More than 40% of this year’s longlist works were created by women – up from 31% last year – a welcome development. What I didn’t expect is that the XR category of longlisted works would be dominated by women – with 4 of the 7 longlisted XR works this year created by women. While it’s exciting to see the old barriers breaking down in the field of art, it’s particularly exciting to see older women artists as part of this trend.
Claudia Hart, an American based in Chicago is a prime example. Claudia emerged as part of a generation of 90’s intermedia artists in the “identity art” niche. Her practice examines issues of identity and today, it examines how technology is affecting cultural constructions of gender identities and issues of the body, perception, and nature collapsing into technology and then back again. She was an early adopter of virtual imaging, using 3D animation to make media installations and projections, then later as they were invented, other forms of VR, AR, and objects using computer-driven production machines, all based on the same computer models. She works with digital trompe l’oeil as a medium, directing experimental theater and dance, as well as making media objects of all kinds using Rapid Prototyping, CNC routing, virtual-reality immersive environments, and augmented-reality custom apps.
Symbolism & Poetry
Claudia’s work is symbolist and poetic, not really narrative, but vaguely so, and has been described as mesmerizing, hypnotic and formalist. Bodies or natural forms like flowers always appear in it. She calls her work, “post photography,” and has created a body of theoretic writings and exhibitions based on this concept which can be found here. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, where she is a tenured professor, she developed a pedagogic program based on this concept, Experimental 3D, the first art-school curriculum teaching simulations technologies – the post-photographic – in the context of the contemporary art world.
Her works are widely exhibited and collected by galleries and museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum, the New Museum, and the Eyebeam Center for Art + Technology, where she was an honorary fellow in 2013-14, and the Yale Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, where she will be in residence, fall 2019.
It’s a great honour to have Claudia on the 2019 Longlist. To enjoy a glimpse of her selected work, The Flower Matrix, just hit the play button below. For a more detailed look, please check out out her entry in the Longlist which you can access here.
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