Paul Catanese, Hybrid Media Artist

Visible from Space
2009 - Present | Multi-Modal Artwork

Above: Intaglio print from the visible from space series created at Anchor Graphics in the summer of 2010, using Post-Digital Printmaking techniques – in this case, CNC Scribing through hard ground and Traditional Aquatint.

Above: Handmade Paper with Electronic Inclusions created as part of the Handmade Media Research Project at the Interdisciplinary Arts Department & Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago. Photos Courtesy Michelle Graves. Below: The following text (which specifically responds to the Visible from Space Field Tests) is excerpted from Meredith Hoy's essay Transitory Sites: Crossing Boundaries in v1b3’s Scan2Go; the original essay can be found online at the Scan2Go Exhibition Website.

“...these experimental works highlight the contingency of site, the fact that the boundaries of a given site are porous and highly dependent on the type and range of assays conducted upon them.

Catanese’s research project explores the possibilities of creating drawings so large they would be visible from space. By replacing the scalar relationships that commonly exist within the parameters of human vision with drawing on a celestial scale, Catanese defines site in terms of cosmological relationships. Catanese conceives this project in terms of a thought experiment, decentering the work, refusing an orientation towards a single object but rather subjecting it to centripetal forces of experimentation across multiple media, including video, artist’s books, found objects, interviews, and events. In this case, site becomes a nexus of exploratory activity pertaining to the ideas about the relationship between earth and sky, to dreams about space, to fantasies about the great unknown. In one field test, a rocket is shot into an
expanse of blue sky. The rocket disappears, and the camera holds its gaze on the heavens, seeming to track the movements of the clouds. The sky is a non-site, a canvas of sheer possibility, of familiarity and yet unknowability. The project shows space to be a site of imaginative contemplation, known through science fiction stories, photographs, and news reports. It can never be captured or bounded, but rather assessed through fragmentary, necessarily partial documentation. As the rocket crosses the boundary from visibility to invisibility, the infinite extension of the sky itself becomes the object of the viewer’s imaginative activity. The possibility of orientation based on earthly landmarks is removed, and we are thrust into a dizzying relationship with the ether...
– from Scan2Go catalog essay by Meredith Hoy

Research and development for 'Visible from Space' was supported by a month-long residency in June 2010 at the Goldwell Open Air Museum, just outside of Death Valley. Additionally, this project was chosen by the Leonardo Electronic Almanac to inaugaurate their Digital Media Exhibition Platform in 2010. Continued development provided by Anchor Graphics, a program of the Art+Design department at Columbia College Chicago, the College Art Association Services to Artists Commitee and Video in the Built Environment’s scan2Go exhibition, as well as the Kasa Gallery at Sabanci University in Istanbul.
The Central School Project in Bisbee, Arizona has supported devleopment of this project through extended Artist Residencies in 2009 and 2013.