Throughout the day when stuff pops up or gets broken, he fixes it. Teague is a behind-the-scenes super hero for the whole exhibit.
He leads me through the hallway closet and up a wall into an attic. We crawl on our stomachs under large silver ducts, passing empty energy drink cans, tools and relics left from the installation. “I like it up here, no one can see us,” he says with a smile over his shoulder. Our mission was to find a noise coming from a pipe somewhere over the caves. “I love getting away from my desk,” he laughs.
We sit over a canopy of laser cut leaves and twinkling LED lights. I ask if he has always been interested in technology.
“My dad was in the Navy. He did avionics technology. I asked him if he could build me a radar for my fort, and he broke it down that it wasn’t the kind of stuff that he did, that he just fixed things that broke and that’s when I decided that I wanted to go into the engineering field and make stuff.”
After he found the mysterious noise, I followed him back down the wall and into his office behind the tech nook. “Since my dad showed me how to use a screw driver, I took off all of the vents in our trailer. I was only two years old, my mom fell and got her foot stuck in one of the vents. I can still hear her yelling, dammit Jeffery!” He chuckles.
Teague continues to talk about his vast tech experience and willingness to learn, even through self-teaching. “I took it upon myself to learn 3D printing and modeling, got into making, started to make an animatronic robot. The furthest I got was a forearm and bicep that could sit there and give you the finger or something.”
Years before starting his job at Meow Wolf, Teague was in the Navy. He worked closely with their new technologies and was in awe with the immensity of the systems. “Meow Wolf, this building, it's complicated and complex and interwoven but the navy systems were that times 100. It was very impressive.”
According to Teague, working at Meow Wolf is exactly where he wants to be at this point in his life, “I’m just loving where I’m at right now, I haven’t spent too much time thinking too far into the future.”
eff is originally from Roswell, now lives in Albuquerque and commutes to Santa Fe. Apart from the endless supply of energy, he says he loves the guests and visitors more than the wires and microcontrollers because he gets to see the amazement on their faces as they interact with the new world around them. “I am so stoked on this weird thing here, the narrative, the art, everything, it jives so well.”
All photos and video by Kate Russell.