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. 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,

Karen Marcello pic

Friday January 19th, 2018, 6-9 P.M.

•January 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

At The Jules Maeght Gallery In San Francisco.

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Disco Ball Video Installation pendulum robot scientist Installation Party.
A party to celebrate my new etchings!

Friday January 19th, 2018, 6-9 P.M.
Derrière Le Miroir closing party and print release of two new original etchings by Me! Kal Spelletich
Made at the historic and prestigious ARTE-Maeght Printshop, Paris, France.

Two etchings of the sun and moon/galaxy and Nebulas.
1. Solis And Luna
2. Orion Nebula
These prints will be for sale at the opening.

Free whiskey if you can catch it! From the Scotch delivery system.

There will be four robots in this exhibit for you to operate.
A whiskey pouring robot.
The two drawing robots that made the etchings.
And a Disco Ball Video Installation Interactive Pendulum Robot
Scientist Perpetual Motion Space and Time Machine Installation.
Yes, that’s right.

For a brief history of the Galleries roots:

Whiskey Dispenser:

Saturday Dec. 2, 2017, 8:30 P.M. at the LAB

•November 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Hacked De Picciotto
Saturday Dec. 2, 2017, 8:30 P.M. at the LAB 2948 16th. St., S.F., Ca.
Two legends from Berlin.
Only one night in San Francisco.
Danielle de Picciotto (Crime & The City Solution) & Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten). Yes, them. They are doing a full set.
I am performing briefly with them in a collaborative piece with my robots. Look for an amazing night of sonic joy.

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