Kittoliths Grow Up To Be Catoliths

Refurbished Catoliths with new bases and “KISS” (Kittolith Interactive Sound System) adapted to the Catolith

It’s only natural that cats should have kittens, and plastic cat statues should therefore have their progeny too. The Coven of Catoliths gave birth to a Litter of Kittoliths.

After 5 years of design and production I feel that the Catolith is at last nearing its potential. The newly refurbished Catoliths that were just installed at KALW with their LiDAR based interactivity, battery operation, independent control via Raspberry Pi computer, and lighter more mobile wooden base actually exceed what I imagined for this artwork 5 years ago.

Below is a table showing the progression of techniques from one iteration of Cathenge to the next.

The Vision of Cathenge

From the beginning, the vision of Cathenge and of the Catolith Cat Statue has been exceedingly difficult to realize because it combines lighting effects and interactivity in very specific ways and is dependent on the large format 3D printing to achieve. However, each installation of Cathenge succeeded in communicating this vision in different ways, but never completely to my satisfaction, and that’s why I have continued working on the project.

The goal has been to express the concept of “Holofelinity: Universal Cat Consciousness”. Holofelinity is the magical power of the Ancient Lyran Space Cats to manifest their minds over matter and to transform themselves into any shape. This is expressed in the artwork as “Harmonic Purring” (AKA; “Purrbration of Holofelinity”), an evocation of the capacity of the Space Cats to purr their visions into material form.

Ancient Lyran Space Cat materialized as Bastet idol levitating pyramid using chromatic spectra of the Purrbration of Holofelinity.

The Kittolith

In order to reach this goal, it was instrumental to create a smaller version of the Catolith, the “Kittolith”:

The Kittolith at Miami Art Week

Because the Kittolith presents as a single statue instead of a circle of statues (as in Cathenge) it has been necessary to condense the interactive harmonic purring system into one sculpture. This has been done using LiDAR. People interact with the LiDAR beam extending from the collar of the Kittolith and trigger different frequencies (“Solfeggio Tones”). The infographic below shows how the Kittolith works with the use of Solfeggio sound healing tones:

From Kittolith to Catolith

The “Kittolith Interactive Sound System” (KISS) was adapted for use in the Catolith. The photo gallery below documents our process of creating the New Catolith. Essential to this process was the design and construction of a new wooden base for the Catolith.

CAD drawing of wooden Catolith base

This new, lighter base not only facilitates a wider range of possibilities of exhibitions because of its much reduced weight (compared to the previous concrete bases), but also resolves acoustic issues since the wooden base acts as a ported speaker cabinet for the subwoofer installed in the base. Below is a gallery of photos of the new Catolith and its new base under construction:

3D Printing Lab in West Oakland

Since the end of February, my main priority has been getting the studio in Oakland together.  Getting the 3D printers working reliably has been a major push that my tech, Bill Crashkopf, has helped me with extensively.  The printing room itself didn’t have enough electricity to run all the printers, but Bill finished running (2) 20A circuits this week, so finally (!!) we can begin printing.

Bill Crashkopf finishes wiring electrical for the 7 Creality CR 10 S5 printers installed in my new print lab in West Oakland.

At the moment there is no urgency to print cat parts, and so I’m eager to turn my attention to printing “Virtual Assemblages” based on these models:

As I’ve often said, the big advantage to being in Oakland vs. Stinson Beach is access to other artists/technicians.  The Crucible, for example, is right around the corner from here and once I have a couple of these printed satisfactorily I will bring it to a foundry to see about having these printed in bronze. I’m not aware of anything like the Crucible in West Marin.

Here’s an initial test print of a “Trailer Alien” assemblage:

“Trailer Alien”, WIP – test print of “Virtual Assemblage”

The Trailer Alien is an example of a 3D printed “Virtual Assemblage” (a junk sculpture made from junk 3D models downloaded for free from the web and recombined/remodeled to be 3D printed)