From Exhibitions

Sperm Bank – a popup show

This weekend in San Francisco, I will be presenting a popup show in conjunction with Wire + Nail Gallery called Sperm Bank.

Working with playful interpretations of the masculine seed, I will be selling various goods for the holidays. You can purchase plexiglass multiples for your wall, soap and vinyl cutouts with special versions for your laptop or bicycle.

Times: Saturday night, 6:30-9:30 and Sunday afternoon 12pm-4pm.
Where: Wire + Nail Gallery, 3150 18th Street, 104, San Francisco

I will also be displaying a spreadsheet reflecting the cost-of-goods and how much the pop-op shops makes as an experiment in open accounting.

Finally, we will have this animation on display (as a formally-editioned artist work):

Double Reflecting Dolores Park

Last Saturday, I did my first recording session with Double Reflection — a sculpture I made during a residency a few years ago at Anderson Ranch — in Dolores Park, San Francisco. The object itself is a human-sized sculpture with a two-way mirror and inside rests a camera which records what the artwork “sees” in portrait mode, capturing the scenery while people puzzle at its purpose in public space. The sculpture and resulting video will be on exhibition at an upcoming show, Keeping an Eye on Surveillance, at the Performing Arts Institute in San Francisco.

The reactions were amazing, capturing the gaze of curious passer-bys. Many guessed there was a camera inside. Others thought it was a “grooming station” and one person ventured that it was a solar cooker.

As I moved the sculpture to various sites in the park, I would sit on a blanket nearby, watching the interactions with a sly grin on my face. Was I making fun of people? Sort of, but more than anything, this was an experiment in sculpture performing in public space.

What has changed since I built the work in 2008 was that surveillance in pubic spaces such as a park no longer seems to bother most people. I explained that there was a camera inside to some folks. Did anyone care? Absolutely not. I attribute this to the naval-gazing culture of Facebook rather than the proliferation of CCTV cameras. People have become comfortable with their images being captured and reproduced by others in a surprisingly short amount of time. This strikes me as a beautiful media gesture, accepting ourselves for how we appear rather than cowering from it, and understanding that our image is beyond our control.

I will release the video soon, but will wait until after the show opens on September 10th, 2011, just before the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Interview at Futherfield

Ruth Catlow from Futherfield interviews Scott Kildall (that’s me) and Nathaniel Stern during the Made Real opening

Perhaps its the Budweiser-in-hand which makes Nathaniel so enthusiastic during his description of Wikipedia Art. But I suspect that is his nature. He later shows a more pensive angle when describing his beautiful piece, Given Time, which I was thrilled to finally see in person — the visuals do it proper justice.

Meanwhile, when I discuss Playing Duchamp, you can see how excited I get about the chess commentaries — these were so much fun to do and will be finally processed and online soon.

How to display net art

Last week, I installed Playing Duchamp — a Turbulence commission — at Futherfield Gallery for the “Made Real” show. The work is a net art piece, existing only on the web, which presented obvious difficulties in a gallery setup where: (1) people tend not to engage with an online chess game and (2) the gallery doesn’t want to give access to the operating system or other applications.

Here’s how we solved this. First, we used a monitor embedded in the wall and then placed a 5′ x 5′ white platform in front of it. Adding a step, a white chair and white table, made it so that the player crossed an invisible threshold, making them part of a “living sculpture”

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Inspired by the “Singing Sculpture” image from Gilbert and George as well as “One and Another” by Antony Gormley, which invited 2400 different people to stand on a plinth at Trafalgar Square for one hour and do whatever they wanted, I designed the exhibited artwork to be both the viewer and the contents on the screen. It worked! Each player made a decision to step up and play and spent time with the game while others watched.

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The second issue was a technical one and was easily solved by one of the assistants, who turned me onto a free browser called Plain View. It is a simple browser which goes into full screen mode and locked out other applications. Combine it with a wireless mouse and an alternate version of the Playing Duchamp website, which disables external links and there you have it: a net art kiosk that feels like a genuine gallery-quality artwork.

Gift Horse Installation at ArtMRKT San Francisco

Yesterday, Victoria Scott, my collaborator on the Gift Horse — a 13-foot high sculpture of the Trojan Horse — managed the installation of the giant sculpture for ArtMRKT San Francisco, from May 19th-May 22nd. Who wasn’t there? That’s right, me — I was busy installing my “2049” exhibition at The Dump — and am so thankful that Victoria was able to run this one out.

Here’s the morning load-up from Yosemite Studios. Tamara Albaitis and Noah Lang (special project manager at our gallery: Electric Works) and Victoria push the chest through the studio and into the freight elevator.
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Here, Noah Lang is assembling panels while listening to a reading of Homer’s Odyssey for inspiration.
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Jessica (the fourth member of the crew) assembles panels on the hexagonal wheels.
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Here the horse stands naked before being panelled.
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And in its final form, the horse, peers through the entrance to ArtMRKT — come and see it, along with all the other great art at this new San Francisco art fair!
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Made Real at Furtherfield in London

I’m excited to be in Made Real — a two-person show with Nathaniel Stern in London at Furtherfield Gallery

I will be featuring my 2010 Turbulence-commissioned Playing Duchamp along with Wikipedia Art (in collaboration with Nathaniel Stern). Also, I want to acknowledge the other Wikipedia Art collaborators: Patrick Lichty, Jon Coffelt and Brian Sherwin, who made Wikipedia Art such a success.

The show details are here — the opening is on May 26th.

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Volunteer for the 2049 Hotline

Are you interested in being an emissary from the future?
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For my upcoming “2049” show at the Dump in San Francisco, one of the artworks that will be featured will be a phone booth where you can talk to someone from the year 2049. People can pick up the phone (it will be set up as a live line) and talk to an ambassador-from-the-future, who will answer questions about what life is like in the year 2049.

What is 2049 like? It is up to YOU to answer this. You can change it for each caller.

I’m gathering a volunteers and if this is something you might be interested in, please email me at: lucky (at) kildall.com — its a 45-minute commitment — and will be a fun performance where you can pretty much do what you want.

The show is from

5-9pm, Friday May 20th and 1-5pm, Saturday, May 21st (Pacific Standard Time), you don’t have to be local to San Francisco to play.

Background
I am playing the role of a prospector from the future who mines the garbage heaps of a past civilization to build technologies to survive. Trawling through construction debris, discarded electronics and the scraps of people’s lives, I have etched blueprints and made imaginary devices such as an infinite battery and scent-based resource detector (a.k.a. “The Sniffer”).
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After Thought at Art in Odd Places

Last Thursday, I exhibited After Thought, a performance-installation that I developed while at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center at Art in Odd Places in New York (check out their AIOP website, there’s some great projects there).

As the name implies, these performances that happen in unusual spots in the city, this one being at the 14th Street Y.

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We scheduled this to happen during the CSA pick up where folks were picking up their weekly organic veggies.

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Here I am posing with my two assistants: Minha Lee and Zack Frater. We used the lab coat + eyeglasses props to reel people in.

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I began with a short intake form with questions such as “What is your greatest physical fear?” I discovered that an inordinate number of people are afraid of snakes.

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After completing the intake form, people wear a brainwave-reading headset — I use the Neurosky Mindset — to capture stress and relaxation levels. They turn over flashcards while I monitor their reactions.

I can’t see what they are looking at. If their their stress or relaxation responses spike, I ask them for the card, then note it down on my result form. This person was especially negatively triggered by cockroaches.

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And this gentleman was relaxed by the guys hanging out in the hot tub. Give me that flashcard!

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Minha, who interned for me at Eyebeam also administered tests. This subject has no reaction, good or bad to the image of the police car.
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Here you can see how the intervention occurs. People had no idea why we were there. Many were suspicious, thinking that we our Scientology-style relaxation/stress test was trying to sell them something or lure them into a cult. Others were immediately intrigued. Some needed convincing. One respondent offered us a bundle of swiss chard for barter.

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Afterward, I would sit down with each respondent and we would talk about their results. “Why did you get stressed out by the cute puppy?”

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In the background here, you can see one of the two curators, Yaelle Amir, who demonstrates her ambidexterity by texting while typing.

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One of my last tests of the day was with Stephanie Rothenberg, a good friend of mine. I knew her too well to provide unbiased analysis. The image of the crying baby was one of her stress indicators. Hmmm.

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Day 17: Into the Streets, Into the Museum

This was the big presentation day for Gift Horse.

We assembled our volunteer crew in the morning and they donned togas for the Green Prix parade.
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We already knew that the horse would clear the doorway, but others were concerned. Reality replicated itself and we got outside South Hall just fine.

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We look like we are exerting ourselves a lot here, but it was easy to push with all of our crew.

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And thanks to Danny Lulu for his excellent photography!
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Some of the students from a local high school came out to help.

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After 2 hours or so, we made it the San Jose Museum of Art. Clap! Clap!
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In the next 3 hours, we quickly disassembled and reassembled the horse in the gallery space for the Retro-Tech exhibition.

At 4pm, we did a quick ceremony, where we presented the horse to Russ, one of the trustees of the museum.

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He accepted the gift, but whoa! Look at all the viruses spilling out!

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Now they’re on the floor as part of the “artwork” that makes up the horse.
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And a final shot of the horse, in its fully glory.
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01SJ Day 12: Gift Horse Done!

We are so tired and we are done. The Gift Horse was difficult, as expected — so many details. And now the 01SJ Biennial truly will begin. We’re excited and hope you can make it for the Green Prix parade and presentation at the San Jose Museum of Art on Saturday.

Because of the late-night fatigue, I’ll keep it to a series of pictures with minimal commentary.

Victoria and I were moving at double-speed past midnight.

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A lot of detail work such as filling in the lines between the panels.

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All 12 viruses:

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Kris and Noah and Clementine Lang from Electric Works stopped by in the evening.

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And here is the corral where the horse will live at South Hall for the next two days.

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Viruses all finished, loaded up and ready to go.

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