Calling All Ailurophiles and Feline Fanatics: Interactive Multisensory Cat Temple Installation Unveiled In Hayes Valley
Cathenge by David Normal is a Purr-fect Addition to Patricia’s Green
SAN FRANCISCO, November 17, 2022 – The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is pleased to let the cat out of the bag and announce the year-long installation of Cathenge, a new multisensory "Holofelinity Sound-Light Sculpture” installation by artist David Normal in Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley.
Cathenge features six illuminated 3D-printed cat sculptures, or “Catholiths”, set atop a pedestal base decorated with laser cut space cat themed motifs and metallic gilding. The installation also features a motion activated sound component and will be on view for one year through fall 2023. Access to Cathenge is free and open to the public during park operating hours, daily from 5 a.m. to midnight.
A ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new installation is planned for Friday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m. during the 32nd annual Hayes Valley Holiday Stroll taking place from 4 to 9 p.m. in partnership with the Hayes Valley Merchants Association, Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association, and Hayes Valley Art Works.
This project installation continues the Arts Commission’s widely popular program in partnership with San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and local Hayes Valley community groups of placing a different sculpture or installation in the center of Patricia’s Green annually since 2005. Previous temporary installations in Patricia’s Green include: David Best’s Temple in 2005 and 2015, Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito’s Ecstasy in 2010, HYBYCOZO’s Geometric Light Sculptures Dodi and Trillian in 2016 and Dana Albany’s Tara Mechani in 2019/2020.
“The Arts Commission is thrilled to be able to bring these whimsical and larger than life feline-tastic sculptures to Hayes Valley in partnership with artist David Normal,” said Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs. “After a brief pause of being able to install sculptures as part of this program due to COVID-19 restrictions, we thank the Hayes Valley community for their patience and support of this ongoing public art partnership. I hope this sculpture piques the curiosity of the public and brings joy to all cat lovers with its interactive and immersive elements, drawing them into this beautiful public outdoor space and vibrant neighborhood over the next year.”
Each of the six “Catoliths” that comprise Cathenge are nine-foot tall and were printed additively using a studio full of more than seven 3D printers. The Catoliths are arranged in a circle to symbolize Normal’s concept of “Holofelinity” or, Universal Cat Consciousness.
“Like the Monoliths of 2001: A Space Odyssey, human consciousness is evolved through direct interaction with the Catoliths.” shared David Normal. “The Catolith’s intuitively bestow “Holofelinity”, a healing message of timeless love and peace, using a passive infrared sensor to trigger an array of harmonic samples in the sacred “Solfeggio” frequencies that are often used in meditative environments. These tones are coordinated with changes in color and pattern of embedded LED lights that illuminate the cats from within. The audio component can be enjoyed and experienced by people of all abilities.”
David Normal is a San Francisco painter and animator. Born 1970 in San Francisco, Normal began his career in the late '80s making Punk fliers around the Bay Area. Throughout the '90s he created a series of “interactive theater parties” and created large scale sculptures for the Burning Man Festival. Since 2008, Normal has created a series of oil paintings based on his artistic philosophy of “Crazyology”, and displayed them throughout the U.S. and in Europe as unique glowing prints known as, “Illuminations.” In 2014, Normal created “Crossroads of Curiosity”, an epic suite of lightbox murals that was displayed at Burning Man in 2014, and then traveled to London for an exhibition at the British Library in 2015. Cathenge has been previously displayed at Burning Man in 2019 and 2021.
The public art program allowing the display of a different sculptural work of art at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley annually is enabled through developer impact fees, which is the result of advocacy efforts from the Hayes Valley community. This opportunity is available to artists from the Greater Bay Area and is announced publicly every year through a Request for Proposals issued by the Arts Commission. Applications are reviewed by a selection panel comprised of local community members and arts professionals, with the panel’s recommendation presented to the Arts Commission for final approval. Artists are contracted to loan their work to the City and their fees cover all project costs, including an artist honorarium. Artists and interested parties may sign up to receive updates and notifications of future opportunities on the Arts Commission website.
About the San Francisco Arts Commission
The San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. Our programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries, and Art Vendor Licensing. To learn more, visit sfartscommission.org.