May 22, 2023

Paul Catanese (b. 1975; Huntington, NY) is a hybrid media artist who blurs the lines between the fine, performing, and media arts. Creating a wide array of works including installations, performances, videos, sound installations, projections,, and print media, Catanese has exhibited at numerous institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Chicago Cultural Center, New Museum, SFMOMA Artists Gallery, La Villette, China Academy of Art, Frankston Art Center, Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Stuttgart Filmwinter, FILE Festival, New Forms Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the International Symposium on Electronic Art.

Catanese has participated in residencies at SPACES, Signal Culture, PLAYA, Goldwell Museum, Central School Project, Kala Art Institute, and universities throughout the nation and abroad; he has been awarded commissions from Rhizome and Turbulence, and grants from the Illinois Arts Council and New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2014, he was awarded an Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, and in 2018/19 named the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Artist-in-Residence at Colgate University. His artwork can be found in collections including the Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries at Wright State University, the Center for Art + Environment Archives at the Nevada Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum.

Catanese is the author of Director’s Third Dimension (2001), a book on real-time three-dimensional programming techniques for interactive multimedia, and the co-author of Post-Digital Printmaking: CNC, Traditional, and Hybrid Techniques (2012), a book that examines the rapid evolution of traditional printmaking to incorporate computer controlled industrial tools such as laser cutters & CNC routers.

He earned an MFA in Art & Technology at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2000 and a BA in Theater at SUNY Geneseo in 1997. Prior to his Columbia College faculty appointment, he was Assistant Professor of New Media at San Francisco State University from 2003-2008; he has also taught at SAIC, Harold Washington College and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Catanese served as President of the New Media Caucus from 2009-14, and is currently Director of Graduate Study for Art and Art History at Columbia College Chicago, where he holds the rank of Professor.

The Institute for Electronic Arts provided time, space, and resources to continue research connecting image generation techniques involving machine learning with printmaking, real-time 3D virtual environments, fabric printing, performance, and improvisational ensemble-driven composition. The two-week residency was extremely packed – an intensive period working with a wide breadth of techniques and approaches.  My intention was to experiment in many different directions simultaneously – generating several proof of concepts and experimental methodologies for further exploration. These experiments and outcomes include: Dye-sublimation printing and fabric transfer of images generated with machine learning and real-time virtual environments (generated 20+ yards of fabric prints to work with); Proof of concept testing connecting Houdini + machine learning operators (MLOPS) for generating volumes / point clouds for use in real-time 3D environments (Touchdesigner); a series of audio experiments working with composer and musician Matt Sargent; digital prints using Xuan papers (completed six prints from ‘Bruno’s Infinities’ series).  The expansive resources, excellent technical assistance, and proximity of numerous technologies allowed for me to work quickly – and to evaluate how I want to approach a number of technical aspects of the projects I’m developing moving forward. In particular, these techniques are instrumental for the research and teaching I will be conducting in 2024 during a Fulbright Fellowship to Poland, focused on connections between Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning and Printmaking Practices. – Paul Catanese

Bruno’s Infinities, Work Sample.

Audio experiments working with composer and musician Matt Sargent.