Kayla Anderson is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and organizer based in Chicago, IL. She has participated in artist residencies and incubators at the Chicago Artists Coalition and Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL; Elsewhere, Greensboro, NC; ACRE, WI, and Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris. She is a Visual Arts Fellow of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation. Her studio is located at Mana Contemporary Chicago.
Her work has been exhibited in venues throughout the United States and abroad including Currents International New Media Festival, Santa Fe; Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids; Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography; West Virginia Mountaineer Short Film Festival; Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota; Grey Projects, Tiong Bahru, Singapore; Nối Projects, Hanoi, Vietnam; Johalla Projects, Tritriangle, Comfort Station, Woman Made Gallery, The Nightingale Cinema, Efrain Lopez Gallery, Roman Susan, and LVL3, Chicago, IL.
Her writing has been published in Leonardo Journal (MIT Press), the International Awards in Art Criticism (IAAC) compendium (The Royal College of Art), and MU TXT (MU Art Space, Eindhoven), and presented at SIGGRAPH 2014-2015, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at the UCSB, and the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. In 2016 she was a participating artist and researcher at the Anthropocene Campus at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin and a Visiting Tutor at the Dutch Art Institute and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in the Netherlands. In addition to her art practice, she has curated several exhibitions focusing on film, video, and new media art, including Code/Switch at Woman Made Gallery, Freeze Frame: Artists’ Books and the Moving Image at the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, and [History] Under Construction at Gallery X, Chicago, IL.
She currently holds the position of Manager of Library Special Collections at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she curates exhibitions, lectures, and mentors students in the history, theory, and creation of artists’ publications. In her spare time, she organizes a monthly critique group for feminine spectrum media artists called Media Grrrl Chicago.She received her BFA in Fiber & Material Studies and Film, Video & New Media from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 and her BA in Visual and Critical Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014.
Using a playful approach to methods of “excavation”, my work engages with cultural artifacts of the past in order to propose parallel worlds. I create spaces to inhabit where images from the past and present collide to form an alternate, often mythic reality. Through intricate installations involving video, sculpture, and found objects I challenge perceived boundaries between subject, object, and image. The work takes particular objects, taxonomies, and texts as points of departure and is often driven by an intuitive investigation into what actions or processes the source material requires. Positioning myself as a thing-among-things; I consider the objects and images I take inspiration from as collaborators; the work as a performance of our shared history. By exposing my own interactions with objects, the work sanctions a space for others to examine their experiences and associations with the inanimate.
Often I inhabit my work in the same capacity as my source material: as a reproduction. Using my image as a discreet element within the work, I gain the ability to both act on and be acted upon by other images. Thus, leveling the field between my body and the cultural artifacts I explore. I view this leveling of the borders between subject and object not as resignation to objectification, but as an alternative to the system that renders some subjects and others objects of society. Through deliberate staging, I invite the viewer to question common assumptions about fact and fiction, musing and reality. Through making I propose a shift in our perception of objects as purely inanimate towards an acceptance of an object’s ability to transform and transport us and to interact in ways previously overlooked.