The Space Cat Sessions – Handbills for 12 part Multimedia Presentation Series at Cathenge Patricia’s Green

From May through October of 2023 I presented at the Cathenge Cat Temple installation at Hayes Valley, San Francisco, a bi-weekly series of “Space Cat Sessions” that were multi-media presentations, PowerPoint Presentations, telling the story of the “Cathenge Mythos”, the Saga of the Lyran Space Cats. I told the story of how the Space Cats lost their Love Planet of Lemewria in a catastrophic conflagration with the Dreaded Disco-Reptilians and how they transubstantiated to Planet Earth in the height of the Ice Age and eventually created humankind as pro-wrestling species for their feline amusement. These events sometimes featured live music and dancing, and were always opened with the recitation of the “Space Cat Ballad” (see below) and concluded with a supplementary talk on the making of Cathenge.

Space Cat Ballad

When your cat does purr purr and purr

Hark ye unto her timeless wisdom pure!

When your cat looks upward to the stars

Within her soul something special stirs.

Does not that messenger of light,

Beautiful Vega, shining bright,

Embellishing the Northern Sky,

Reflecting upon her upturned eye,

Bestow dreams unto her feline mind?

Of long lost forgotten fates entwined,

And speak of a cat civilization of the past

That ruled the interstellar spaces vast.

Did not bipedal spacecats a zenith reach?

Universal wisdom did they not teach?

The arts of pleasure they most enjoyed

And yet their love planet was destroyed.

When your cat does purr purr and purr

Hark ye unto her timeless wisdom pure!

If a cat could but shed a grieving tear

She’d shed as many as she sheds fur.

Here begins a cosmic tale of cats in space,

And strange beginnings for the human race.

The story of Lemewria and the Catolith

– Feline symbols of an antediluvian myth.

Here too the tale of lizards on the make

And all the devastation left in their wake.

The Disco Reptilians with all their might

Did so mercilessly the cat world smite!

Never ever say that all is completely lost:

Twenty-three light years some cats were tossed

From Vega to Earth at the Ice Age’s close

And the Cult of the Cat Priestess there arose!

When your cat does purr purr and purr

Hark ye unto her timeless wisdom pure!

Unexplainable monuments in every land

Mystic secrets of the ancient feline mind!

When the Cat Priestesses from outer space

Purred in harmony the huge stones into place.

The great pyramids rose up to meet the sky –

Only the sphinx and I know the reason why . . .

And Cat Priestesses of the Northern Isles

Employing all their witchy ways and wiles

To levitate alone each stone of Stonehenge –

Withstanding relentless Reptilian revenge!

All the great ruins of all forgotten ages

Are sacred books with stones instead of pages

All these temples cat people did construct

For their child, the human race, to instruct.

When your cat does purr purr and purr

Hark ye unto her timeless wisdom pure!

In her heart dwells sweet holofelinity

The feline form of universal divinity.

Crystalline cat cities of icy towers melted away

When those crazy lizards came to earth to play

Lemewrian civilization vanished in the flood

And yet the Cat Priestesses called not for blood.

The Disco Reptilians for all their rage and might

Could not extinguish that feline inner light:

Each act of hate was by boundless love repaid.

And so the lizard fury did falter and did fade.

Mighty Cats from outer space may no more yet be

But in the humble housecat echoes their legacy

No more clever being than a cat roams this earth

In her meditative mind she is certain of her worth.

When your cat does purr purr and purr

Hark ye unto her timeless wisdom pure!

When your cat does purr purr and purr

Hark ye unto her timeless wisdom pure!

Hark ye unto her timeless wisdom pure!

Art Basel Kittolith Adventure: The Cat and The Maze!

David Normal with “Lunita” The Kittolith at Miami Beach, Miami ArtWeek 2023 (Photo: Julia Sinelnikova)
“Cathenge Cat Temple” by David Normal at Patricia’s Green Park, Hayes Valley, San Francisco 2022-24

Over the past few years, I’ve been very busy with installations of Cathenge, my 3D printed, Space Cat Temple that has appeared at Burning Man and been an SF Arts Commission public installation. For many years, Art Basel has snuck up on the calendar and happened without me attending and I’ve felt left out.  Finally, in 2023, the stars aligned – I was ready with the newly designed “Kittolith” to go to Art Basel!  The Kittolith is a smaller version (6’ tall) of the iconic Catolith (think Monolith of 2001 in the shape of a cat!) Cat Statue of Cathenge. The Kittolith can be disassembled into parts and fit into a couple of suitcases and taken on an airplane.   And so I did just that!  I packed the Kittolith up and reassembled it in my hotel room in Miami Beach and brought the Kittolith around to Miami ArtWeek (colloquially known as “Art Basel” for it’s eponymous lead art fair)!

Kittolith in pieces packed in a suitcase ready to fly to Miami!

I was so busy preparing the Kittolith, a 3D printed interactive sound-light sculpture, that I did not have time to plan in any detail for a tour of Miami ArtWeek’s many art fairs, venues, and events.  One thing that caught my attention immediately though, and completely captured my imagination, was “The Maze” on Miami Beach. It sounded great to me, and like the perfect place to display the Kittolith. This site-specific installation was a large maze designed using AI and built right on the beach in front of Hotel Faena by Chilean artist, Sebastian Errazuriz.  I had never heard of Errazuriz nor of Hotel Faena, but I knew intuitively that I wanted to bring my Kittolith to the center of The Maze.  That became my central goal and my only tangible objective for my adventure of bringing the Kittolith to Art Basel.

“The Maze” by Sebastian Errazuriz at Hotel Faena, Miami Beach 2023 (Photo: Faena Art)

In art terminology, an “intervention” is where one artist presents a work or a performance in another artist’s creation and context.  Surprise performance art pieces at art openings are examples of “intervention”.  Advanced by the Dadaists and the Situationists, intervention is more of a conceptual tactic than a specific artistic technique.  Famously, in 2019, artist David Datuna “intervened” on artist Maurizio Cattelan’s, “Comedian”, (the notorious $120k-banana-duct-taped-to-the-wall), and peeled and ate that banana – perfect!  Many interventions, like the aforementioned, have the quality of a prank (or – as the case may be – a prank upon a prank). However, bringing the Kittolith to the center of the maze was not a prank – it was a quest – a quest for an aesthetic truth.

Holofelinity in my Hotel Corridor, Miami Beach 2023

The Kittolith symbolizes the Power of Holofelinity (Universal Cat Consciousness – an intrinsic concept of the Cathenge Mythos).  Holofelinity is the divine feline power of mind over matter.  The ancient Lyran Space Cats built their Love Planet of Lemewria using their minds to profoundly manipulate matter into the forms of their imagination.  The Kittolith at the center of the maze is like the mind at the center of matter radiating the forms of desire into labyrinthine manifestations of reality.  Bringing the Kittolith to the heart of the maze was as much a ritual drama of mythic symbols transcending time as it was a specific artistic intervention in the thick of Art Basel 2023.

Julia Sinelnikova with the Kittolith Lunita inside The Maze by Sebastian Errazuriz

It’s said that when things are meant to happen, that the right people will appear at the right time to make it happen.  My friends, Dale Posner and Julia Sinelnikova, were the right people at the right time to encourage me and support me in this adventure. Both Dale and Julia are Art Basel veterans.  Dale was showing me around one night when we ran into Julia on Collins Ave. in South Beach.  Julia “Oracle” Sinelnikova is a sculptor from NYC, who was one of the original inspirations to Cathenge in 2018.  Julia agreed to help me bring the Kittolith to the heart of The Maze on Sunday evening.  I had brought the Kittolith into the lobby of Hotel Faena the preceding Saturday evening where the cat statue was enthusiastically welcomed by everyone around.  Hotel Faena staff and security had no objection to the Kittolith’s presence, and the following Sunday evening Julia, myself, and the Kittolith were again welcomed at Hotel Faena and allowed to bring the statue into the maze just before closing time on its final night.

Model and Fitness Guru, Amy Rodriguez, meets the Kittolith in The Maze.

Once we were inside The Maze, people were thrilled.  I don’t think anyone visiting The Maze had any idea that the Kittolith was not a part of the official plan.  People completely assumed the cat statue belonged there and they were eager to take their pictures with the Kittolith.  The cat fit in The Maze perfectly.  At one point the she ran out of batteries, but Julia happened to have a big powerbrick all charged up and we turned the cat right back on.  You can see how beautiful the Kittolith was in the center of Sebastian Errazuriz’s glorious “Maze” on the beach before Hotel Faena.  It was a great moment – one of those moments of fulfillment when you know that you’ve succeeded.

The Kittolith Lunita at the Heart of The Maze, Miami Beach 2023

Like I said, I had never heard of Hotel Faena before going to Art Basel last year.  I didn’t realize The Maze had anything to do with a hotel.  Hotel Faena was an extremely pleasant surprise to me.  I loved the lobby with its lavish murals full of alchemical heraldry, Damien Hirst’s golden mammoth, and the overall ambience that was so opulent and glamorous and yet so totally welcoming and friendly.  My friend Dale let me know that Hotel Faena awards a “Faena Prize” for artworks to be presented on the beach, and after I had brought the Kittolith to the heart of The Maze I was sure that I should apply for the Faena Prize in hopes of bringing the entire Cathenge Cat Temple to Miami Beach in the future.

The Kittolith Lunita admires Damien Hirst’s Mammoth in the Lobby of the Hotel Faena Miami Beach

I know that even if The Maze had existed totally independent of a sponsoring entity such as Hotel Faena, I would have brought the Kittolith to The Maze and been satisfied with that in and of itself, but ultimately it was more consequential than I had even expected because the photos taken of the Kittolith at Sebastian Errazuriz’s Maze in front of the hotel are an effective proof of concept for Cathenge on Miami Beach.  These photos, which have illustrated this story, will be part of the proposal to be submitted for the Hotel Faena Art Prize.

Cats using their Purring Power of Holofelinity to levitate stones into place at a neolithic site on the Isle of Cat, a self-governing British Cat Dependency located in the Irish Sea.

This adventure of bringing the Kittolith to The Maze at Art Basel is an object lesson in Holofelinity which shows the power of imagination and desire to manifest reality.  The Maze and Cathenge share in common technologically advanced methods of creation (The Maze was AI generated and Cathenge was 3D printed). They are interactive and immersive art environments.  As Art Basel expands in popularity it attracts a much wider demographic than just art collectors, and many visitors seek pure aesthetic experience rather than collecting art.  Interactive artworks that immerse the audience completely will gain in importance, and Faena Art is at the curatorial forefront of this trend.  As new forms of technology continue to expand artistic possibilities, the Cat in the Maze is a harbinger of greater things to come!

Space Cat Session II – Thursday May 25th 2023

On Thursday, May 25th at 9PM join us for the second installment of the “Space Cat Session Series” at Cathenge at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley. Within the uniquely cosmic ambience of David Normal’s Cathenge Cat Temple art installation we’ll continue to explore the mysteries of the Cathenge Mythos – the epic tale 0f the Space Cats and their journey through the cosmos. In this second session we’ll focus in greater depth on the sacred order of the Cat Priestesshood of Pussiopolis and their rituals of Holofelinity – Universal Cat Consciousness.

Facebook Event Page:

https://fb.me/e/UAuzOE0x

The “Space Cat Sessions” at Cathenge! Starting May 11th

Space Cat Sessions is an on site multimedia slideshow presentation of the Cathenge Mythos by David Normal with musical accompaniment by Xxhe (Ręal Varnes) at the Cathenge installation.  Patricia’s Green, Hayes Valley, San Francisco

Bi-weekly series every Thursday evening at 9 PM 

Starting May 11th, 2023.

Dates:

  1. Thurs. May 11th 9PM
  2. Thurs. May 25th 9PM
  3. Thurs. Jun 8th 9PM
  4. Thurs. Jun 22nd 9PM
  5. Thurs. Jul 6th 9PM
  6. Thurs. Jul 20th 9PM
  7. Thurs. Aug 3rd 9PM
  8. Thurs. Aug 17th 9PM
  9. Thurs. Aug 31st 9PM
  10. Thurs. Sep 14th 9PM
  11. Thurs. Sep 28th 9PM
  12. Thurs. Oct 12th 9PM
  13. Thurs. Oct 26th 9PM

Cathenge Mythos Talk – the Saga of the Space Cats, our Feline Overlords 

Lecture by David Normal (Creator of Cathenge Cat Temple)

45 min power point presentation +Q&A

The Cathenge Mythos is the saga of the Lyran Space Cats, our ancient extraterrestrial feline overlords and the true creators of the human race.  Learn how the Lyran Space Cats came to Earth at the height of the Ice Age, and of their awesome cosmic powers, and the lost secrets of how the Egyptian Pyramids were really built.  

In this fast-paced and densely information packed Power Point Presentation, Artist and Researcher, David Normal (Creator of the Cathenge Cat Temple), will reveal the results of years of esoteric research into the history of the Extraterrestrial Space Cats from the Lyran star system.

Topics Covered:

  • Feline Life in the Ancient Cat Civilization on Planet Lemewria orbiting the Pole Star Vega
  • Holofelinity:  Universal Cat Consciousness
  • Cat Goddesses of the Lyran Religion
  • The Cat Priestesshood of Pussiopolis
  • Lyran Cat People and the interstellar “Starseed” races.
  • The “Disco-Lyran Wars” between Lyran Cat People and Disco Reptilians
  • “Pizzazium” and recreational transubstantiation among mystic felines
  • How and why cats shoot lasers from their eyes
  • The Orb of Holofelinity and its destruction
  • Origins of the Catolith – Sacred Symbol of Holofelinity
  • Arrival of Lyrans on Planet Earth
  • Catlantis and New Lemewria – Ice Age Cat Civilizations
  • Pro-wrestling and the creation of the human race
  • Pursuit to Earth by the Disco Reptilians
  • The Great Cat Mau, the Yonger Dryass and the Legends of the Deluge
  • Enki, Thoth,  Quetzalcoatl and the Feline Teachers of Civilization
  • “Annunaki”  – The Draconian Heresy and the enslavement of mankind
  • The departure of the Cat People from Planet Earth
  • Sekhmet, Bastet, Tefnut – Secrets of the Egyptian Cat Goddesses
  • Holofelinity and the Housecat
  • Kitty Kundalini – reclaiming the Nine Cat Chakras
  • Cathenge and modern Cat Worship in the 21st Century

Join the Cat Priestesshood of Pussiopolis!!!

What is a Cat Priestess?

In olden days of yore, the back pages of comic books sold miracles, panaceas, and all the wondrous novelties of the world for pennies on the dollar. Mail your allowance off to a mysterious far away post office box and you too could have x-ray vision, rippling muscles of steel, and/or a sea monkey kingdom. Ah, nostalgia! Yet, all is not lost – modern technology has not completely robbed us of our sense of innocent wonder.

So it is that you have arrived at this humble and obscure webpage that promises you the Infinite Universe!
Yes, you! You too can become a CAT PRIESTESS OF PUSSIOPOLIS!

  • Explore and Expand in Holofelinity (Universal Cat Consciousness).
  • Wear Sacred Cat Ears, Collars, Claws and other Sexy Fashions for Cat Priestesses.
  • Express the Divine Feminine surging forth from the Ancient Past into the Present.
  • Champion and Nurture Real Cats both Wild and Domestic Everywhere.
  • Venerate Cathenge the Cat Temple with Beautiful Rites and Dances.
  • Channel the Galactic Wisdom of Lyran Space Cats, our Alien Feline Creators.
  • Discover your 9 Cat Chakras and attain Mental Mastery over Time and Space.
  • Be the first Cat Priestess on Your Block!!!

SPECIAL LIMITED TIME OFFER!

Participate in the Cat Priestess Fashion Show at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Cathenge at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. Friday, Dec. 02, 2022 and instantly become a registered, official Cat Priestess of the Cat Priestesshood of Pussiopolis – that most venerable (yet excruciatingly hip) of sacerdotal institutions with a lineage beyond the Ice Age and over light years to other star systems in alien dimensions.

When you join the Cat Priestesshood you get:

  • Bragging Rights
  • Hand Lettered Certificate of Authenticity
  • Pussiopolis Membership Card
  • Cat Priestess Profile Page on cathenge.net
  • Sacred Cat Ears
  • Magical Holofelinity Power Collar of Pizzazzium
  • Cat Priestess Stickers
  • Coupons for Advanced Courses in the Mystic Arts of Holofelinity

Interested? Well, what are you waiting for?!

Contact: Holofelinity(at)Gmail

Send a letter of inquiry – feel free to ask any questions.

BECOME A CAT PRIESTESS AND SAVE THE UNIVERSE!!!

Aesthetics and Origins of the Ancient Cat Priestesshood of Pussiopolis

Aesthetics and Origins of the Ancient Cat Priestesshood of Pussiopolis

9 Brief Lessons on the History of the Cat Priestesshood and the Evolution of Love 

  • All Ways for Pleasure!
  • Mind over Matter!
  • Beauty First!

1. On ancient Lemewria the Cat Priestesses had their order. They were a highly select and evolved society of feline goddesses whose vocation was the guardianship of the orb of Holofelinity, The Universal Cat Consciousness.  

2. Holofelinity Is the  feline power of mind over matter. Even today on Earth, anyone who owns a cat can tell you that their cat rules their world. This is why the regal sign of Leo is especially connected with the Sun – The Lion is the star, the unifying force, which the world revolves around. All that happens under the sun is for the pleasure of the pussy.

3. Every cat and every Cat Priestess is beautiful! Every cat and every Cat Priestess is a star! Every star and every beauty is a form a pleasure, and all life’s experience expands to encompass pleasure.

4. To feel is feline, and all that is feline is a feeling. Every feeling is a falling star – so feel for what you wish.  Loneliness is only longing for the feline stars. Wish upon the stars, my kitten, and the Milky Way shall be the milk within your dish!

5. The Orb of Holofelinity was composed of a rare element whose vibratory signature is beyond our periodic table of the elements, a special element called “pizzazzium”. It could be thought of in terrestrial terms as “ultra-cheesiness”.  It was a kind of “Ambrosia” or “Soma” – a “divine nectar” of the immortal cat people who dwelt upon ancient Lemewria.  The element of pizzazzium empowered and intoxicated the feline mind and enabled the transformative experiences of Holofelinity.

6. The civilization of the feline developed as a pure expression of the mind. Labor and toil were unknown in Lemewria because all things emerged and were manifested by the imagination of the dreaming, purring feline. Have you ever wondered what your cat is really doing when she is sleeping? Of course Kitty is not merely sleeping – she is creating worlds, conquering worlds, saving worlds and doing all heroic deeds and achievements of genius.

7. The Cat Priestess purrs the world into existence. Each purring breath, inhalation and exhalation, is the pulse of ins-PURR-ation.  Inspiration is the goal itself, nothing is higher and more valued among Lyran Space Cats than the bejewelled forms of precious thought crystallizing with effortless grace into the satisfaction of physical existence.

8. The saga of the Cat Priestesshood of Pussiopolis is the drama of the evolution of love.  Love is pleasure, yet pleasure is never perfect – love is a state of longing for perfection.  As the machinations of desire unfold the story of existence, we can see through the ages and aeons of Holofelinity,  the ideal of love become yet more sublime, more profound, more beautiful and . . . of course; more loving!

9. The Milky Way was created when a little kitten spilled a saucer of milk the Mother of the Universe had set out just for her, and it only happened but a moment ago, so no one has come along to clean up that beautiful mess splashed across the night sky.

Cat Chakra System and the Nine Mewses

Alignment of the Nine Lyran Cat Chakras on Felis Catus (Domestic Housecat)

You and your cat’s spiritual ancestry span vast ages and many light years across the galaxy to embrace the celestial heritage of the lost civilization of the Lyran Cat People. The Lyrans, creators of humankind, endowed us with the 9 Chakra system of the feline soul – the very same system evolved on the Cat Planet of Lemewria. The deep affinity you feel with your pet cat is the one to one congruence of the 9 Chakra System shared by Homo Sapiens and Felis Catus alike.

Three Cat Goddesses:
*Mneme*Melete*Aoide*

Three Cat Goddesses in Cathead Ray Experiment Communion with the Orb of Holofelinity.

Universal Cat Consciousness (“Holofelinity”) fuses memory through meditation into the forms of song. Through this pattern all inspiration transits from the non-physical source into the sensual fulfillment of material being. Inspiration is transcendent pleasure, thus the ancient Cat Goddesses of Planet Lemewria, the Feline Trinity worshipped at Pussiopolis, were Goddesses of Ultimate Pleasure.

From the 3 primordial cat goddesses derive the 6 Catoliths of Cathenge. For each divinity there is also its diametric opposite. In the Nietzchean sense, these are Dionysian and Apollonian.

Dionysian Cat GoddessesApollonian Cat Goddesses
EroticaThanata
LyrataFortuna
LunataSolara

Cathenge Ribbon Cutting Reception – Dec. 2nd 2022, Patricia’s Green, Hayes Valley, SF

Save the date! Upcoming event: Official Reception for Cathenge! Gala Reception!

Cathenge Cat Temple

Experience the Wondrous Resonance and Healing Power of Holofelinity, the Universal Cat Consciousness!!!

Free Public Event. All Ages.

Event begins at 6 PM

Cathenge Reception Facebook Event Page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/834655101052475

Art reception and “ribbon cutting ceremony” for “Cathenge” interactive public art installation. a 3D printed interactive “Space Cat Shrine” newly installed at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley.
This is an evening to celebrate the completion of the immersive “Cathenge” project by David Normal. Come and experience Cathenge, a 3D printed light and sound sculpture, and meet the artist and his team. Reception to include added attractions and entertainments – all for the higher purrr-pose of welcoming the Ancient Space Cats into this dimension at Hayes Valley, San Francisco.
This is an official dedication from the San Francisco Arts Commission, with tactical support from Burning Man Foundation, and vital sustenance from the Institute of Crazyology.
This event will be held in conjunction with the “Hayes Valley Holiday Stroll” presented by the Hayes Valley Merchants Association and the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association.

Music:
~MISSION DELIRIUM~ 9:00 PM
~Curious Planet Jazz Band~ 8:00 PM
~DR. HAL ROBINS, HOST & EMCEE~
Performances:
~Cat Priestess Fashion Show~
~Dr. Paul Koudounaris, PhD, Feline Historian~
Attractions:
~Rocker of Abundance Installation and Performance by Dawn Jian~
~KrOB Video~
Dedication:
~Ribbon Cutting Ceremony~
~Jill Manton of SF Arts Commission~
~Katie Hazard of Burning Man Project~
~Hayes Valley Merchants and Neighborhood Associations~
~Artist Statement by David Normal~ 

CREDITS FOR CATHENGE AT PATRICIA’S GREEN

Cathenge under construction

CREDITS FOR CATHENGE AT PATRICIA’S GREEN:

Cathenge at Patricia’s Green was created, conceived and directed by David Normal.  David was involved in all aspects of its production from the sketching, modeling and writing of the initial ideas to the grant writing, administration and negotiation through to the consideration and application of the smallest bolts holding the installation itself together.  Yet, it is not at all something he could have done by himself.  It was a collaborative group effort involving a diverse array of people.  It is easy to credit it completely to David Normal, and that is what will typically happen, however the artist has taken a moment to write an appreciation of the many different people who were involved in the production.

David Normal writes:  

PROJECT PERSONNEL:

HOLOFELINITY INTERACTIVE PURRING:

Theremin Barney

Barney is my longest running production collaborator.  We’ve been working together since 1997!  There’s no one remotely like Barney, and his quirky one-of-a-kind talent for creating original analog electronic musical instruments from the hand-etched circuit board on up have taken front and center in the creation of Cathenge.  Barney diligently and tirelessly manufactured not only the essential analog motion detecting boards that fundamentally drive the purring effect, but he engineered and fabricated the system to power the lasers and the eyes – working closely with me through all stages of production.  Not to mention always being there as the truest friend you could ever ask for.

Jacob Tonski

I like to say that Jacob just dropped out of heaven to help me with Cathenge.  This card carrying genius/renaissance man, a kinetic sculptor recently transplanted to Bolinas from Chicago where he had been a tenured professor in “Art and Tech”, had just the right blend of skills to help me not only get out of a rut with the daunting 3D printing tasks, but, equally importantly; do the programming and electronic/electrical rigging – a very complex task – needed to realize the “Holofelinity Sound Sculpture” that is the purring effect integral to the Cathenge sculpture.  Jacob comprehended the concept and found brilliant ways to embody and express it, so that, ultimately; the result is beyond my expectations. He did a fabulous job and was always exemplar in his communications and artistic, technical and personal commitment.  The most wonderful thing is that visitors to Cathenge have no clue of the careful work behind the effects – they just experience the seamless magic!

Aaron Winett

I’ve been privileged to consult with expert sound engineer and electronic music producer, Aaron “SPAZ” Winett.  He contributed excellent solutions to sound amplification challenges – especially the use of small transductive “exciter” speakers that effectively transform the entire Catolith into one large vibrating cat shaped speaker.  This combined with the choice and positioning of the subwoofers give the Holofelnity purring much of its aural appeal. 

BUILD CREW:

Andrew Spalding with Camera

Andrew Spalding

Andrew, master carpenter, has been an indefatigable pillar of support.  Having created the platform for Cathenge 2019 at Burning Man he was indispensable in re-purposing the platform to the new design used at Patricia’s Green.  Andrew’s impeccable craftsmanship and unwavering loyalty have been key in the success of many of my projects, not least of all Cathenge.

Kris Peterson

Kris Peterson, aka “Kris Potter” because of his Harry Potter like ability to build and repair just about anything.  Kris has been working with me longer than almost anyone – over 20 years – and was a stalwart on the Patricia’s Green build.  Kris was instrumental in pouring the concrete for the two cats that had to have custom bases poured on site.  Kris stuck with me through dawn the night before Halloween and put up all six cats.

Emmalie Kraakman

I met Emmalie (aka, “Phoenix ‘Pheno’ Fatale”) at this year’s Burning Man where she assisted with the Cathenge Presentation at Dustfish Camp.  Phoenix was perhaps the most reliable and consistent worker through the entire build and helped with a wide range of tasks, most notably; she clear-coated all the cats with no less than 9 layers of polyurethane clearcoat that gives them the deep gloss iridescence that is their signature daytime look.  Phoenix let me know that this was her first “big” art installation project, and I’m really glad to have given her the opportunity and see her shine.

Luther Zonko

Luther Zonko

Luther was an unexpected surprise and immense blessing.  A steady, efficient, well-organized, well-equipped worker with a wide range of technical skills from electronics and programming to carpentry.  Luther used his Festool Track Saw to complete the installation of the side panels – a tricky job expertly and rapidly completed.  I really didn’t know Luther, but he was referred to me by contractor Rhush Wanigatunga and he just started showing up and really contributing immensely to the project.  I was quite blown away!

Larry Swimer

Professionally, Larry is an expert in international shipping logistics and was indispensable in the success of the Crossroads of Curiosity at the British Library because he saw to the successful shipping of the container in the midst of a longshoreman’s strike.  Larry is also a great hands-on helper, and veteran of Patricia’s Green installs.  Cathenge was his third (“Squared”, “Tara Mechani”, previously) PG install and he helped in many ways, and I especially appreciated his wisdom and insight.  

Opal Essence

It’s said that “an army marches on its stomach” and so few things are as important than keeping a crew fed.  Opal very kindly cooked for the Cathenge build and brought us hot lunches and dinners, as well as her charming, engaging, empathetic company.  Not to mention, Opal hosted the Cathenge installation at her well-known Dustfish theme camp at Burning Man 2022.

Hannah Wise

Set builder and prop-maker, Hannah Wise, was my main assistant and, as such, was totally instrumental in presenting Cathenge for Burning Man 2022.  In addition to being an excellent presentation in its own right, Cathenge for Burning Man 2022 was a crucial trial run/stress-test for the Cathenge installation at Patricia’s Green.  Multi-talented and remarkably capable, Hannah did a fantastic job making Cathenge BMan 2022 happen!

Philip Tripp

Philip, an itinerant carpenter and builder recommended to me by Zina the Moroccan Cat Priestess, stayed at Stinson Beach for several days and did diverse array of useful tasks and then departed to Portugal.

Temple Gunther

Happy to have met builder and artist Temple Gunther from Bolinas and had him join the build for a day.  Looking forward to doing more projects with him in the future!

Oliver Right

Olllie Right is a painter and craftsman that supported the project by assisting Andrew and consulting on the stencils and other decorative work.

Asia Thorpe

Asia helped clarify the decorative decisions and strategies for Cathenge by assisting me in experimenting with different painting materials and techniques applied to the Catoliths.  She also decorated the Catolith collar pendants.

Susanna Weinholt

Susanna, creator of the “Suitcase” for BMan 2019 helped with the Cathenge build for two or three days.

Mark Wurtzel

Mark, a barrister and confirmed “cat freak”, is the “Consigliere” of the Institute of Crazyology non-profit and has been one of the most loyal, consistent supporters of the Cathenge project since 2019 when he assisted in creating the fire braziers (with Brad Allen) that were a central part of the original installation.  Mark didn’t fail to help with Cathenge for Patricia’s Green either.

DESIGN AND ENGINEERING

RBHU Engineering

Wow!  How refreshing!!  In the world of structural engineering, RBHU is a tall, cool, pure glass of water (to use an expression).  Selinda Martinez, Alan Lum and the rest of the RBHU team understand art and sculpture and have the capacity to think outside of the box (to use another expression). They are not merely engineers, but “artist engineers” who specialize in the engineering of large scale art.   It was a pleasure to work closely with Alan Lum who knew how to achieve the structural requirements elegantly and with a minimum of added costs and labor while retaining exactly the form of the artwork.  The RBHU structural engineering was simple for the builders and the administrators in city government  to understand and work with, and was essential to the success of the project.

Scott Pinckert (Pinckert Environmental Design)

Scott, a professional carpenter and trained landscape engineer,  was invaluable throughout the long, arduous engineering/planning obstacles in the process of producing Cathenge.  Scott made a gigantic contribution to Cathenge by producing CAD drawings, attending meetings, and following the seemingly endless email discussions that were part of the process of producing the installation.  In so doing he was a real morale support to me through some of the most challenging times in the entire process.  It was unfortunate that he was not available for the build at Patricia’s Green because his superb craftsmanship and dry wit would have been a great asset to the build.  However, he did get the Cathenge platform build started out at my studio in Stinson Beach. 

ADMINISTRATIVE:

Jill Manton

My old friend and Patricia’s Green Artist Emeritus, Dana Albany (“Tara Mechani” 2019-20) said of Jill Manton, “She’s the best!!”, and it really is true.  As the SFAC’s supervisor for the Cathenge project, Jill displayed limitless patience and kindness, and has been impeccable in her constancy as an advocate for not only the project itself, but for me as an artist.  She helped Cathenge get over every kind of hurtle, navigating the way through a complex bureaucratic process. She was always there for me – resourceful, responsive, and responsible.  And it’s not over yet!

Paris Cotz

Jill’s assistant, Paris, has been delightful to work with and very attentive to all the details.  She has a genuine enthusiasm and caring for Cathenge, and has made an extra effort throughout the project to help it along orgnizationally.  She and Jill make a great team! 

SPONSORS AND DONORS:

San Francisco Arts Commission

It’s been a great honor to receive the grant for the Patricia’s Green installation.  As a San Francisco native, I’ve been thrilled to have this recognition from the City of San Francisco and it has been a real pleasure to work with the SFAC. 

Kathryn and Lewis Shepherd

My folks!  My mother, Kathryn Shepherd, step-father, Lewis Shepherd, have been extraordinarily generous in supporting Cathenge.  Without there support this could not possibly have happened.  Not only have they outdone themselves in supporting Cathenge, but in so doing they have been instrumental in launching my new non-profit arts organization, “Institute of Crazyology”.  Not only have they supported this financially, but they have been invaluable in advising me and helping me through the many challenges of producing Cathenge.  Having such supportive, patient, understanding, and generous family is blessing of simply transcendental graciousness.

Burning Man Foundation

Burning Man has been a central pillar of support throughout my artistic career.  Without Burning Man there simply would be no “Cathenge”.  I’m grateful for the Burning Man Foundation’s funding of the arts and the opportunities it has provided me over the years, and, indeed; the entire cultural and aesthetic milieu Burning Man’s arts programs have fostered.  For over 25 years, Burning Man has been an organization that has been not merely open to, but positively enthusiastic about my off-beat visions in a world where perhaps simply no one else would even be receptive.  The great thing is that when visions like mine are given a chance, they are not merely good for Burning Man, but resonate with the world in general as can be seen in the case of Cathenge at Patricia’s Green.

Institute of Crazyology

As a new non-profit, I’ve been very pleased to have Cathenge be the organization’s first “use-case” scenario.  The Institute of Crazyology has amply demonstrated how it can provide support for art and artists, and set a solid precedent for further endeavors that will benefit more and different artists to go “crazy” with their creativity.

SPECIAL THANKS:

Marian Goodell

Marian Goodell, CEO of the Burning Man foundation, who I first met in 1997(!), has been a key supporter of Cathenge from the beginning.  In certain respects, I have made Cathenge with Marian in mind.  For her part, she has steadfastly supported the ongoing project since it began 4 years ago.  As a true ailurophile, she has believed firmly in the value of a Cat Temple.  When I wanted to give up, she encouraged me and kept me going.

John Law

I want to thank John Law for being legendary.  Why is he so legendary?  Not merely because he is daring, but because he has an uncanny insight and intuition and knows what is important, and how to make it happen strategically.  John used his power in subtle ways to make Cathenge a reality at Patricia’s Green.

Paul Koudounaris

My dear old friend, Paul Koudounaris, the world’s leading authority in feline history, is an essential inspiration for Cathenge.  One night we were out together at an art opening in Joshua Tree, and the possibility of my making an installation in the area came up.  I thought that since Paul was suggesting it that it really should be about cats.  Then, In my mind’s eye, the vision flashed:  I saw tall, elegant, mystical cat statues arrayed in a circle like the standing stones of Stonehenge, and I said to myself, “Ah! Cathenge!”.  I daresay that without Paul the idea might never have occurred to me. 

April Lelia Naftalin

My wife, April, does as much as anyone to support my efforts as anyone on this list, if not more so.  Definitely she has to put up with more!  I often work incessantly and obsessively, and it is April that looks after me during these periods of maximum effort when I am so intensely concentrated that I have difficulty managing the most rudimentary considerations in life.  Additionally, April tends to play a “pinch hitter” kind of role in my projects – coming in to help when labor is short or deadlines are tight, and often doing the more menial and humbler tasks associated with the projects.  She also often provides food to the crew making lovely Indonesian dinners.  Her presence is much appreciated by all.