Artist of the Week

Hayley Aviva Silverman

September 5, 2011

Hayley Aviva Silverman is a visual artist living in New York City.  She received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Interdisciplinary Sculptural Studies.  Silverman has recently shown at the Queens Museum of Art, The Art Foundation- Athens, and the Venice Biennial.

How long have you lived in New York and what brought you there? I was born in NYC and have returned to live here twice since. I keep ping-ponging between Berlin and Chinatown and often visit Providence and Baltimore. I am aspiring towards a good-feeling long term city soon. I have spent the last year working for artists and reality TV.

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? I have been most taken with my work for Arakawa and Gins, formerly called the Containers of the Mind, then called Architectural Body Foundation, and now referred to as Reversible Destiny. I process information for them- parsing through books and sussing out relevant information in regards to their architectural work. I most recently read Aristophanes and some other ancient Greek comedy that is amazingly clever and absurd.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I have been busy building furniture that uses canes and other kinds of assistance objects. I also finished two drawings entitled Mother and Father. The rest of my projects are left in this sprawling waiting room of text files and email correspondences. I am hoping to collaborate with an Air-trekker for a new video—getting a hold of one has been puzzling!

What is one the bigger challenges you and other artists are struggling with these days, and how do you see it developing? A big question is:  When are we going to start living our fantasies?  Some challenges are direct-speak, omnipresence (ambient-intimacy), spirituality in the age of abstract materialism, and a steadfast hold on individual freedom.  The later challenge may be re-re-claimed through land ownership or/by metaphorically going West.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why? I’d like to go to the Atacama Desert in Chile, known for being the driest place on Earth. It’s one of the best places to look up and houses the Very Large Telescope (VLT).

What do you do when you’re not working on art? I attend sci-fi book club where we are currently reading Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood’s post-apocalyptic novel from 2003 that touches on biotechnologies, pornography, hacking, class anxiety, and sex trafficking.  I am also building a lecture on the topic of Animals in Transhumanist Literature.

If you hadn’t become an artist, what do you think you’d be doing? I have many interests outside of art that involve materials science, ecology, and genetics.  At the moment, I can see another alternative reality through my younger brother. He stayed close to where we grew up and is now sharing a mansion (owned by a russian ice skating champion) with five other friends, a sort of neo-commune. I think there is an undefined potential in suburbia.

What were you like in high school? I had cornrows and a glued curl that wrapped around my cheek.