I am Getting Evicted….and Robots Are Heavy->

•July 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment


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Thanks Everyone!
What an amazing response to my fundraiser. I am almost there, now is when you go OH! I forgot to kick Kal a few bucks OR you close this message. But WAIT, look farther down this message if you already gave or cannot.

When this is all said and done and the lawyers are done with their lawyering, I will have kept making art no matter what. I spent my summer breaking down the Kalpalace, so much for a holiday, camping, taking a break or even working on projects that were due, sorry Danielle and Alexander! I did spend two days a week at Stochastic Labs building a pair of artificial lungs that trigger a pipe organ, organs running organs shall we say.  It is already weird not having my workspace, let alone never having it ever again. I do have a great temporary workspace.

I pretty much have everything moved, even sold some art, threw away a bunch of very heavy, dangerous and unwieldy old pieces and socked away into deep storage what I thought would be fitting for my retrospective in 2048!

Not my worn out old truck breaking down in the middle of it all, my ragged worn out hands nor my knee that went out on me climbing scaffolding and lugging tons of gear could stop this. Working 7 days a week for 4 months 10-14 hours a day is, when you are old, a challenge. I am happy to be not running an artspace anymore, home and community center for so many people (it’s like I am a single artist again!) after 25 years, though it was all beyond rewarding.

Mad props and thanks to Matt Heckert, Charles Gadeken, Deidre and Marty, Jay Brommel, Devin, Devo/Devin, Walter, Marylee, Big Daddy and John Law for your extra special helps.

I got several articles in the media about this epic eviction/move:
PBS is doing something but it won’t be out for a while.

Meanwhile, I’m not letting up. I’m stoked about these:
On September 29, 2018
I will have some video documentaries on me at Other Cinema/ATA Gallery in S.F. videos of my works, maybe a noise machine, plus monster movies and sci-fi cocktails will be on offer. Full blurb up in Sept. at:

On October 13, 2018
I am exhibiting at Geothe Institute ART-Lounge
530 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
This is going to be a lot of fun!
Honoring Karl Marx’s 200th birthday complete with a GIANT birthday cake in Conjunction with Litquake and City Lights Bookstore. There are readings, a film, a discussion and my robotic band you can operate, what can possibly go wrong?
Did you ever wonder why Karl Marx’s theories remain relevant, today? This year Marx would turn 200. The Goethe-Institut uses this occasion to commemorate the impact of his theories upon the German and U.S. society today.

This Fall I am in the exhibit in conjunction with my mini summer residency at Stochastic Labs http://stochasticlabs.org/
I will show one or two of my recent Artificial Organs Series! Human organs triggering a pipe organ. The date is yet to be determined but it will be chock-a-block full of great art and technology pieces.

This is funny, I have a Wikipedia page! There is so much to add! Any suggestions?

My buddy and old roommate at the warehouse made this piece on current nazi’s in the good ‘ole US of A, it is horrific and yet heroic. AC Thompson is a fearless warrior. We all need to know what these lunatics are doing here.
Watch his Frontline documentary

My OTHER old studio mate, Trevor Paglen, is now a genius, according to the MacArthur Foundation. Don’t forget us normals Trevor! Looky here: https://www.macfound.org/fellows/994/

AND, some fanmail, a surprise and makes it ALLLLL worth it…….

Don’t know if you remember me, Kal, but I wrote an article about you for a Denver art rag in 2000. Sad to hear you are having rent trouble, it’s people like you who made me come to the BayArea and find a home.

Kal took me in when I was homeless and let me live on the shelf above the bathroom. He still calls me “Shelf-Girl”. Throw $100 bucks his way or whatever amount you can, if you still love the kind of San Francisco he helped to blaze. We love you Kal!

Good on ya Kal. I have been obsessing over SRL and your work since I was just a wee Cyberpunk in the 90’s. We need your creative mayhem now more than ever. Happy to support.

Kal, you inspired so many of us to get up out of our comfort zones and go out to the desert to see wood burn or spin fire up on a rooftop or lay naked in a huge huddled mass on a filthy street under a bridge or on a bridge and I will be forever grateful to you for that. While the scene. Was organizing in nyc before 2000, I think your machine art show in Chelsea really lit a fire under all our collective arses. Thank you for continuing to inspire!!  K.R.

YES!! What a swell clip! I’ve met Kal personally (some time ago back in the Bay Area): I’ll attest to his ingenuity, integrity, insanity, creativity, empathy, passion… I was very fortunate to have had a few chances to kinda tag along, hang out, behold The Epic Art Process, lend a hand, share, even participate in his fun-loving Vision. I recall (during a performance at his Space in SF) nervously standing still – bolt-upright, at attention – Battling My Worst Fears whilst enclosed within the exhilarating ‘Fire Shower’ he’d built. Trying not to freak out; I was totally scared! Still, there I was: grinning wildly like some crazed maniac, the acrid smell of burnt hair hanging sickly in the air, twerking my nostrils… Hey! Just how cool was that then, right? WAY COOL! Thanks Kal, my ol’ pal! Keep on keeping on n’ on that path you’re on, Funk-Soul-Brother! K.B.

I just wanted to send you a quick note and say *thank you* for introducing me to Stacey (and also for bringing me into the warehouse more than six years ago since that’s where a lot of this started).
And, I think I already told you this but I was totally delighted a few weeks ago when I went to your show and got to play with the interactive seagull-sound piece. All of this is just to say that I feel lucky to have people like you all to look to as sources of inspiration and to stretch my imagination.

I am overwhelmed by the support you are giving me! THANK YOU I’m really looking forward to creating something new with all of you. With a warm heart,  Kal

And don’t forget to keep your booty shakin:


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I’m getting evicted from my warehouse studio. I urgently need your help to raise $10K to relocate in the next month. I’ve hand built hundreds of robots, fire machines, and held jaw dropping events in the past 25 years in the warehouse. This is where I built the first ever flamethrowers and robots used at Burning Man in the ’90’s. I hosted music, noise and art events with the likes of the Bicycle Rodeo, Mitch Altman, Matt Heckert of Survival Research Laboratories, Heather Dewey-Hagborg to name a few and exhibitions with and for many many other artists and art groups.


In 2019 his work will be shown in a solo museum exhibit at St. Mary’s College of Art Museum in Orinda, CA, and a concurrent solo exhibit at the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, CA as well as other shows.


I ran my studio as an experimental art/live space that housed and supported over 100 other artists and activists. All with NO grants, no outside support, no gallery sales and no renting to tech businesses. In 1995 when I moved in the street was dirt and littered with abandoned cars and homeless everywhere, prostitution rings and  crack-heads lurking to rob you.
It was the project that should have never worked: an artist supporting artists by sharing below market rent.
Yet the 25 year run of people, events, exhibits are a testament to art over commerce.
Now, like virtually all other artists in San Francisco, I’m getting evicted.
I will keep making art. I will keep supporting others who make art and are active for change.
Sincere thanks from the bottom of my heart for any support you can offer.
It has been a gift to share my space with so many amazing people. I’m looking ahead to how I can keep doing this for the next 25 years.




Artificial Organs

•June 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment

HARD AT WORK ON MY KIDNEY. And Lungs, heart and Liver. Symptoms of kidney failure are due to the build-up of waste products and excess fluid in the body that may cause weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, swelling, and confusion. Inability to remove potassium from the bloodstream may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. Initially kidney failure may cause no symptoms.
Addendum: Hello everyone, I am healthy and fine. One day, I won’t be. So this is a preemptive health care art project. Maybe you all will need some backup organs as well, I am your DIY organ guy!!! I have never had health care so this is how we roll in the 3rd world U.S./San Francisco. The output of the four organs will trigger customKidney_small_neg 2 instruments, possibly pipe organs.


Thanks to Jone Foote  http://rotormind.com/projects/Bio/


and Stochastic Labs for getting this started!


Google Translate Twerked

•April 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Mary Muszynski and I started using Google translate on a trip to Europe, and soon found it was desperately seeking the English language wherevewe pointed it. Even at clocks. We are experimenting with images, live footage, symbols and abstraction beyond it’s intended use. Algorithms and artificial intelligence networks have enabled phones and computers to “see” autonomously.

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Google Translate goes Crazy. The 4 Minute version (for those with attention Spans).





What does it mean that “seeing” and interpreting no longer requires a human “seer” in the loop? Who or what is watching whom or what? The project explores the invisible world of robot-to-machine-to-art seeing. We are using Google’s software that allows us to use various computer-vision algorithms to interpret what we it/you are seeing. These algorithms are essentially reinterpreting what we are looking at as artists. Their software used in conjunction with artificial intelligence morphs our gaze into random noise. It translates and glyphs in poetic, surreal and sometimes sinister ways. This “intelligence” sees shapes and makes pictures out of randomness. Think of the Rorschach inkblot test, the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas). What psychologists call apophenia—the human tendency to see connections and patterns that are not really there—it gives rise to conspiracy theories. This AI seeks recognizable images from random noise—and creates the phenomenon of pareidolia, in which one sees bunny rabbits in the clouds. What happens when we depend on this technology to interpret reality for us? These algorithms are only as wise and informed as their makers. This technology is biased. It is proven as racist, bigoted and narrow as it’s creators. Who are predominately white, male and wealthy. It can be patriarchal, gender biased and class divided. How are these robot and AI being taught? It is critical to question and experiment with this AI before it permanently infiltrates our cultural thought and law processes. Who needs the NSA when we have Google and Facebook?

So I got the old band back together! LAB Performance April 5

•March 31, 2018 • 2 Comments

I am presenting my Robotic Trio, Group Play Machines.
There are three compositions with video scores with three randomly chosen audience volunteers get to operate the band. It is a lot of fun and hearkens back to my old noise band days in the ’80’s.

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I will go on PROMPTLY at 8:30.


In about 1986 I heard about a band called SWANS. I started buying their albums and was floored by their raw intensity. I saw them soon after and have followed their journey since. So I couldn’t be happier to be performing with some of them!

On a troubling note, after 23 years, I am getting evicted from my studio from the edge of San Francisco. Gah! (it’s been a good run) Anyone with any tips on how to continue to make art in this nutty city and/or Bay area please let me know. I am stumped.

Hope to see you there!

All best,



•March 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

An art show next weekend- In contrast, kinetic artist and Burning Man pioneer Kal Spelletich aims to make audiences a little uncomfortable with the future.



Inspired by “elaborate and heartfelt” handshakes he witnessed in Africa years ago, the artist began to wonder if technology could perform personal, emotional acts. One of the resulting works, Hand Shakerer, will give LAST festivalgoers an intimate encounter with anthropomorphized technology.

The robotic hand, equipped with a proximity movement sensor, a touch sensor and an EKG, senses an approaching human, reaches forward and opens up. “If you put your hand inside the robot hand, it reads your bio information and decides whether or not to grip and how firm, if and when to start shaking and when to stop,” Spelletich said.

In the background of the artist’s work is a narrative of “technology run amok,” he said.

“Can robots go even further in areas we consider purely human gestures? The piece honors and criticizes technology at the same time: Is this where we are going? Is this our evolution?” Spelletich asks. “Shake a robot’s hand and see if it can touch your soul.”


Performance & Talk at Sponsor: Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation

•March 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Tomorrow/Wednesday on the Berkeley Campus, the public is welcome….I am going to bring a few weird pieces for the students to experiment with. http://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/Jacobs.html?event_ID=115125&date=2018-03-13&filter=Event%20Type&filtersel= Design Field Notes: Kal Spelletich
Seminar | March 13 | 4-5 p.m. | 220 Jacobs Hall
Sponsor: Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation

My prints and a drawing machine (that made the prints) is still on display…

•February 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment


My prints and a drawing machine (that made the prints) is still on display at The Jules Maeght gallery 149 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102.

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They are in the back viewing area.
1. Solis And Luna
2. Orion Nebula
These prints are for sale for $250.00 each or both for $400.00

Here are links to the prints


The Etchings are a collaboration between me, my robots, ARTE-Maeght printshop in Paris and Jules Maeght. The drawing robots were made to draw the sun/moon and quasars with a pen on paper. I replaced the pen with a metal scribe and the paper with treated copper etching plates. The robots scratched one -of-a-kind drawings on the plates and they were printed as an edition.

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As the Jules Maeght Gallery says:
\\\ Can machines have souls? The ability to create art suggests that they can. We are excited to release two new original etchings by Kal Spelletich – in which a robot that he created drew directly on the copper plate.\\\

Drop on by and have a gander! The galleries new show is up and say hey to Jules, Luc and Amelie for me.
I couldn’t be happier!

I hope to see you there,

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