Laura Splan's work interrogates the material manifestations of our cultural ambivalence towards the human body. Her conceptually based projects employ a range of traditional and digital techniques. She often uses found objects and appropriated sources to explore socially constructed perceptions of order and disorder. Much of her work is inspired by experimentation with materials and processes including blood, cosmetic facial peel and digital fabrication.
Laura Splan is an artist and lecturer whose work explores intersections of art, science, technology and craft. Her conceptually based projects examine the material manifestations of our mutable relationship with the human body. She reconsiders perceptions and representations of the corporeal with a range of traditional and new media techniques. She often combines the quotidian with the unfamiliar to interrogate culturally constructed notions of order and disorder, function and dysfunction. Her frequent combinations of textiles with technology challenge values of "the hand" in creative production and question notions of agency and chance in aesthetics. Much of her work is inspired by experimentation with materials and processes (blood, cosmetic facial peel, digital fabrication), which she mines for their narrative implications and untapped potentials. Her recent work uses biosensors (electromyography, electroencephalography) to create data-driven forms and patterns for digitally fabricated sculptures, tapestries and works on paper.
Splan's work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at Museum of Art & Design (New York, NY), Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR), Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase, NY) and Beall Center for Art + Technology (Irvine, CA). Her work has been exhibited internationally in Iceland, South Korea, England, Germany, Sweden, France, Austria, and beyond. Commissioned projects for her work have included soap residue paintings for the Center for Disease Control, computerized lace doilies for the Gen Art New Media Art Exhibition, and 3D printed sculptures for Davidson College. Her work is included in the collections of the Thoma Art Foundation, Institute for Figuring, and the UC San Francisco Infectious Disease Department.
Reviews and articles including her work have appeared in The New York Times, Village Voice, American Craft, and Discover Magazine. Splan’s essays and interviews have been published in Art Practical, SciArt Magazine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She received a Jerome Foundation Grant for research at venues including the Wellcome Museum (London, UK) and La Specola (Florence, IT). She has been awarded artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center and The Institute for Electronic Arts, and she received a Pollack Krasner Fellowship for The Byrdcliffe Artist in Residence program. Splan has spoken widely at a variety of venues including University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Exploratorium (San Francisco, CA), California College of Art, New York Academy of Sciences, The Center for Human-Computer Interaction (Austria) and Maryland Institute College of Art. She has been a visiting lecturer on intersections of Art, Science, and Technology at Stanford University, Mills College, University of Maine, and Illinois State University. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY in a building that has been both a pharmaceutical factory and a knitting factory where she spends her days needling the past and poking the future.