Claudia Hart emerged as part of a generation of 90s intermedia artists in the “identity art” niche. She still examines issues of identity, now focusing on how technology is affecting cultural constructions of gender identities and issues of the body, perception, and nature collapsing into technology and then back again. Hart was an early adopter of virtual imaging, using 3D animation to make media installations and projections, then later as they were invented, other forms of VR, AR, and objects using computer-driven production machines, all based on the same computer models. She works with digital trompe l’oeil as a medium, directing experimental theater and dance, as well as making media objects of all kinds using Rapid Prototyping, CNC routing, virtual-reality immersive environments, and augmented-reality custom apps.
Hart’s work is symbolist and poetic, not really narrative, but vaguely so, and is mesmerizing, hypnotic and formalist. Bodies or natural forms like flowers always appear in it. Hart calls her work, “post photography,” and has created a body of theoretic writings and exhibitions based on this concept (http://www.real-fake.org. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in 2007, she developed a pedagogic program based on this concept, Experimental 3D, the first art-school curriculum teaching simulations technologies – the post-photographic – in the context of the contemporary art world.
Hart’s works are widely exhibited and collected by galleries and museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum, the New Museum, and the Eyebeam Center for Art + Technology, where she was an honorary fellow in 2013-14, Pioneer Works, NY, where she a technology resident in 2018, and the Miller ICA, Carnegie Mellon, in 2018-19, and the Yale Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, where she will be in residence, fall 2019 .
She works with Transfer and bitforms galleries, both in New York. Claudia lives in Chicago, where she is a tenured professor at the School of the Art Institute, in the department of Film Video, New Media and Animation.
Kiki.optimized is modeled after Kiki de Montparnasse, the actress, singer and muse to Dadist photographer Man Ray at the turn of the 20th century. In this portrait, a century later, the portraitist is the techno-feminist Claudia Hart, and the representation rather than a photograph falls somewhere between a Times Square media board and an Internet gif.