You are invited to celebrate the closing of Into the Woods

•January 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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Saturday, January 23rd, 4 to 6 pm

You are invited to celebrate the closing of
Into the Woods
Jules Maeght Gallery
149 Gough St. San Francisco CA 94102



A hauntedly spooky evening
There will be multiple readings of disturbing tales of the woods.





Art by;
Marco DEL RE
Velia de IULIIS
Justin TEISL
Joanne Easton

Readings by;
Joanne Easton
Anne McGuire
Tanya Milosevich
Jaina Bee
Kal Spelletich
A video reading by Brett McCORMACK
and special guests…

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Exhibit runs until Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jules Maeght Gallery
149 Gough St. San Francisco CA 94102
(415) 549-7046


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Continue reading ‘You are invited to celebrate the closing of Into the Woods’

Extinct San Francisco

•January 2, 2016 • 1 Comment





What is the shortest, clearest way to describe your project?


I miss old style small-scale production. Mom and pop stores where anyone is trying to make a go of it with their invention or recipe. You used too see these stores in malls. Where labor and profits are shared equally. These are not boutique high-end luxury items! Made by the workers for the workers. I hope to reintroduce small scale manufacturing of these items in SF and show the makers and process. I hope this project leads to other ideas and some sustainability.




For real though… how will this actually create more awesome?


Revisiting San Francisco’s manufacturing legacy.

Cutting out high prices and the middle man.

Not EVERYTHING needs to be “luxury’ items.

Learning new job skills.

Having fun while you are doing it.








Tell us about yourself.


Kal Spelletich is an experimental artist who started experimenting in 1980. Since then Kal has performed, exhibited and lectured worldwide, collaborating with Survival Research Labs and countless others from from punk rock bands to scientists, politicians to NASA, Hollywood television to film acting parts. His latest work involves experimenting with bio-morphic inputs that trigger machines and robots to provide viewers with a direct real-life experience. Kal has exhibited all over the world.







I propose to make or collaboratively make the following items formerly birthed and made in San Francisco.

The goal is to reintroduce these extinct species and see if I can create them at a low cost, create local jobs, a market and look back at our legacy. NOTHING DESIGNER HERE! Some of these items are still made here, but not like they used to be! Many jobs were lost with the loss of these SF traditions.

In some cases only one item will be made, in others dozens or pounds. I will attempt to improve on the quality of each item collaborating with local chef’s, seamstresses, hackers and brew-masters.

The items and the process of making will be exhibited for the public to compare, taste, try on and or purchase. The manufacturing process will be made vissable.





Domenico Ghirardelli was an Italian who came to SF during the Gold Rush and set up the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory. The chocolate is now produced in San Leandro and Ghirardelli and is owned by Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli.





Rice-a-Roni has long been associated with the city. As far as i can tell it is still made in Chicago and Canada. Rice-a-Roni was created by the DeDomenico family in 1958. Since 2001, Rice-a-Roni has been owned by PepsoCo.



Levi Strauss & Co. It was founded in 1853. The company’s corporate headquarters is located at Levi’s Plaza in San Francisco.

Levi’s are made in Sri Lanka, China, Thailand, Mexico and points far and wide. The closure of Levi’s last U.S. factory in San Antonio in 20013 ended 150 years of being made in the USA. Levi Strauss leads the apparel industry in trademark infringement cases, filing nearly 100 lawsuits against competitors.



Falstaff , Burgermeister Beer, Schlitz and Hamm’s Beer were all based in SF at one time. These simple low budget beers quenched the thirst of the proletariat for over 100 years.

Just some of the others lost are;

Bavarian Brewery Vallejo St.

Union Brewing Company Florida St.

John Wieland Brewery 2nd St.

The Albany Brewery Innes Ave.

American Railroad Brewery Valencia St.

Washington Brewery Lombard St.

The Bay Brewery 7th St.

The National Brewery Fulton St.




Some early versions of computers were sort of made here We all know how much the ‘puter has changed SF.



•December 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Pine cone clock, 2015, spinning down time. Currently at the Jules Maeght Gallery  and the Brine Clock from 1988.


Brine Clock

“100 Years of Robot Art and Science in the Bay Area”

•November 9, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This will be an amazing one-of-a-kind only in San Francisco event. I will have two robots for the audience, fellow robotictsts and a premiere cast scholars to operate. Thanks Ken Goldberg and Kevin Kevin B. Chen

De Young show

If you’re in the Bay Area Friday night, 20 Nov, please join us at the de Young Museum Theater, San Francisco for a free-ranging discussion of “100 Years of Robot Art and Science in the Bay Area”

Co-Sponsored by the UC CITRIS “People and Robots” Initiative

5:00pm, Doors Open for Friday Nights at the de Young museum with free
admission, live music, cash bar, cafe, kids welcome.

The discussion in the main theater is in conjunction with the de Young’s
exhibition honoring the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific
International Exposition. It’s organized by Kevin Chen from the de
Young in collaboration with Ken Goldberg from UC Berkeley and
Alexander Rose from The Long Now Foundation and will feature in the
Theater a series of 10-minute conversations between local artists,
researchers, writers, and curators, with artist Jenny Odell as “visual
jockey” providing live images as participants discuss robots, art, and
science from historical and contemporary perspectives: including Pieter Abbeell, Catharine Clark, Ken Goldberg, Karen Marcelo, John
John Markoff, Josette Melchor, David Pescovitz, Zander Alexander Rose, Tim
Roseborough, Dorothy Santos, Kal Spelletich, Terry Winograd


Iam thinking about: Talk for De Young 11/2015

How to get more women involved?
How to support artists working in this vein?
Are you getting support from the new technologists?

Directions in kinetic sculpture by Peter Selz at the Berkely Museum.

I am thinking about the beginnings of the SF robot scene for me, working with SRL and how doing something aggressive, getting confidence from people who didn’t like what we were doing.

What I like about Bay Area art robotics work and something I always aspire towards is some sort of randomness/unpredictability, an unknown. Where robots and machines do what they want/a lack of control.The machines have their own personality that we can’t totally control. Of course industry doesn’t do this. The uncanny valley as unpredictableness & impracticalness. Tech that does not fulfill traditional capitalist expectations. To never build something “useful”.

We wanted to do something that is uniquely ours, American, part of this new culture, technology hacked. Application-less engineering, we were never going to build a vacuum robot, or something that cleans the window, one must be an outlier/renegade, working from the edge not from the inside.

The juxtaposition of opposites -Humans wearing robots/interfacing directly with them/tree robots.
Technology that can manipulate emotions.
Interactive art is a catalyst towards an engaged life.
Interactivity play and fear as a metaphor for engaging with society.
Making work that honors and critiques technology at the same time.

Interfacing humans and machines into hybrid systems.
When the robots take over, the only advantage humans will have is creativity. Program what you will into a robot: emotional response, basic problem solving, artificial intelligence whatever- how can anyone program divergent thinking?  Or empathy.
So, when the robots take over because they are more efficient and immortal- the only thing we’ll be able to leverage against them will be our creativity. Therefore:
Salvation = Creativity

An attempt to clarify the fundamental notions by which people
understand the world, e.g., existence, objects and their properties,
space and time, cause and effect, possibility. A central branch of
metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into the basic categories
of being and how they relate to each other.

Sensors that respond to ones individuality, they aren’t programmed.
Can machine robots convey their audiences personality/emotions?
Making consciousness manifested physically.
Giving the sculptures an awareness.
To build right thinking machines.
To HAVE SOME FUN AND leave the planet a little weirder.

The old growth forest of art in the bay area is being clear cut
It is like a garden, you don’t only just grow vegetables, you grow some flowers, and BOTH need nutrition and support.

So this was a very interesting gig.

•October 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

At the UN plaza in downtown San Francisco  exhibiting interactive robots. This is where I have been buying vegetables since 1985. Where I would bring coffee and bagels to the AIDS victim protestors chained to the Federal Building….


Luckily I didn’t win the exhibition art prize of $2,000.00 dollars given out by Air b ‘n b. Some guy who crochet’s won! But, I could have done something “good” with it. (see below)

A whirling dervish, a walking dog that gave out Halloween chocolates. A robotized tree. A flying boot. They are all interactive and only work if the audience engages. Hand pressure touch and movement sensors…..

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Thank goodness at the last minute i grabbed an old rug Tanya helped me drag home, that I found on the street out in the sunset. It gave a little mood and soft on the feet for hours!

Oh, the questions! The smirks, but the tweakers and homeless were the best. No silly questions from them, just joy! Some hesitation, but not like I am too hip to try something new so as to not to let myself be taken out of my comfort zone hesitation. The guy with the Jesus Is Coming! REPENT! 99% of USA DOOMED!  sign around his neck was the best. (of course we are doomed, doomed to die). AND, he ran 2 robots at once.

What is interesting are the people that came back, 2, 3, 6 times over to operate the robots. They bring friends over. They will run these things into the ground.
Some people get MAD! Really. It upsets them.This robot is going to break! It is going to hurt someone! These clothes are too old! What does it do? Is that all!? How much do you make doing THIS! Have it really fly!, Why don’t you work for NASA!? Art!? this isn’t art.  Why don’t you……fill in the blank (make something useful/make my stupid idea, (i get this constantly). I know what you should make! Did people tell Rothko that? why don’t you paint some water lilies?

But by far the majority love it. They are blissful and happy.
I have shown my work all over the world. Probably 1000 times.
This one was special. Next to the bar!
In front of the DJrave dance floor! too loud, I don’t like techno.
In front of the silent disco. Just right.
By the fountains! Running no less.

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But the audience won it all hands down. Right on Market street and most folks were not used to seeing art let alone interactive robots.
And a wonderful curator Jenny Sharaf.

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Air B ‘n B
“[I]f only the hosts really were ‘regular people,’ who lived in their own home and occasionally rented out a room or the whole house while away, nobody would object much.”
But the truth is Airbnb is investing over $8M to stop F exactly because the bulk of Airbnb rentals in SF are entire vacant units — many of them operated by the same “host” — and that’s the market activity that made the young founders billionaires in just a few years and scored the company a $25 billion valuation. They know exactly what will happen if F passes and existing laws are enforced. All that illegal money will go away.
“Airbnb has become its own worst enemy by stubbornly refusing to work with local officials to figure out a way to enforce sensible laws that prohibit conversions of rental apartments into de facto hotels.”
Yes on F –

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Photos and Videos from The Exhibit Into TheWoods at the Jules Maeght Gallery

•October 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment


The Jules Maeght Gallery 149 Gough Street in San Francisco

I have 5 machine robots on display and ran my whiskey pourerer at the opening.

The exhibit is up until January 30, 2016.

Some video here;

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The Boss hard at work.


Video of Machinetreerobot

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INTO THE WOODS features works by contemporary artists — Marco Del Re, Luc Doerflinger, Joanne Easton, Cécile Granier de Cassagnac, Laine Justice, Brett McCormack, Kal Spelletich and Justin Teisl.
Jules Maeght Gallery
149 Gough St. – San Francisco – CA 94102 – – (415) 549-7046

THis Sunday Street Talk/Performance

•August 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

me in the shop copy

Photo by: Arnaud Gaertner

From the Maestra,

Hey you guys

So i’ve told you i wanted to do a dorkbot at that parklet on Valencia at 24th with the 2 podiums and you all were into it.
I will invite more but before i do i wanted to pick a date.

How does SUNDAY Aug 29th sound?  Its a Sat.  I figure if we start at 3:30 and go to 4:30 we can all convene at a bar or food after.
I was going for the early side to avoid crowds and hit happy hour… does that date work for all?  If it does i’ll start inviting others
then announce.

No electricity so just talk, demo, fly a drone, bring a robot and the crowd will gather :)  The podium sign up sheet limits
each person to 3 min each but if we snag a contigous chunk (i’ll go there earlier) im sure if we all do 5 min open dork style
things that’ll be fun?

Lets use the public space!  I might pass a jar around for our beer after but i’ll buy you all a round!

What do you all think?  Its the Sat before burning man too so hopefully they’ll all be gone

Thanks all!