Paul Catanese, Hybrid Media Artist

Observatories of Uncharted Vitreous
2011 | Installation | Robert & Elaine Stein Galleries, Wright State University





...“the medium is the message” theme that carried much of the Net Art movement through the early 2000’s. However, Paul has used these tools to hone in on the quiet, subtle stories that emerge from the scanning and digital auditing of his collected objects, thus preserving the essence of the object within the technology and allowing room for imagination.

In the large, site-specific installation piece Observatories of Uncharted Vitreous, (2011) small piles of carefully placed fragments change mass and scale when illuminated and magnified by overhead projectors. These objects are further scanned and shuffled into patterns, and graphically printed larger-than-life onto hanging panels, effectively creating what could be celestial charts or maps to lost or imagined civilizations.

Some of the imagery Paul uses in Observatories... and throughout his work consists of metaphors for “hunting” for these found objects, which is an essential part of Paul’s creative process.


Y- and L-shaped bones become divining rods and fishing hooks frequently appear as a motif for casting out into the world for just the right visual catch. The installation also investigates intrinsic


characteristics of perception while maintaining an emphasis on surface. Inspired by his “floaters” (when translucent objects suspended in the eye’s vitreous fluid are projected into one’s field of vision), the artist created an environment in which to explore interior versus exterior contexts of these shadowy forms and...



( The essay “Relics and Constellations” by Tess Cortés appears in the exhibition catalogue accompanying this solo exhibition of the same title at Wright State University. Copies of the exhibition catalog can be purchased via Lulu; all proceeds support the programming of the Robert & Elaine Stein Galleries. )