In casual conversations, when I say that I am an artist, the follow up to the initial question posed as “what do you do” is typically “what kind of art do you make”. After years of trying to succinctly explain my work as a multi-modal artist, I developed my version of an elevator speech. My response is that I create new work by any medium necessary. This has become a mantra of sorts, a description of my process and an affirmation of an art practice that moves fluidly among media, material, site, and discipline - commonly appropriating and recontextualizing the modalities germane to architecture, science and technology. By Any Medium Necessary is also the title of a book in process with which I center artistic visions and the innovations and inventions made by women identified artists to realize them.
Seemingly divergent perspectives converge in my practice of art as a socially engaged mode of tuning our attention to common occurrences in everyday places. Focused on art as experience, my work takes form as an invitation to engage with people as choreographers of their experience of art. Informed by contemporary views of nature, technology, and community, I explore the subtle ways that we express empathy with one another, with other life forms, with sensing objects, and with responsive environments. My approach repositions a view of contemplation that is generally perceived of as solitary and removed from the flow of life into one that sparks a sense connection and community.
I have had the good fortune to be an Osher Fellow at the Exploratorium, Artist in Residence at MIT, Guest Professor of New Media Art at the Beijing Film Academy, Visiting Professor at the MIT Media Lab, and Creative CityMaking artist with the City of Minneapolis. I choose to work with diverse groups of people, emerging technologies, my hands, and my imagination. A creative and inclusive thinker, I focus on the personal as well as the collective, the ecology of the part and the whole. I am confident in my ability to translate ideas into experiences. I prefer exploring how we can respond together rather than asking if we can respond.
By necessity and passion, I have initiated and participated in many forms of interdisciplinary collaboration including: Improvising Ecosystems with visual and performance artists, musicians, composers, dancers, and scientists, Biologically Motivated with architects, artists and biologists, Wonder Women: Art & Technology 1968-2008 a symposium with a related exhibition Culturing Nature :: Culturing Technology at the University of Minnesota and the Walker Arts Center, Arts Afloat, a series of collaborations with children and youth creating floating sculptures in neighborhood swimming pools and in a collaboration with the Dragon Boat Festival on the Charles River, as well as a curated public exhibition in Boston Harbor, Creative CityMaking with neighborhood groups and city planners in Minneapolis, and Digital Dialogues: Technology and the Hand, a studio-based symposium that I curated, while at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge Massachusetts, in collaboration with Haystack Mountain School on Deer Isle Maine.
Currently I am leading ArTeS, an art + technology + science initiative that centers the arts at the university of Minnesota while systematically creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive network and exchange among disciplines essential to the foundation of the ArTeS initiative.