My art practice consists of new media, video installation, sound, and public art. The main focus of my work over the last 20 years has been how technology and digital mediated communication alters our ability to empathize with other human beings. My early public art installations functioned as social psychological experiments intended to question if empathy could be taught through first-hand role reversal experiences. These works also functioned to disrupt public spaces by inverting traditional power relationships. This work evolved into the creation of immersive gallery installations that incorporated custom software and sensors to create interactive experiences. These works questioned the differences and similarities between the digital body, the physical body, and notions of “liveness.”
This research has evolved into investigating the connections between mindfulness, embodiment, and the relationship of immersive media to human consciousness. For this research, I have trained with master teachers whose practices intersect with Eastern spiritualism and contemporary art. I am trained in Deep Listening which is a method of conscious listening developed by sound artist and composer Pauline Oliveros. This methodology trains the individual to extend listening from the ears out to the entire body, to listen even with the feet. I have also trained with “the god mother of performance art” Marina Abramovic in methods of connecting presence, energy, and bodily movement in an art making practice.
As a media artist and technologist, I am continually exploring the role of technology in relation to human emotions, communication, and interconnectivity.
Stefani Byrd is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Experimental Media Art at the University of Arkansas. She holds an MFA in Visual Art from the University of California San Diego.
Single Channel Circular Video Installation, Stereo Sound
The Burden of Selfhood
Experimental Documentary/Video Installation and Projection Mapping Performance
Cacophony (24hr News Cycle)
Six Channel Sound Installation and Overhead Spotlight
Dimensions Variable (16′ Circular Speaker Array)
Projected Video on Oval Shaped Screen
Dimensions Variable (12′ x 10′ Oval Shaped Screen)