Headlands Center for the Arts

Miriam Simun

massachusetts | visual
Artist in Residence Program 2018

Artist Statement

My work centers on posing questions to dominant notions of “progress.” What constitutes progress? Who decides? And what form does its evolution take? My work investigates the implications of social, technological, and environmental change. Among my chief concerns are interspecies relationships; attending to sensorial, embodied forms of knowledge; and exploring the messy complexities and contradictory poetics residing at the intersection of Nature/Culture/Power. Trained as a social scientist, my process is rooted in research: scientific, historical, and ethnographic. What emerges are narratives, told in the form of still and moving images, sculptural objects, and sensorial experiences.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands I plan to amass sensorial and historical knowledge of endangered species in California. I will also conduct research about the ecological and political history of the Oakland area. I am interested in the relationship between development of land in the Bay Area, the evolution of the political economy of the area, and ecological change. This research will feed a new public work that makes use of scent, sound, and installation.

Training Transhumanism (I WANT TO BECOME A CEPHALOPOD) is a psycho-physical training regimen for evolving the future of the human, based on the model of the cephalopod. Originally developed at the MIT Media Lab, I am currently completing the drawing and text-based training manual, and the video manifesto for the regimen, entitled YOUR URGE TO BREATHE IS A LIE.

Selected Videos