CatSynth pic: Luna, Minimoog, and Luna NT

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Luna has reclaimed her beanbag chair in the recently reorganized studio. So here we see her sitting underneath the Minimoog (right) and appropriately named Luna NT form Noise Research (Left).

The new design/organization is not quite done yet, but getting there. Expect more pics in the near future.

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CatSynth pic: BKETech BeatThang

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BeatThang

Submitted by ⓉⒺⒸⒽℕ⌽▃ⒾⒹ●⒞⒪⒨ via Twitter.

No word on whether the BeatThang website has been updated.

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Wordless Wednesday: Dots

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Midnight Monday with Moog Phatty

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We love receiving these Phatty Friday messages from our friends at Moog Music, Inc. via Twitter.

I am also looking forward to finally getting my Moog Theremini soon.

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CatSynth pic: Peek-a-boo (Eurorack Modular)

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Via matrixsynth.

Whenever I see a Eurorack modular, I am curious about the modules I have never seen before.  I certainly don’t have the “cat head” module yet!

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Happy Gotcha Day, Luna!

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It has been exactly 9 years since I first brought Luna home from the Santa Cruz County animal shelter. This was her official photo from the shelter.

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It was already clear with that face and those green eyes she was going to grow up to be a beautiful cat. And she has been a sweet and faithful animal companion for almost a decade now.

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Please join me in wishing Luna a Happy Gotcha Day!

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The Acro-Cats (and Rock Cats) in San Francisco

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The Acro-Cats recently visited San Francisco for a serious of shows, and of course we at CatSynth were there to witness it.

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Training cats, and the near impossibility of training them, is of course a cliche. And it is also why some of us love cats, their antics and independence alongside their elegance. These cats were trained to do a variety of acrobatic tricks, but at the same time, they were still just cats. Sometimes it would take a few tries to convince the cat to perform as requested, and sometimes the cats would wander off in true feline fashion. This was part of the show, and of course we cat-lovers in the audience loved that. There were some impressive moments however, such as this series of stunts. The second features the black cat Buggles.

All the cats in the show are shelter rescues, and an important part of the program is about advocacy for adoption of shelter cats and support of local shelters. Cat Town was on hand and received support from the proceeds of this show.

My favorite part of the show, not surprising was the final part featuring the Rock Cats an all cat band. Yes, the cats were actually playing the instruments.

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Here is Tuna making an appearance on cowbell.

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The keyboard was a toy piano that also attached to a MIDI synthesizer doing 80-style pad sounds. (Yes, more cats and synths!)

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You can hear a bit of the Rock Cats in this video.

Maybe a little more practicing is in order before we can book the Rock Cats at the Luggage Store Gallery.

If the Acro-Cats and Rock Cats come to your area, I definitely recommend checking them out. More information can be found here.

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Wordless Wednesday: Lines

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CatSynth pic: Vintage Moog Memorymoog Plus Synthesizer

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Via matrixsynth, where you can see more pictures.

You can read more about the Memorymoog here.

If you can cat-and-gear photos, you can share them with us via Facebook, Twitter @catsynth, or comment with @catsynth in Instragram.

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Iconoclasm (Arnix and Max Papeschi), The McLoughlin Gallery

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The McLoughlin Gallery is currently hosting a two-person exhibition marking the American debut of artists Arnix and Max Papeschi called Iconoclasm. As the name might suggest, it’s a somewhat quirky and unusual show, and is not subtle in its critiques of power and popular culture.

Both artists take satirical and deeply critical looks at power, the people and institutions in power and how power is communicated through propaganda and pop culture. Arnix (aka Arnix Wilnoudt) takes aim directly at seats of power in religion, the military and politics. His harshest and strongest work is reserved for the Catholic Church, including hypocrisy around sexuality and power and the continuing sexual abuse scandals. He is steeped in knowledge of the Church’s history, theology and rituals, and uses those as the framework in which he places images of human sexual organs, silicone heads of pigs and other elements.

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[Arnix, The Forbidden Fruit. Mixed media, 1870 chapel brass and silicone. Image courtesy of The McLoughlin Gallery.]

The pieces can be challenging to look at, but also quite strong both visually and in execution. The artifacts, such as the 1870 chapel brass in the piece The Forbidden Fruit, shown above, were rescued from a church in The Netherlands. The pig head is cast in silicone, but using actual pig hides in the casting process to give it an eerily realistic texture. These elements, along with the human sexual organs (both male and female) recur in many of the pieces. Rescued artifacts, including angel statues and ash cups are prominently featured in the largest piece of exhibition, The Last Judgement: The Revelation.

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[Arnix, The Last Judgement: The Revelation. Mixed Media Installation. (Click to enlarge.)]

The bright, airy space of the gallery and the reflective surfaces of the metal components makes the piece seem very open and inviting and belies its darker qualities around trauma, another theme in Arnix’s work. However, he doesn’t reserve all his criticisms for religion. In Known Unto God, an installation that includes an audio element, he criticizes both the loss of life in war, and way populations remain silence in the face of their leaders’ misadventures.

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[Arnix, Known Unto God. Brass, Mixed media, Audio. Image courtesy of The McLoughlin Gallery.]

There is humor in his work as well. His series of panels depicting the “seven deadly sins” are quite fun, both with the individualized pigs and the modernist iconography that leaves one guessing which sin is being depicted (I managed to get them all right).

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[Arnix, Seven Deadly Sins. Installation Print on plexiglass and silicone pigs. Image courtesy of The McLoughlin Gallery.]

Humor is Max Papeschi’s work. He brings together powerful political figures from history, images of disasters, and commercial or pop-culture icons in unexpected ways, and in doing so takes aim at both commercialism and propaganda, i.e., the idea that we can sell anything. Perhaps the most stark example is the use of Mickey Mouse to “sell” Nazis.

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[Max Papeschi, NaziPinkieMouse. Digital collage (Edition of 7). Image courtesy of The McLoughlin Gallery.]

A major part of commercial culture is product placement, sometimes inappropriately done, as in this advertisement for Coca Cola in the World War II bombing raid.

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[Max Papeschi, Product Placement 2.0. Digital collage (Edition of 7). Image courtesy of The McLoughlin Gallery.]

The humor is a little less dark in his series where famous (or infamous) leaders are placed on familiar figures from entertainment and pop culture. Indeed, a few of these were a lot of fun (Saddam Hussein has a disco dancer is particularly amusing).

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[Max Papeschi, Vladimir & Joseph. Digital collage (Edition of 7). Image courtesy of The McLoughlin Gallery.]

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[Max Papeschi, Ramadan Night Fever. Digital collage (Edition of 7). Image courtesy of The McLoughlin Gallery.]

These digital collages are not at all done to disguise the editing, indeed the Photoshopping is quite obvious. But that is probably the point, the bluntness and obviousness of the image. They stick with the viewer even after leaving show.

Iconoclasm will be on display at The McLoughlin Gallery (49 Geary St, San Francisco) through Saturday, May 31.

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