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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.

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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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Comments

  1. Gillian BenAry says:

    Beautiful tribute, and so inspiring. Proof that our actions shape who we become, and what we will be known for. Go forth and make :)

  2. Shawn R. Britton says:

    Ah, Jesus. Thank you for posting this, Gareth.

    Zina, we hardly knew ye.

    1. SeaSea says:

      “Hardly knew ye” indeed..she remembered who I forgot to try and be…lived more in her 23 years than I have in almost twice as long….

  3. ameyring says:

    Only 23? Geez. Very sorry to hear about the loss of a very talented person.

  4. Sparkey says:

    It’s a tragedy to lose someone so young so soon. It doubles that tragedy in the fact that they a re no longer bringing things to the world that are desperately needed: humor and creativity are just two of them. I only saw the video, and never knew her, but it made me sad nonetheless. My condolences to her friends and family. may she rest in peace.

  5. manuel thomas says:

    Never having heard of Zina…..have to say I was deeply sadened by the video. If there where more people like Zina in this world……it certainly would make it a better place. God does take the good at a young age……..

  6. SeaSea says:

    She is grace and beauty…

  7. Her life was a flame of fire: bright, illuminating, dynamic, and brilliant. The inspiration of her life and dedication to Christ will live on for decades in the heart of those who knew her.

    1. knoisv says:

      No one bash Don about mentioning religion. It’s completely clear what he means, and furthermore he’s right.

      Godspeed, Zina.

  8. Maybe a sight dedicated to Makers, who have stopped making, like this lady should be set up. A memorial or hall of fame, the name wouldn’t matter but the pictures, videos and information could document what they did and how it can be done. Past makers should also be included and considered.

  9. bjorkbat says:

    That was too many feels for today Make.

    I haven’t played with my 3D printer for a while. Maybe I should make the time to do so.

  10. jan stevens says:

    i am her and she is me and we are all together…..to you, i honor your soul, and i know you have given me a gift from the cosmic sky you inhabit. love, babe-send peace to us earthlings>another CCD-colorado hiker