Technology and Consciousness: Artificial Intelligence and Art

•April 7, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Technology and Consciousness: Artificial Intelligence and Art

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  • April 7, 2016
  • 7:00 pm
  • First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco
    1187 Franklin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94109



What is technologies roll in art and society?
Art doing something deeper?

Ken-What are robot best at? What are humans best at? What about the grey area where these two things are evolving?

Can a robot respond to ones soul/represent your soul??
hybrid human machine systems/subverting the role of technology
a new way to instill consciousness.
Sensors that respond to ones individuality, they aren’t programmed
can machine robots convey their audiences personality/emotions?
making consciousness manifested physically.
Robots that sense you, respond uniquely each time.

The invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck. -Paul Virilio
Global social media-Global surveillance and propaganda machine
-Robot carers for elderly people are ‘another way of dying even more miserably’
-tech produces more tech, cars encourage the production of more gas and gas refiners.
-“If machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?”
Drone attacks, surveillance society, Stalking,.
Hacking home security systems.
When you aim to solve every problem for rich people as opposed to the real issues of income inequality, sustainable cities and climate change.
ALL  the breakthroughs are for the military

The luddities didn’t have it all wrong, they were trying to protect their livelihoods. Their families, as a new technology comes in can’t we take care of the displaced ones?

The Hackers are the real revolutionaries.
“If machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?”
There are 2 solutions: 1; basic universal income, 2; get rid of money/capitalism entirely.
-Privacy is the next currency
This all makes art all the more important.
To leave the planet a little weirder.
Art can’t advance without experimentation and support
Art always wins

Your book Humans Need Not Apply – what made you interested in Artificial Intelligence?
The Future of AI?

Computer program, AlphaGo, which defeated the master 1000 TIMES HARDER THAN CHESS.
DEFINE Artificial Intelligence?
RACIST ChatBot that Microsoft/Twitter.


My Ocean Gal

•March 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Show is up now, March 12, 2016–until March 31st.
Thanks! Hope to see you there!

Opening Event on March 19th, 3pm-6pm
surfboard repair then music:
Julius Smack (Los Angeles)
Cat Mahatta (Oakland)
At Gospel Flats Farmstand Gallery



My Ocean Gal
Co-curated by Ethan Rafal and Dana Dart-McLean , My Ocean Gal is inspired by Padmasambhava, an 8th century Buddhist figure, who is said to have brought Buddhism to Tibet, as an original embodiment of “crazy wisdom,” and Venus, the goddess of love and luck who emerged out of a shell from foam on the waves. This show brings together 22 artists and 25 works, photos, sculpture, painting, writing, performance and digital art, that relate to the theme of the ocean as a figure of crazy wisdom, love, and luck. The works explore the human use of mythic figures to hold unimaginable complexity with story. Some stories are best told through the muteness of sculptural objects. Artists and writers included in the show are Chris Johanson, Liz Harris, Shelter Serra, Ivory Serra , Kal Spelletich, poet Alli Warren, Brian Getnick, Emily Prince, Morgan Ritter, Robert Glass, Amy Johnson, Sam Freeman, Tanya Milosevich, Lauren Hartman, Midori Hirose, Lindsey White, David Wilson, Danielle Mourning, and Liz Harris.





•February 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Harvey Postcard


1040 NORTH DUTTON AVE, SANTA ROSA, CA. Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 5-7 P.M.

Lots of artists with a machine of mine as well!
See you there.

You are invited to celebrate the closing of Into the Woods

•January 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

IMG_1712 2

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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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.