair, Vegetable-Oil Biofuel System Installer, Community and Events organizer, Poet and writer of fictional truths, Storyteller, Letterpress and Screen printing, Bookmaking and Paper-making, Bicycle Repair and Safety Teacher, Mechanic, Welder and Metal Fabricator, Woodworking and custom construction, DJ, Professional Whirlwinder of Clothing, Theater and Clown Make-up…
Resume and CV available upon request.
Interview on Makezine.com: 5-4-3-2-1 Things About Tom Sepe