London, United Kingdom
About Cat Catalyst
Historically Cat's art and poetry has been about the shared human experience. It is a process of better understanding ones relationship with oneself, with the world at large and ones place in it.
Previously Cat achieved this through curating (and sometimes taking part in), a series of nine â€˜Catalystâ€™ events which took place in London, Sydney and Brisbane between 1991 and 2006. For Cat these events were very much about â€˜Planting Seeds of Consciousnessâ€™ through the medium of The Arts and raising awareness about environmental and social issues that the Artist felt strongly about at the time.
Now Catâ€™s art is about making her personal
insights, ideas and revelations about society and the human condition, accessible to the everyday person in everyday situations, in non-art-specific communal spaces such as foyers, bars and meeting rooms, rather than facilitating the growth of other artistâ€™s work through group events.
A previous installation of the Catâ€™s digital art, entitled â€˜Swimâ€™, was screened three times at the Tate Britainâ€™s Late at Tate in November 2008 where the artist was also guest speaker on the subject of poetry film making. The short film was a visual accompaniment to a poem called â€˜Swimâ€™ consisting of layers of whispering vocals emulating the ebb and flow of water to ethereal watery images.
Another installation by the artist took place on platform 1 at Baker Street Tube Station on the London Underground between September and October 2009, where an A0 sized poster featuring the Artistâ€™s poem â€˜Shineâ€™ illustrated with a full colour artwork of a smiley sun, also designed by the Artist was exhibited for two weeks.
A recent installation by the artist was a recorded spoken word poem entitled CCTC commissioned by Goldsmiths MA Art and Politics graduates for a site specific installation on the EDF London Eye on the subject of CCTV and surveillance, consisting of an alternative audio guide designed to last for one revolution of the wheel. (Link to audio file: http:// soundcloud.com/catcatalyst/cctv)
Catâ€™s current installation is entitled â€˜iVendâ€™ and is about the normalisation of art and the accessibility of ideas, and the fact that it should be a perfectly normal experience to be able to purchase a selection of poems containing concepts about social unity, environmental awareness, spiritual enlightenment and emotional evolution, as normal and as effortless as being able to buy a bar of chocolate, a packet of crisps and a can of coke.
By replacing commercial snacks and beverages with a range of audio visual CDs, DVDs and poetry books, the vending experience may provide intellectual â€˜foodâ€™ in the form of inspirational ideas for the mind and a visual â€˜feastâ€™ for the eyes, where the act of buying the art and poetry becomes part of the piece itself, thus defying the traditional museological experience for here the vending machine becomes a self- contained alternative gallery, independent of the white-cube space.
It is also customary for galleries to only sell through collectors or dealers rather than to the general public, yet iVend is accessible to anyone irrespective of income or status, following a similar ethos to William Morris and The Arts and Crafts movement who believed in â€˜Art for everybodyâ€™, although The Arts and Crafts movement failed in delivering this pledge due to the time consuming and costly processes involved in hand production.
It was the 1960â€™s â€˜Fluxusâ€™ movement who were the first to recognize the creative potential of vending machines in art. The name Fluxus was taken from a Latin word meaning â€˜to flowâ€™ and was an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s, sometimes described as â€˜intermediaâ€™.
In 1963 Fluxus artist Robert Watts used a stamp vending machine to vend â€˜Fluxpostâ€™ stamps whilst later in 1966, Yoko Ono exhibited a vending machine entitled â€˜The Sky Machineâ€™ that sold â€˜pieces of sky.â€™ Ono says: â€˜I would like to see the sky machine on every corner instead of the Coke machine. We need more skies than Coke.â€™
The idea of the vending machine as an alternative art gallery began in the 1970s with Robert Piserâ€™s The Daily Palette which involved a series of newspaper vending machines in the San Francisco Bay Area which were filled with weekly silk-screened art editions that sold for 25 cents, or in Piserâ€™s words: â€˜Significant art works at popular pricesâ€™. Piserâ€™s vending machine art differed from the Fluxus vending artists for Piserâ€™s machines were all located outdoors on street corners and sold work by a variety of artists whereas Fluxus artists vended work by single artists inside a gallery.
iVend will contain books of poetry, audio CDs of spoken word, DVDs of visual poetry and individually wrapped poems in handmade envelopes made from recycled cot