Wish You Were Here: a Localized “Souvenir Shop”

Written by Ruixuan Li


Storefront of ELL, Wish You Were Here, San Francisco 2016. Photo by Ruixuan Li

Presented at the new exhibition space at ELL, Downtown San Francisco, the collaborative exhibit Wish You Were Here opened its inaugural show October 14, 2016, and will remain open through the end of the year. The works were contributed by a group of talented San Francisco-based artists from Day Dreamers Limited (founded by Kelly Tunstall, Ferris Plock, and Howard Cao, and powered by Form & Fiction). The exhibit includes typical souvenir items such as t-shirts, mugs, a specially designed press penny machine, postcards printed with artists’ drawings and displayed on a spinner rack, and a gumball machine filled with gold leaf fortune cookies, among others.

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Kal Spelletich’s Robots Help People Harvest Blessing

by Ruixuan Li


The life-size robot named after Mark Pauline, the founder of Survival Research Laboratories, leans forward a coffee table on its knees. I put my hand onto the device that is wrapped in fabric and standing in front of the robot, and started to grip it. The robot moved back upright with his arms stretched up and then lean forward again. Its speed goes with how deep I grip the pressure sensor. This is one of the seven headless robots on display in Intention Machines at Catharine Clark Gallery near San Francisco Design Center. All of the seven robots represent people who have profoundly influenced the artist’s life, and can move based on inputs from viewers, such as proximity, touch, and ambient sound. Photographs of the sun, respectively inspired by these figures and modified with various apparatus, are also included in the show. This solo exhibition for Kal Spelletich opens through May 23rd 2015 along with several special events.

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Hugh Scott-Douglas: Promises to Pay in Solid Substance

Written by Ruixuan Li – Dec 2014

2-hsd_install_02Presented at the Jessica Silverman Gallery in San Francisco, the solo exhibition Promises to Pay in Solid Substance (September 5 – November 1, 2014) by the Brooklyn-based, emerging Canadian artist Hugh Scott-Douglas, includes three new bodies of work: Economist (2014), Amazon.com (2014), and Heavy Images (2014), and one of his older works, entitled Screentones (2014), which first appeared in Takashi Murakami’s exhibition space in Tokyo. Curated by the gallery’s owner Jessica Silverman, the exhibition comes with an informally printed “zine”, which includes an essay written by Hugh Scott-Douglas, downloadable as a PDF file from the gallery’s website. By assembling technology-related objects into this exhibition, Scott-Douglas’ latest works create a conversation around the relationships between digital and analog forms, within contemporary life and in particular the economy today. In this discussion, I reflect on how the works complicate some of these relationships and how the relationships might be changing over time and within different contexts. One might argue that this project demonstrates that value and meaning in a digital or analog world depends on time and background.

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