I posted this video to my Facebook wall earlier today and it’s gotten such a strong response, I thought I’d post it here on MAKE. This excerpt from a post on Colossal, the art and culture site, provides the backstory:

This short clip about artist and maker Zina Nicole Lahr may be as tragic as it is beautiful. Earlier this fall, Lahr approached her friend Stormy Pyeatte and asked if they might shoot a quick video for her portfolio. The video was shot and edited in just two days and demonstrates Lahr’s insatiable desire to build, invent, and “bring life to something inanimate,” a process she called her “creative compulsive disorder.” Almost unthinkably, Lahr was killed in a hiking accident in Colorado on November 20th, a few weeks after this was shot.

So heartbreakingly sweet, sad, and inspiring. As Jim Burke (of Pumping Station: One) put it on Facebook: “I didn’t even know her and I miss her.” Somehow, I think everyone who watches this video will feel the same way. Godspeed, Zina Lahr.

977222 10151472960948520 1917302732 o Makers Portfolio Video Becomes Touching Remembrance

The article in Zina’s local Colorado newspaper quoted something rather moving and prescient that she’d written on the eve of her 22nd birthday, just last year:

Perhaps, we should use our time in embracing who we truly are, without the expectations of who we should be through time. I am Zina… and I build robots, wear goggles, dress in costumes, play with toys, drink root beer at bars…. I may not be able to build a time machine, but I have found that we, ourselves, are our own time machines… the basic thread in every place we have been, every person who has interacted with us, and everything we have enjoyed, loved, and learned. I am glad I have taken the time to know who I am, and I will have nothing but respect for those who know themselves… and embrace who they are.

Something tells me your threads were woven deep and fine, Zina Lahr, and you will live on, for a very long time, in all those who came in contact with you.

Zina celebrating Halloween, 2012. Zina celebrating Halloween, 2012.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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