Sophie Kahn is a digital artist and sculptor, whose work addresses technology’s failure to capture the unstable human body.
She grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and is now based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned a BA (Hons) in Fine Art/History of Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London; a Graduate Certificate in Spatial Information Architecture from RMIT University, Melbourne; and an MFA in Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was awarded a full tuition Trustee Scholarship.
Her work explores the resonances of death in the technological image. It owes its fragmented aesthetic to the collision of the body with new imaging devices. The precisely engineered 3d laser scanner she uses was never designed to capture the human body, which is always in motion. When confronted with a moving body, it receives conflicting spatial coordinates, generating glitch. She outputs this damaged data as prints, video and hand-painted, 3D printed sculptures. The works that result draw inspiration from funereal and memorial sculpture, and appear to be faux-historical forgeries – or contemporary relics.
Sophie has exhibited her artwork in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul. Her video work has been screened in festivals including Transmediale, Zero1 San Jose Biennial, Dance Camera West, Trampoline, Frequency, Currents New Media Festival and the Japan Media Arts Festival. Sophie has taught in the Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute as a Visiting Associate Professor, and at Columbia College, Chicago, as a visiting instructor. Recent exhibitions include Out of Body at bitforms gallery, New York, and Esther Klein Gallery, Philadelphia. Her work has been supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic, and other private funding bodies. Her work is held in public and private collections in the United States and internationally. She is a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Digital and Electronic Arts Fellow. She is currently a Technology Artist in Residence at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn.
20 minute talk from the Gray Area Foundation Festival in San Francisco, 2018