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Synchop by Louis Katz

May 3rd - June 22nd

Artist's Statement:

This artist statement is hard to write. I have been doing Ceramics for 50 years.

My work, my art work, for the better part of 40 years, seemed to revolve around expressing the area of thought between words, pointing out the constraints that language imposes on how we think. What is Function? What is not? What is Functional Ceramics, what is not? What is Art? Where are the edges of these words and their meanings? Do they exist? I am not sure that my study of Far Eastern Art, and the need to learn some about Taoism and Buddhism started this inquiry, but it informs it. The world defined by words is illusion. Words are an abstraction of reality as are photos, video and sound recordings. The world is what it is. It's not something that can be accurately, and certainly not completely described. 

Sound, light, water, music, feelings, breath, often come in waves. Waves come at different speeds and interact with each other. Interactions can ebb, flow, clash, amplify, distort, but like waves at the beach, these interactions create new patterns, new waves, the products of the waves that made them.

Music and radio and math often use different words, but frequency, addition of waves, wavelength, and harmonics are concepts common to each. This piece is programmed with prime numbers and may appear to repeat frequently but it's not frequent. The cycle of repetition is the product of these prime numbers controlling the timing of change. Leaning about prime factoring was useful in this work. But it was learning to temper harpsichord tuning, the singing of vocal polyphony, give and take, that drives this work.


Louis Katz is the child of a politically active math teacher and a harpsichord making pharmacist. He learned important lessons in music from Larry Wolf, Mathematics from Herb Brod, Electronics from Herman Gardner, Chemistry by Carl J. Kampmueller and Eastern Art History from Walter Spink. My their memories be a blessing. Their lessons are.

Other important lessons were given by Alvin Mays (Calculus), Kurt Weiser and Joe Opalinski (Ceramics), and Mr. Anderson (first name unknown, Ethnography). Some non-traditional educators include Adafruit, an electronics company whose Neopixel Library is used in this piece,  and the Arduino microcontroller developers. The Youtube educators are too many to name.

Louis received his BFA from The Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from Montana State University. He received a Fulbright Research Scholarship to document traditional Thai pottery. He was a professor of Ceramics at The Island University for 28 years and has been retired for the last several years. He is a lifelong learner.

Exhibition Gallery

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