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The Responsibility of Breath Solo exhibition by Paul Catanese

November 30, 2021 - December 4, 2021

Paul Catanese is a hybrid media artist whose diverse range of works include installation, performance, printmaking, video, sculptural objects, handmade paper, artist books, code, net.art, and projections which have been exhibited internationally, notably at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, SFMOMA Artists Gallery, Chicago Cultural Center, La Villette and the China Academy of Art; with screenings at the Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Stuttgart Filmwinter, FILE, ANIMAC, ExUrban Screens, New Forms Festival, and ISEA2014 Dubai. He has received commissions from Rhizome and Turbulence, a 2014 Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, and 2018/19 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), and the co-author of Post-Digital Printmaking (2012). From 2009-2014, he served as President of the New Media Caucus. Currently, is the Director of Graduate Study for Art and Art History at Columbia College Chicago, where he holds the rank of Professor.

The Responsibility of Breath is a series of multi-modal studies based on research conducted at the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design, and Sleep and Circadian Research Lab to advance the next phase of the opera, Century of Progress / Sleep. Informed by Douglas Kahn’s expansive vision of energies in the arts, sleep may also be viewed as a plural, with operations and activities rooted in extraction, interconvertibility, and indefiniteness. Related observations from sleep science include that “wake” and “sleep” are not discrete states, but patterns that occur simultaneously, and in degrees. To paraphrase Buiatti and Longo from their paper on multilevel interactions in biology: living systems dynamics are not stable or unstable, but far from equilibrium processes that undergo a flow of energy; a simultaneous blend of stability and instability. In a certain sense, the body is asleep and awake at the same time. In this terrain, breath provides a through-line, a way to navigate, observe, and attend to roiling continents of sleep. This work has been shaped by the events of the past eighteen months; a period defined by breath. During this time, watching breath as data, trying to hold breath (physically, conceptually, emotionally), the legibility, musicality, and potency of breath has emerged as an organizing principle for this work, which is guided by a series of questions: When is our breath no longer an extension of the body? When is one no longer responsible for their breath? What is the half-life of that responsibility? Was our breath ever our own? VR Companion Piece


Alfred University
1 Saxon Drive
Alfred, NY 14802 United States
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