Pranks in the Arts

Kal Spelletich
6 Sessions » Wednesdays, July 9–August 13
6:30–9:30 pm | 20B | $250

Open to all levels


What is the legacy of making transgressive art? How do you make art subverting the dominant paradigms and survive? Stay out of jail? Not break the law? From the Dadaists to Punk Rock, The Diggers to The San Francisco Cacophony Society—we will cover it all in this class. I will lecture on these topics, give assignments, show videos and images, bring in guest artists, and present first-hand anecdotes on this overlooked special genre of contemporary art. There will be a special emphasis on San Francisco practitioners in the field and the recently released book I am featured in and contributed to, Tales of The San Francisco Cacophony Society.

View additional Art-Making Adventures

Kal Spelletich, the seventh of nine children, was born in an elevator and raised in Davenport, Iowa, recently named "America’s Worst Place to Live." Shortly after being given a chemistry set at the age of seven, he started constructing tree houses, boats, experimenting with electricity, taking apart everything he could get his hands on, building fire, and making fireworks. He now lives in San Francisco and works on the waterfront. He scours junkyards and dumpsters for industrial items that have technology that can be reappropriated. Spelletich sometimes teaches at universities, lectures, exhibits, and presents workshops around the world. His latest work involves experimenting with biomorphic inputs that trigger machines and robots to provide viewers with a direct, real-life experience, trying to answer the question: Can technology perform spiritual work and still be conceptual?

Kal Spelletich
Fireshower, 1999
Steel, pipe fittings, DC motor and controller
8 x 3 x 3 feet
Courtesy of Jack Hanley Gallery, New York