Silicon Valley Contemporary
The San Jose Convention Center
The Hole is proud to present a solo booth by multi-media artist KATSU at Silicon Valley Contemporary, the first art fair in Silicon Valley, California. In a fair focusing on art and technology, we will present a series of abstract paintings by KATSU that are made by autonomous aerial vehicles (UAVs or "drones"). The booth will also feature a video that documents how the paintings were made and the technology used to make them.
The artworks in this exhibition are a completely new type of painting that has never been made before. As drone aircraft have become more affordable to consumers, KATSU has been working to develop a way to make them paint. Originally pursuing the technology so drones could be programmed to write illegal graffiti, KATSU created the hardware and software to have a drone carry a spray paint can and a mechanism to press the can to emit spray. These pasts months he has experimented with the weight of the paint, the straw for the sprayer, the sensor for the can activation, the flight of the drone and different paints and surfaces to achieve the artworks he sought.
The results evince a new type of mark, divorced from the artist hand--though remotely controlled by it--and filtered through the nature of the drone and its tendencies. The paintings explore a collaborative relationship wtih the technology as opposed to merely employing it as a tool. The semi-random line in the artworks has a choppy quality to one side of the mark, as the paint is whipped up in the drone’s propellers. The gesture of the mark is governed by the drone’s gyroscope as it tries to “right” itself from the paint payload and the spray propulsion. The result is semi-controlled chaos as the artist dictates color but has only modest control over composition.
These works visually relate to Abstract Expressionism, where the gestures are random and free and a record of movement; however of course here the hand of the artist is on a joystick and has been honed by years of video game playing. In spirit the works are very much part of a tendency in emerging art to engage with process driven abstraction, however in these works, the artist is not seeking to shirk responsibility by turning the composition over only to process, rather he is creating new opportunities of engagement, and their resulting difficulties and restrictions, through a challenging and pioneering process. Like William Anastasi subway drawings or Cy Twombly automatic writing, the process shapes the work but does not engulf and exclude the work; these abstractions are not about robotics but about the beautiful or poetic expressions that can come from a fusion of human and technology.
KATSU is an artist who uniquely blends traditional graffiti, digital media and conceptual artwork, KATSU creates an entirely new hybridized approach to contemporary art. Both through his visual and his digital projects, KATSU questions notions of reality, fiction, and ‘graffiti,’ by conceptually integrating notions of vandalism with commercialism and technology. KATSU is actively involved in the dialogue and experimentation surrounding contemporary art and technology and has previously participated in panels at the MoMA alongside Massimo Vignelli and in collaboration with The Graffiti Research Lab. He is currently a member of the Free Art and Technology Lab, a collective of technologists, artists and hackers.
KATSU is well known for his interventionist works/pieces including an (uninvited?) fire extinguisher installation on the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles shortly before the opening of the show Art in the Streets. More recently, as he explores the relationship between art, vandalism, and technology, he installed a public mixed media piece employing fire extinguisher propelled paint and video projection in collaboration with photographer Ari Marcopoulos.
The fair will present contemporary art in all media, including video art and digital installations from around the world, intended to explore the intersection between art and technology. All the work included in the fair was created between 1970-present, which parallels the rise of Silicon Valley historically and culturally.
The fair’s mission is to create the “next generation art fair” by establishing a bridge between the worlds of art and tech by showcasing cutting edge new media and moving image works and installations. It is the most expansive selection of significant fine art ever presented in the Valley. For a list of exhibitors please check out siliconvalleycontemporary.
For more information or to preview available works please email firstname.lastname@example.org