Kal Spelletich

Kal Spelletich

1960-1980

Born in an elevator and raised in Davenport Iowa, the 7th of 9 children. Davenport was recently named “America’s Worst Place to Live.” What a toilet. I was given a chemistry set at the age of 9, started blowing up aerosol cans in fires and experimenting with electricity and fire and fireworks about the same time. Started working at father’s construction company once I could hold a hammer all day. Became very frustrated and bored with school and eventually was getting kicked out and expelled from Junior High. Ran away from home age 15 and started squatting abandoned buildings and living on the streets. Worked as a dishwasher, cook, carpenter, auto mechanic, silk screen printer, small business owner, entrepreneur, day laborer, street scammer, plumber, factory, grocery store, salesman, teacher, carpenter, stagehand, fix it guy. Never finished one year of High School. At age 18 worked in United Auto Workers Union at International Harvester factory with 4,000 workers. FOUND PUNK ROCK IN THE LATE 70’S.

1980

Enrolled/scammed my way into the University of Iowa. The best move I had made by then. Discovered art through a camera.

1980-1984

AT THE U OF IOWA I DISCOVERED ART. Met this guy named ROBOT aka John Cord. Did street performances, mail art, guerrilla art, booked punk shows, curated art parties/shows and taught silk-screen poster making. Became interested in art and technology and ART THAT DOES THINGS.

1984

Completed BFA in Interdisciplinary Art at the University of Iowa. Jesus, Reagan got re-elected, got more pissed off.

1985

Brother contracted AIDS. Lived in SF.

1986

Enrolled in MFA program into the University of Texas at Austin.

1987

Founded SEEMEN. Helped start Austin Media Arts Center, curating, fundraising and organizing events. Acted and wrote a scene in the film Slacker (the TV Guy). Did a zillion underground shows in Austin, bought a van and started dragging my friends around the country doing performances. Started to get small grants/shows around the country.

1988

Brother died of AIDS. Got really pissed off.

1985-1989

Exhibited in 53 art exhibits and performances in and around Texas. Taught at UT Austin and The Dougherty Arts Center.

1989

Graduated from UT Austin, MFA Interdisciplinary Art and got the hell out of there! Drove around the US doing shows and seeing and meeting the underground and finally at the end of the year moved back to San Francisco (again).

1991-94

Worked with Survival Research Laboratories in Europe and the US.

1997

Dear friend D. Montgomery passes away, Kal, ahh, is moved, freaked out, humbled. THIS IS HIS FIRST PEER TO PASS AWAY.

1994-Present

Currently exhibiting all over, mostly (still) underground venues in.

Working with bio-morphic inputs to trigger machines that GIVE YOU A DIRECT EXPERIENCE. Teaching at SF State and lecturing at other schools around the US.

Currently living on the waterfront of San Francisco in an industrial district where I scour junkyards and dumpsters for industrial items whose technology can be reapplied. Currently experimenting with bio-morphic inputs triggering the machines and robots.

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