KAI FRANZ

WORKS

VIDEOS

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

For the last five years I have been working on a body of work that is based on a machine I built called Dual-Axis Precision Deposition System, or plopper. The machine primarily fabricates sculptures, but occasionally also produces prints, drawings, and films. The sculptures begin as digital drawings created with computer-aided-design (CAD) software that are then fabricated through a custom computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) process. The plopper, a hacked architectural plotter, first deposits sand, then drops resin onto the landscape of sand building the sculpture layer by layer. While similar to 3D printing, the technique surrenders the control implied in the CAD and CAM processes and, as the resin seeps through the sand following the path of least resistance, embraces the fluidity and unpredictability of the materials. I hope that the work feels speculative, unstable and immediate. 

I like to think of the plopper as the bad conscience of formal idealism – a kind of low-res 3D printer that, as Martin Beck in his essay in my recently published book Serial Naturenotices, “translates the smart, trim, wonderfully ideal numbers, points, lines, and algorithms into the thick, viscous, cumbersome, and opaque realm of the nexus of matter and reality”. The machine and process are designed to critique contemporary fabrication technology for its premature relationship of the physical to the digital, of virtuality to actuality, and of matter to materiality. While the plopper’s inputs, virtual 3D models and CAD drawings, are regulated by control, precision, and perfection, the machine utilizes chance, imperfection, and the will of matter as a way to overcome determination. Organic and expressive in their nature, the works never leave their diagrammatic origins entirely behind. As a result, the mechanically produced works are both informed and formless. 

Often times I think of the plopps as alien spit — a reference to their serial nature, futuristic characteristics, and loose geometric qualities. Simultaneously, the works also read as remnants of some long-deceased civilization, as archeological relics, or as artifacts retrieved from the bottom of an ocean. The title for my recent exhibition at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University While Still Before Us After All was an attempt to highlight and foreground this contradictory temporal dimension of the work. It was also an effort to render the body of work visible as an acceleration of today – as a dark residue of our current culture and technologically determined existence.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Education

2012 - Master of Architecture (M-Arch), graduated with honors, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA      

2010 - Master in Fine Arts (MFA), Digital + Media, (1 year Fulbright Fellow)Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

2008 - Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BSc ETH) ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland  
                  
2006 - Vordiplom (cand. arch.) Major in Architecture, RWTH Aachen, Aachen Excellence University, Aachen, Germany

 

Awards, Honors and Fellowships

2013 - Akademie Schloss Solitude Residency Fellowship, Stuttgart, Germany

2012 - Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Prize for exceptional talent in design throughout studies (Princeton University)

2012 - Alpha Roh Chi Medal for leadership, service to the school, and outstanding professional merit (Princeton Univ.)

2012 - Henry Adams Medal for general excellence in academic coursework (AIA / Princeton University)

2011 -  KPF Traveling Fellowship 2011 Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, New York, NY

2010-12 - Tuition-Fellowship Princeton University

2010 - Rhode Island School of Design Honorary recognition from the Dean of Graduate Studies

2009 - Fulbright-Fellowship (Academic year 2009-2010)

2008 - Leonardo-Scholarship of the European Union

 

Residencies

2013-15  - Akademie Schloss Solitude,   Stuttgart, Germany, Atelier-Stipendium, 1 year artist-in-residence

2011 - Kunstverein Köln-Porz, Artist-in-residence,     Cologne, Germany “Das Atelier als Manifest - Der Kunstraum als Atelier“, 3-month residency

 

Solo Exhibitions

2017- WHILE STILL BEFORE US AFTER ALL, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

2017 - UNNATURAL HARDWARE    1.5 Rooms, Brooklyn, New York, USA (2-person show)

2016 - THE PARTICLES FELL SILENT, ROCKELMANN&, Berlin, Germany

2014 - SERIAL NATURE, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany

2011 - DAS ATELIER ALS MANIFEST - DER KUNSTRAUM ALS ATELIER, Kunstverein Köln-Porz, Cologne, Germany

 

Group Exhibitions

2017 - VOLTA BASEL 2017   ROCKELMANN&, Basel, Switzerland

2016 - GETTING TO KNOW THE MIDDLEMAN, SIA NY, New York, New York, USA

2016 - A STAY IN THE PAPHOS LOOP, OFFSPACE.XYZ, Brooklyn, New York, USA

2016 - TRIPTYCH, ROCKELMANN&, Berlin, Germany      (3-person show)

2016 - CUBIT, New Release Gallery, New York, New York, USA

2015 - SIX LINES, RISDTools() Forum, Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI, USA

2015 - BIENNIAL FACULTY EXHIBITION, Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI, USA

2014 - ART MEETS SCIENCE: OF PAINTING ROBOTS AND 3D PRINTERS, Projektraum Roemerstrasse, Stuttgart, GER

2014 - CHRONICLES OF WORK IV. COMBINED AND COMPILED / PIECES OF PIECES, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, GER

2014 - LONG NIGHT OF MUSEUMS, Projektraum Roemerstrasse, Stuttgart, GER

2013 - BIENNIAL FACULTY EXHIBITION, Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI, USA

2012 - CENTER FOR ARCHITECTURE,  AIA New York Exhibition of Princeton Masters Thesis New York, NY, USA

2012 - PIXILERATIONS [V.09], New Media Arts and Technology Exhibition Brown University Providence, RI, USA

2011 - BREAK IT DOWN, Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI, USA

2011 - SCULPTURE EXHIBITION, Princeton University Princeton, NJ, USA

2010 - AFTER HOURS, Princeton University Princeton, NJ, USA

2010 - PIXILERATIONS [V.07], New Media Arts Exhibition Providence, RI, USA

2009 - ELO, Electronic Literature Organization Providence, RI, USA

2009 - DIGITAL+MEDIA BIANNUAL, Sol Koffler Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI, USA

 

Publications

2013 - Kai Franz: Selected Works, C.M. Stache Press, USA/Germany, Artist Catalog, 190 Pages, Editon of 200

2013 - Digital Craft in Color and the Making by Carinna Parraman Black Dog Publisher London, UK

2008 - Closing the Gap: Information Models in Contemporary Design Practice AD Architectural Design Issue 79, March/April 2009, ISBN: 9780470998205, Academy Editions, London, UK

2008 - OMA*Metrics: An OMA-specifc Approach to Computational Design Internal Publication Office For Metropolitan Architecture Rem Koolhaas Rotterdam, The Netherlands