Ride ’em Snailboy!!

Lately, in my sparetime I’m working on these “Virtual Assemblages” – preparing these 3D junk sculptures to be 3D printed.

I couldn’t resist doing a new render of this.

Snail Cowboy

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:

Sonnets – Illustrated with AI (MidJourney)

Since 2022 I have been writing sonnets. A total of 45 to date. I’ve been experimenting a little bit with using the sonnets, or phrases from the sonnets, as prompts for AI art program, MidJourney.

I’ve taken the results from 4 of these experiments and overlaid the entire sonnet. I’m not completely satisfied with this. For me, so far, making stuff with MidJourney (of the various LLM image generators MJ is the only one I’ve worked with, but I have experimented pretty extensively), is semi-random. I toss in phrases and other parameters, and the bot spits out its many different interpretations. I don’t think it has much capacity for metaphor, simile, or narrative. I guess what I am really experimenting with is how to test what capacity it has for these qualities of poetic language.

I’d like these experiments in illustrating poetry with AI generative art, to lead to a curated use of poetic language in an interactive and immersive theatrical context where the audience can explore the poetic vision and help evolve it through their participation. I’m not being very specific here, but I guess you (or I) could enter the preceding sentence into ChatGPT and ask it to expand on the topic.

IXX.

Behold the elephant bearing many dreams!
He farts profoundly and expands very greatly
Consciousness that floats like incense streams!
Like strings of pearls! Like jewels beheld innately!
Like harem girls spinning tales spoken ornately
Of a certain Sultan they served exclusively,
Who, arriving a little drunk, and only very lately,
Ad-libs an odd soliloquy spoken effusively,
“Death is but a mirage!” he states conclusively.
Tottering, his ivory tower trembles and it cracks
And across shimm’ring sands he stumbles elusively –
Like a drunken elephant covering up his tracks.
The fleeting visions of distant lands so strange to remember,
Like warming your hands by the glow of an incense ember.

XXVI.

Jealous wind sweeping away grieving sand
Revealing her sleight of a severed hand
Clasping the eyeball of his mountain mortal
Where shadow castles loom ungrateful grand.
Clown bordello cum unanimous chortle
Of troglodytes ‘pon the spacetime portal
Encucumbered by mystic contraband
Shameless gender-bender gerrymand.
Gothchick debauchka stylishly putrid –
Creature teacher’s pet beyond reprimand.
Dimestore detective lust pinup lurid
Half-eaten sandwitch word salad stupid.
As for his victims she left them nameless,
For her achievements he was but blameless.

XXX.

Die countless deaths – love’s not mummified!
On the contrary, love is glorified
To persist beyond all earthly bounds.
Love is the essence of life electrified!
Music of the spheres, all celestial sounds,
Hooting of night owls, baying of sad hounds,
All sing the song of death inevitable –
And dance the mortal dance incredible!
Splendor that subverts the rule of reason –
Vainglorious love inestimable!
Every flower has its own season,
And each lover commits some small treason
To just live or justly die for something –
Loving someone, somewhere, somehow, some dumb thing.

XXXIII.

Count each grain of sand, the joys of springtide!
Inner conflicts wrestle as we sit ringside
Reminiscing, wagering, who did stand
And who was blinded and who fell tongue-tied.
Prophets and exiles of that promised land
Where milk, honey –  even heroin – grew bland.
Like ghosts smoking cigars of the good life –
Gimcrack pulp fiction superpower strife –
We wander and wonder and mostly muddle,
Mix things up, mistake your best friend’s wife
For a beluga, or platypus to cuddle.
With strange bedfellows we conspire and huddle
To gravely confound the New World Order
And hail Jupiter from Ganymede’s border.

“1943” – Collage Series

During the Pandemic, my friend and collector, Josh “Doggy” Norman, gave me a stack of old LIFE Magazines all from the year 1943. Of course, in ’43 the world was plunged into the depths of WWII – the Germans surrendered at Stalingrad, The Japanese defeated at Guadalcanal, and, in the Fall of ’43, after the resignation of Mussolini, Italy made a truce with the Allied Forces.
Even as the war seemed to turn in America’s favor, at home, and certainly in the pages of LIFE Magazine, nothing was certain. It is strange to view this era through the looking glass of its advertising because the advertisers, whose stock and trade is illusion, swing fervently between efforts at buoying up an All-American status quo that is faltering*, propagandizing against the enemy, and rallying the citizenry – especially the women whose men were fighting overseas – to patriotism and sacrifice. It is difficult for me not to feel a poignant empathy for this time, the generation of my grandparents, and the period in which my own parents were born. Despite all the many momentous things that have happened since then – atomic power, space travel, political and cultural revolutions, computers and the internet – 1943 is not a year from the distant past. Not only are the cultural values expressed in these images still relevant, but the entire world continues to feel the consequences – good and bad – from this momentous period.
Yet, in making these collages I have not sought to make a statement of any kind. Rather, I just sought to playfully re-combine the imagery of the period into new configurations that evoke the dream of the collective consciousness (or “unconsciousness” – if you will) of America. Nor did I create the images to be static finished pieces, rather the images are what I would call “instances” of imagery as though they were just stills of a film (or perhaps keyframes of an animation). For this reason the work remains “Work in Progress”, or as my hero, machine artist, Jean Tinguely, would put it: “Remains static in motion”.

*Has the American “Status Quo” ever actually existed?

1943 Print of the Month Club Series

The 1943 Collage series is being offered in monthly installments as part of my Patreon Print of the Month Club. If you like these images then please subscribe. Starting now (May 2024), For $13. a month you will receive an image from the 1943 series for the next year. Actually, to be precise you receive one print that features the selected image in two states. For example; May’s “Print of the Month” shows the interrelated collages “Save Me!” and “Bottled Right at the Spot”:

Hellmouth – 3D Sketches

Here are some initial 3D assemblages for the “Hellmouth”.
Hmm . . . So far it doesn’t look so hellish does it? That’s because it ‘s just a start. I made the cubicle gate inspired by the Mayan design, and now I’m adding various models as I experiment with different designs. I think what’s needed is some teeth and an overall face to tie it together.

Virtual Assemblages

This is a collection of “turntable” renders (mostly) of what I would describe as 3D junk sculptures. These models are made from free models recombined into novel forms. Making these models was a technical exercise in using volume modeling with voxels and that technique makes them “solid” for 3D printing. My goal is to print these models and then prepare them to be cast in bronze, or in some cases finished by different means. One way or another my plan is to create a series of real world sculptures based on “Virtual Assemblages”.

Virtual Assemblage, “Trailer Alien”, 3D print test.
“TV Goddess”
“Sphinx”
“Scorpion Gymnast”
“Reptile Temple”
“Sardine Can”
“Jitter Bug”
“Fatman Tongue”
“Carriage”
“Geometric Angel”
“Angelic Evolution”