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Kal Spelletich

Cosmicism And Contemporary Forestry

August 5 – 31, 2010

Closeup of wooden stick structure
Closeup of machine/plant hybrid sculpture
Plant/machine structure hybrid

From Northern California A technologically mutated organic hybrid to, of and for trees. machines. robots. photographs



1. A bio-engineered permutation.

(a.) a deliberate attempt to cross two parents with desirable characteristics and incorporate said characters in next generations.
(b.) a synthesis of nature and technology
(c.) to produce an anomaly.

2. Deviant transmogrification.

(a.) post nature.
(b.) new species struggling for life.
(c.) an unholy marriage.

3. The Paradox of Technology.

(a.) It could save us. Can it save us?
(b.) It is killing us.


Our culture has an excruciatingly dangerous claim to have such complete understanding and command over nature that we can radically manipulate and re-engineer it with minimal risk to the natural systems that sustain us. How little control even the most ingenious among us have over the awesome, intricately interconnected natural forces with which we so casually meddle.


I want to save the world, or at least slow down its demise. I want to get back to what really matters. So, I thought, why not start in my own back yard?

It all reads like a Greek tragedy about human hubris; a political class eager to
believe that nature has indeed been mastered. Sir Francis Bacon best encapsulated the
ethos when he wrote in the 1623 De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum that nature is to
be "put in constraint, molded, and made as it were new by art and the hand of man."
However, in his solo exhibit, Comicism and Contemporary Forestry from Northern
California, Kal Spelletich’s hand defies Bacon’s ethos to suggest that in the struggle
between large scale forces and the grand scheme of intergalactic existence, humans are
no more significant than the insects crawling on trees.


We are being mastered by the forces of nature and “our” world is coming to an
end. Trees don’t need our help, we need theirs. They replenish the environment with
oxygen and filter pollution--nourishing us by their mere existence; they have the
ultimate (more than anything humans may construct) capacity to heal. Trees will be the
savior but only if we let them. As Spelletich’s work righteously exhibits, passively tying
ourselves to the trunk of a 2,000 year old Sequoia is no longer the answer. Now, it’s all
about mobilization. Dystopian and reverential, this exhibition is both an homage and a


Spelletich’s Comicism and Contemporary Forestry from Northern California
includes an actual 20 foot Monterey Pine tree robot covered with traditional healing
herbs, photographs of 360' tall, 2000 year old Redwoods and Sequoias, Monterey Pines
Pinus radiata (family Pinaceae) and Royal Palm trees (roystonea) and a machine/tree
BB-Q designed to feed the masses.


Kal Spelletich received his MFA from the University of Texas at Austin and
currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. Spelletich helped found
SEEMEN, a collective of individuals who enjoy building extreme machines and robots
that they allow their audience to operate. He is a notorious guerilla gardener and activist.
He has also worked with the legendary machine performance art group, Survival
Research Laboratories.