IN THE CENTER OF  State of the Arts Gallery’s Studio C, hidden inside what looks like a storage closet, David Steiner closes the blinds and indulges in a bad habit. The contraband in question cannot be snorted or smoked, but the rabbit hole runs dark and deep nonetheless. “I have EAD,” he jokes. “Equipment Acquisition Disorder.” Inside the room, guitars line one wall, guitar pedals fight for space on an effects rack, electronic drums sit against the back wall, recording equipment and miscellaneous boxes with buttons and knobs occupy a desk alongside a keyboard—and with these countless doodads, Steiner likes to get lost in search of an appreciation for a new medium. “It’s about trying to learn a new vocabulary and develop my ear,” he says of his secret life. Self-taught, he might pick up a guitar and play along to tracks on YouTube or plug into one of about two dozen effects pedals and toy around with the settings. Other times, he might just listen to live recordings of his favorite songs in search of nuances in the artist’s performance. It can be tedious, frustrating and occasionally quite personal. “I don’t play with other people and I’m not trying to make a masterpiece,” he says. “I just experiment.”