The NEW Situationists

•April 13, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I am giving a talk/performance with the radical political scholar Eddie Yuen this Saturday, April 15, 7-9 P.M. at ProArts gallery in Oakland, California across from City Hall.
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612

There will be FREE libations and food served by machines and robots from 3-5PM





b. Levi’s add./LA Gear
c. Movie parts
d. Military $ offers. How to separate out what is selling out.
e. Decision to go with technology, interactivity and robotics.
f. Humor, fear, play.
g. It’s easier to have an artistic revolution than a military or political revolution.

Eddie Yuen teaches Critical Studies at California College of Arts.  His most recent work is on the discourse of climate change in the book “Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth”, (2012). He is the chief editor of two books on social movements and globalization and is a contributing producer for “Against the Grain”, a syndicated radio program featuring in-depth interviews with prominent critical thinkers. His talk will be on some aspects of Situationist political ideas and their relevance for 21st century capitalism.  I am looking forward to robot improvisation and accompaniment.

Fox News Video

Wine Pourer


Work in the Gallery
This is a video shot of me by the FOX “news” network in 1999. I had recently won funding from the Franklin Furnace in NYC. They were in part supported by the NEA. The right wing were still hounding arts organizations about any public support whatsoever. They contacted me for an interview and I jumped at the opportunity. They came to my performance asking endless questions attacking and inciting me. I answered the questions in the way I wished were asked instead. I flipped the TV crew and they did an OK piece, I think.
Exhibited with this video document is the Portable Small Scratchy Claw Machine, something to get 12105919_10206881151201562_3301052191661793229_n



Press Release: Split Brain Robotics.

•March 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Harvesting Brain DATA for Robotic

Mayhem and Enlightenment.

An interactive audience participatory performance with two custom-built 16’ tall robots, each identical, each controlled by the left and right side brainwaves of audience participant(s).

Performances: Thursday, April 6-9, 2017. 8:00 P.M.
Sunday April 9 Matinee 1:00 Afternoon time!

The Lab 2948 16th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
@thelabsf / #thelabsf
The Lab is wheelchair accessible and is located 1/2 block from the 16th and Mission BART.

A hacked and customized EEG reads right side and left side brainwaves to make the two robots move, collaborate, interact, fight and even “kiss”. This live streaming brain data will run the two robots. Volunteers’(you!) thoughts brought to life through robotic actions.
When they do “correctly” interact, symbolic and metaphoric events will happen, activating, lasers, lights, fog, robotic eye views projections, sounds, chaos.

This project has been funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission.
and The Zellerbach Foundation.

sfac_h_pms copy

This performance piece is a collaborative project of Kal Spelletich (artist, robot maker), Masahiro Kahata (brainwave control hardware/software), and Mitch Altman (integration hardware and software) and Jonathan Foote, Willi Döring, Silver Kuusik, Robert Langer.

Some of the concepts we are exploring are;
Can we translate human emotions into robot actions?
Can this demonstrate to us a new way to instill consciousness?
Can we create empathy for a robot?
What are robot best at?  What are humans best at?  What about the grey area where these two things are evolving?
Is there a role for hybrid human machine systems?
Can a robot respond to, represent or convey one’s inner desires?
Can enlightenment be achieved through robotic interactions?
Is this the next step in health care and education?

Some Video Here;

Two things this week!

•February 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

2 exhibits This week
I am presenting my latest opus with Mitch Altman, Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at DORKBOT in S.F., Ca.

7 P.M. social hour, * P.M. presentations




This Friday in Oakland, Bay Area Situationists at Pro Arts Gallery
Opening Reception Friday March 3, 2017 6-9 P.M.

Downtown Oakland on the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza directly across from City Hall.
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA 94612 (Ground Floor Gallery.)
Exhibition Dates: March 3 – April 28, 2017

The New Situationists exhibition and related program of events is the first major survey of Bay Area avant-guarde art and countercultural activities, influenced by the ideas, theory and techniques of the Situationist International movement (1957 – 1972.) The Situationists aimed for integration of art and life, and worked to critique consumer capitalism and mediated experience. At their core, they challenged the idea of ‘art.’ It would be traditional to present this work in 2018, a tidy 50th Anniversary celebration, as one does for institutions like monarchs, museums, fast food chains, and your grandparents’ marriage. The New Situationists is literally avant-guarde in that it is occurring in 2017, a year prior to the semi-centennial of Situationism’s acme.
In conjunction with this exhibit, ON APRIL 15 at 3-7 P.M. I will run a walking BB-Q (BB-Q for free!)
and whiskey and Wine pouring machines AND give a talk about my work and Situationist mayhem in my life.
Talk at 7 P.M.

and on April 6-9, 2017


Electric Space Gardeners – Opens 1/5 – Gregory Lind Gallery

•January 3, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Jovi Schnell “Electric Space Gardeners”

January 5–February 18, 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 5, 2017 (5-7:30PM)



Collaborative Piece between Kal Spelletich and Jovi Schnell, “Wine Pourerer” Press button and bouquet starts swinging and Said Bouquet will pour, drip and spray delectable nectar libations to the public.

Gregory Lind Gallery is pleased to present Electric Space Gardeners, Jovi Schnell’s fourth exhibition with the gallery. The assembled works include large-scale canvases and works on paper that present a hybridized botanical world where the codes of nature, humanity, and technology flow freely. Schnell’s imaginative interplay of amorphous flora, botanical shapes, and micro patterns offer speculations from a corpus of research that includes automatic gardens, plant physiology, herbariums, parallel plant species, and botanical folklore.

For the reception Wendy Farina will project four short electric space gardening animations with music composed by the band Electronic Death Registry.

Kal Spelletich and Jovi Schnell have collaborated on a “Bouquet of Mechanical Flowers”. Said Bouquet will pour, drip and spray delectable nectar libations to the public. If they dare!


Collaborative Piece between Kal Spelletich and Jovi Schnell, “Wine Pourerer”


Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 115:30 PM

Link to view works:


Gregory Lind Gallery
49 Geary Street, Fifth Floor
San Francisco CA 94108






What is your life purpose?

•November 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment

What is your life purpose?
Why are you on the planet?
What is your life’s work?
“Much of life now is about instant reward. If you sacrifice and give you get a much richer reward and life purpose. Capitalism is about the individual getting a…”
I have done 1000 interviews. Literally. Most are so mundane you want to stop doing them. Where were you born? Why do you make art? What is your art about? And on and on the same questions over and over for decades. Jason and Charlotte and I had a nice convo. the other week. These folks did their homework and cut to the chase, we did this interview in like 15 minutes. True professionals and yet fun and enlightening folks. They waltzed into my studio glowing with an undeniable life force and shone it upon me.
Sometimes it takes three to get there.


I am a BASTARD!!

•November 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment




•October 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Day 10

Thursday, November 10, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
Bastard Children of Dada: Happenings, Fluxus, Mail Art, Punk, and beyond..
Location:  Latino Room, Main Branch, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St. San Francisco, Admission Free
with Emily Hage, John Law, Winston Smith, Kal Spelletich, and V. Vale, moderated by Peter Maravelis (City Lights) Dada’s influence upon the 20th century avante-garde has been immeasurable. It’s political and aesthetic stance, as well as its confrontational approach to the art world and bourgeois sensibilities, has spread widely amongst artists, musicians, writers, poets, and performers. From the Beat Generation to Punk and beyond, Dada’s “bastard children” are with us to this day.  Five voices that are firmly embedded in the theory, history, and practice of the avante garde will explore the artistic movements that followed Dada into the 21st century.
Day 11

Friday, November 11, 2016, Doors 8:30 p.m. to midnight, performance ongoing.
The Kal Spelletich Experience
Location: Undisclosed and secret. Ticket availability, method of acquisition, and admission charge information to be announced 11/1, in this listing.
Master machine artist Kal Spelletich presents an evening of revery exposing his inner dada-ist. A variety of devices will be displayed and in motion for your viewing pleasure.
Day 13

Sunday, November 13, 2016, Doors 3:00 p.m.
Location: Undisclosed and secret. Ticket availability, method of acquisition, and admission charge information to be announced 11/1, in this listing.
An afternoon with Matt Heckert and Kal Spelletich, moderated by Peter Maravelis
A dismemberment of the carcasses of Futurist, Dada, and 20th Century Avante-Garde tendencies.
Sponsored by the Catharine Clark Gallery


Marie Osmond doing Hugo Ball
Performed by Hanna Aurbacher, Teophil Maier, Ewald Liska (known as Trio Exvoco)
From the LP Futura Poesia Sonora.
Lyrics :
jolifanto bambla o falli bambla
großiga m’pfa habla horem
egiga goramen
higo bloiko russula huju
hollaka hollala
anlogo bung
blago bung blago bung
bosso fataka
ü üü ü
schampa wulla wussa olobo
hej tatta gorem
eschige zunbada
wulubu ssubudu uluwu ssubudu
tumba ba-umf
kusa gauma
ba – umf

city lights dada show

We, Kal and Matt,  propose an installation of Interactive machines and robots operated by the audience. The robots will have sensors (medical data harvesting), EEG split brain duo robots, and interfaces the audience can operate. The robots are controlled by the audience via biofeedback sensors, think of it as a form of future state bio-metric surveillance entertainment.

Some of the robots will be death defying. They all will have a voice (make sounds), sometimes lots of sounds, funny and scary at the same time. Think Arthur Craven machine (drunken rants and gunshots) and Duchamp’s light, space and time machines amplified.
Sonic chest thumping robot noise to sublime whispers, robots that hug and grab and lift you. Other robots will be sublime. Some will copulate.

The robots will be installed as installations with video projections and dioramas. Live video cameras will be on some robots, with audiences projected into the mix.

something like this;

or this;

The installation room will have dramatic lighting.
There will be a route one can take from machine to robot to mad scientist invention.
There will be amplified sounds from the robots.
There will be live cam footage of the audience from the robots view with a view of the audience as well, a sort of self with a robot..
There will be video projections of writers reading science fiction recorded opening night.
There will be fog, steam and scents.
The audience will trigger the robots and machines via interactive interfaces.
One could think of it as the audience operating an opera or funhouse of death defying robots.

Arthur Craven vs Jack Johnson

the author of The Surrealist Manifesto (1924), André Breton (books by this author), born in Tinchebray, France (1896).

As a young man, Breton was interested in mental illness and Freud’s theory of the unconscious. Breton studied to become a doctor but never qualified, and in World War I served in a neurological ward for the wounded. After the war ended, Breton joined the Dada movement, an anti-war art movement that rejected convention and emphasized the illogic and absurd, but he was disturbed by Dada’s negativity and wanted instead to figure out if man could be reconciled with the world.

In 1924, Breton wrote The First Surrealist Manifesto, recommending mankind put aside inhibition and prejudice and adopt a new state of being where dream and fantasy are joined to the everyday world. The manifesto was meant to be a revolutionary document and was signed by a number of French artists and writers.