San Francisco Artist Evicted From His Warehouse Is Raising Funds for a Place to Relocate His Robots

Kals Robots

Kal Spelletich, an incredibly talented artist, who is a pioneer of the San Francisco machine art scene, and very good friend of Laughing Squid, found out that he is being evicted from the San Francisco warehouse he has rented for over 25 years. It was in this warehouse that Kal built his incredible interactive robots, generously held parties and fundraisers for fellow artists both and unknown and created wonderful memories over a quarter of a century. Now Kal is raising money through GoFundMe, which will help him find a new place to store his massive creations and perhaps even build new ones for many years to come.

I’m getting evicted from my San Francisco warehouse studio. I’ve hand built hundreds of robots, fire machines, and held jaw dropping events in the past 25 years in the warehouse. This is where I built the first ever flamethrowers and robots used at Burning Man in the ’90’s. I hosted music, noise and art events with the likes of the Bicycle Rodeo, Mitch Altman, Matt Heckert of Survival Research Laboratories, Heather Dewey-Hagborg to name a few and exhibitions with and for many many other artists and art groups. I ran my studio as an experimental art/live space that housed and supported over 100 other artists and activists. All with NO grants, no outside support, no gallery sales and no renting to tech businesses. In 1995 when I moved in the street was dirt and littered with abandoned cars and homeless everywhere, prostitution rings and crack-heads lurking to rob you. It was the project that should have never worked: an artist supporting artists by sharing below market rent.

Yet the 25 year run of people, events, exhibits are a testament to art over commerce. Now, like virtually all other artists in San Francisco, I’m getting evicted. I will keep making art. I will keep supporting others who make art and are active for change.

Kal Spelletich at Jack Hanley Gallery

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.