isabel beavers

I reexamine knowledges and ecologies as both artist and scholar. My creative practice encompasses multi-media installations, collaboration, curatorial projects, and creative and academic writing. My artistic work often creates spaces of physical and conceptual fracture—where a fictional space spills into a real landscape, a digital model becomes a phenomenological experience, or an inequity in a known truth becomes visible. I am interested in the disorientation created by these moments of slippage where perspective, scale, and time are skewed. This space produces a rich ground from which to re-learn histories and re-imagine futures. 

I am interested in the hubris of our current cultural truths and our ability to produce new mythologies that hold cultural power—these result both in new archives and new memories. These new myths propose solutions that embody both science and mythology, adventure and ritual, raw data and human emotion—solutions that resist dichotomy, the modern/non-modern binary, and coloniality of gender, ecology and knowledge. Each of my projects facilitate understanding of ecological systems and to contribute to the production of new environmental knowledges and thereby cultural truths. My creative process is inspired by my background in environmental field work that relies directly on embodied experience.

We have studied the surface of Mars and identified geographies that are ‘viable’ for human survival based on the presence of ROI’s (resources of interest) detected by satellites as part of NASA’s CRISM mission. NASA has identified a number of these sites, called HEZs (Human Exploration Zones), as locations for the first human exploration of Mars. Yet the Martian landscape remains extreme and inhospitable to the human body. The images in the HEZs series depict models of three of these sites: Aram Chaos, Melas Chasma, and Gale Crater. They are extracted from satellite imagery and highlight our inability to fully understand that which we cannot experience phenomenologically. They resemble familiar landscape images of mountains and terrain, yet they remain alien, distant models. HEZs juxtapose the plight of human suffering on Earth against the absurdity of future space exploration, current environmental challenges against the realities of the barren Martian landscape, and ultimately desire and fantasy against scientific truth.

Isabel Beavers (she/hers) is a multi-media artist and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. She explores ecologies, environmental histories and scientific storytelling through range of media including video, animation, sculpture and sound. She is a Resident Artist with CultureHub LA for the 2019-20 cohort. Her work has been presented/exhibited/screened at The New York Hall of Science (forthcoming - 2019), MIT Museum (2019), Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (2019), Icebox Project Space (2019), Boston Cyber Arts Gallery (2019), Adelson Galleries (2019), FPAC Galleries (2019), Framingham State University (2018), Humbolt-Universität zu erlin Thaer-Institut (2018), Mountain Time Arts in Bozeman, MT (2017), Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) (2017), Museum of Fine Arts Boston's William Morris Hunt Memorial Library (2017), Emerson Media Arts Center (2017), the Waterworks Museum (2016). She is the recipient of the National Service Corps MLK Drum Major for Service Award and was awarded a Tufts Institute on the Environment (TIE) Graduate Environmental Research Fellowship. She holds an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.

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