Catie Olson


The project is to install an acoustic chamber: an enclosed octagonal room (6′ x 6′ x 8′) that functions as a set of four stringed instruments to be played on the exterior, and a seated listening room inside. The concept is based on an earlier piece, a bass coffin, in which participants played bass strings affixed to the exterior, while guests inside experienced the vibrations. This new chamber/instrument would include guitar strings, necks and headstocks for four players, while listeners are seated on benches inside.

Artist Catie Olson will be constructing this instrument and will modify it for the duration of the residency.Once this instrument has been tested and adjusted, it will then be modified and augmented with electronics and amplifiers. The residency would include a series of think tank workshops and performances as the instrument is being developed.

Photo credit Gonzalo Guzman, Art Dir Shirley Ellis, Tech Denny Chan


Catie Olson is a multi-disciplinary artist born in Decatur, Illinois, the pleasant home of two chicken cars. She received her BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Agriculture, ventured to Chicago and received her BFA at the School of the Art Institute. She often creates interactive objects with plenty of whimsical notions and a focus on kinetics and sound. Catie organizes SpiderBug—a mobile short film festival—which often includes a musical ensemble that creates a live score. Catie is a DJ in Chicago and has a bi-monthly radio show on Lumpen Radio (105.5 FM, WLPN) called ‘Planet Catieo’. In the past, she co-organized Floor Length and Tux, a domestic art space. She currently organizes 6 flags, a discreet and mail-invite-only exhibition series. Catie also performs with an electronic music trio, currently entitled MEoW (Made Entirely of Wires).

Sean Desantis is a Chicago based maker, synthesist, theremaniac, and pizza aficionado. He has appeared in numerous experimental ensembles, making sounds for films, visual art, and simply for the love of noise. Being from the Midwest, he is enthralled by mountains and thoroughly enjoys skeleton-based artwork, arcane electronics, and firepits.

Chris Puente grew up in San Antonio, TX where he picked up the bass at an early age, and where he grew into a young improvisor being mentored by many jazz musicians in the San Antonio music scene, and playing in many ensembles throughout the city ranging from experimental jazz groups to punk and noise bands. During his late teens and early 20’s he became involved in the visual arts, mainly sculpture and filmmaking which took him obtain a degree in Film from Columbia College Chicago. His filmmaking work is mostly relegated to visual improvisation while his sound and musical work has led him to work with electronics (modular synthesis, tape manipulation, and electro-acoustic elements) in solo and ensemble based improvisational work. His current solo and ensemble work is based mostly around modular synthesis and tape manipulation. Chris Puente currently plays with the ensemble Made Entirely of Wires (MEoW). He lives and works in Chicago, IL.