Chris Hackett (artist)

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Chris Hackett
Stuck with Hackett.jpg
Chris Hackett
Born (1972-04-15) April 15, 1972 (age 42)
Occupation artist, television presenter, writer, fabricator, instructor

Chris Hackett, born April 15, 1972 in New York City, is an American artist,television presenter, writer, fabricator, alternative engineer, and instructor. He is a co-founder of the Madagascar Institute,[1] contributing editor for Popular Science Magazine,[2] and was the host of the Science Channel's television show Stuck with Hackett. He has been a guest speaker for a number of events. In 2011 he spoke at the World Maker Fair[3] in NY, in 2012 he spoke for Teague Academy,[4] and in 2013 he spoke for Disaster Boot Camp.[5] According to The New York Times, in their blog about Chris Hackett entitled "Building a better apocalypse",[6] "He is something like a fabricator in chief for the Kings County D.I.Y. art set."

Early career[edit]

In 1997, Chris Hackett was a programmer and technical writer for[7]

The Madagascar Institute[edit]

In 1998, Chris Hackett founded the Madagascar Institute with colleagues Ryan O'Connor and Eric Singer.[8] The Madagascar Institute is an artist cooperative space located off of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York. The co-op is made up of approximately 20 members. This group of builders, artists, and designers specialize in salvaging abandoned parts and using them in mechanized art pieces,[9] large scale sculptures and rides,[10] live performances,[11] and guerilla art events. Madagascar Institute also offers classes on Beginning MIG Welding, and a 6hr MIG/TIG Welding Combo. Classes are taught by Chris Hackett and Jim Tensen.

Television and film career[edit]

Junkyard Wars[edit]

Between 2002 and 2004, Hackett appeared on TLC's Junkyard Wars.[12] The show, which was the American version of the UK show Scrapheap Challenge, gave teams 12 hours to gather materials from a junkyard, then use the materials to modify their vehicles for a race. Hackett acted as the Red Team Captain.


In 2005, Hackett appeared in the documentary B.I.K.E.[13] The film was directed by Anthony Howard and Jacob Septimus. They spent over two years following an underground bike club known as the Black Label Bicycle Club to their meetings, parties, gatherings of the tribes in Amsterdam and Minneapolis, and the protests of the 2004 Republican National Convention and filmed it all.

Breaking Point[edit]

In early 2010, he appeared on the Discovery Channel Canada show Breaking Point[14] alongside Jonathan Tippett.[15] The show premiered Monday, January 18, 2010 and was six episodes long. In each episode the guys would investigate the limits of large scale every day objects, such as armored limos, lobster boats, fuel tankers, buses, and more. Hackett and Tippett would conduct extreme tests on one of theses objects until they found its breaking point. Then they would come up with ways to make the object safer and stronger.

Stuck with Hackett[edit]

Was created and produced by Silver Machine. Hackett was the star and host of the Science Channel's Stuck with Hackett.[16] The show aired on August 18, 2011 as a nine part series, and could be watched on Thursdays at 10:30 pm on the Science Channel. Each episode took place in a different abandoned location ( rail yard, log cabin, grocery store dumpster, abandoned hospital,...and so on ). Hackett would turn the every day trash or "obtainium" as he calls it that was left in the location into unexpected, functioning machines or mechanisms. "Stuck with Hackett" was on the air for one season.