Black and white image of a woman at the top of ladder wielding a whip while a crowd looks on from below.

Photo: Kelly McLeod

Victoria Shen

Artist in Residence, 2023

A woman – Victoria Shen – holding a wafer in her mouth; a deer is nibbling from the wafer.

Artist Statement

I’m a sound artist, experimental music performer, and inventor based in San Francisco. My sound practice is concerned with the materiality/physicality of sound and its relationship to the human body. My music features analog modular synthesizers, vinyl/resin records, and self-built electronics. This music eschews conventions in harmony and rhythm in favor of extreme textures and gestural tones. 

I recently invented Needle Nails, acrylic nails with embedded turntable needles allowing me to play up to 5 grooves of a record at once. My DIY approach extends beyond just instruments but also music releases. My debut LP, Hair Birth, features copper album art that transforms the cover into a loudspeaker through which the record can be played. I also started releasing hand-made resin records embedded with found materials, each piece functions not only as playable music media but as unique art objects.


While at Headlands

While at the Headlands I will be working primarily on sound installations and various sound sculptures. I’m looking forward to soaking in the very special atmosphere of the Marin Headlands and producing new site-specific sound works.

Selected Work

Victoria Shen, live performance, July 16, 2022; ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn, NY.


Victoria Shen, Ligatures, 2021; exhibition view, Cloaca Projects, San Francisco.


Victoria Shen, Zero Player Piano (Conlon’s Game of Life); sound installation, Paine Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.


Victoria Shen, Buchlackenspiel, sound.