Hybrid media artist provides insight for Hope students

(Columbia College Chicago)


“My ideology is idea first, material second.”

As a hybrid media artist, Paul Catanese combines a variety of materials as well as technology to create his pieces. Catanese visited Hope College on Feb 8.

Catanese has had his work shown in several places, from the Chicago Cultural Center to The Museum of Modern Art. He is also the Director of Graduate Study and an Associate Professor of Art & Art History at Columbia College Chicago. During his lecture in De Pree Art Center, he elaborated on his creative process.

One of the key components of Catanese’s creations is what he called “the thought experiment.” His pieces explore the relation between philosophy and art, as well as push against existing philosophies. Through his creations, he hopes to invoke an internal thought process in people. Catanese says that he enjoys working with interesting arrangements of media because they attract attention.

“Novelty is a good solvent for deeper thinking,” he said.

Catanese’s lecture also explored the collaborative nature of his artistic process. His project “Celestial Workshops” was created in collaboration with Master Printer Oscar J. Gillespie from Bradley University. With Gillespie’s help, Catanese used a hybrid process of software, machinery and traditional printmaking techniques.

His experiments with using printmaking in his hybrid artwork also led him to write his book “Post-Digital Printmaking.” The book explores the combination of an older printmaking technique with our current technology.

Another experiment Catanese talked about at his lecture was a work he called “Stones and Drones.” This piece also used printmaking techniques but began the process with using a stone attached to a drone to paint on paper.

Catanese’s most recent work expands on his use of drones. His project “Visible from Space” included a blimp with a camera being flown over a daily arranged piece. Visitors to the exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center could watch the live feed from the blimp as it was displayed on a screen. He briefly displayed a video of this process during his lecture.

Through his lecture, Catanese provided many concepts which student artists could take into their own work to produce more thought-provoking pieces.



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