Kristen Baumliér-Faber’s work spans the full spectrum of interdisciplinary media, including performance, interactive installation, video and audio works. She received her MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1994, where she began utilizing humor, combined with interactive performance and installation as core elements in her work.
During a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Baumliér-Faber began performing as the “The Petroleum Pop Princess” as a pop icon engaging viewers in debate over materialism and oil consumerism. Her first live show about energy issues, called Oh, Petroleum, was performed in venues in California, Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio.
She received an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship and an ArtsLink project grant to produce a site-specific collaborative work in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. Baumliér-Faber has performed at the Mattress Factory, the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and at the Select Media Festival in Chicago, IL. Her videos have screened in New Zealand, Serbia, England, and in the U.S. and her work has shown at the Sculpture Center in Cleveland, OH, Hotcakes Gallery in Milwaukee, WI and the UNI Gallery of Art.
In 2009, Baumliér-Faber began researching food, health, technology, and food systems and developed the community project Food Font which comprised of fifteen live Food Font events where community members created food alphabets. Over 29 alphabets and 1500 letters were made for the project. The letters are free and available for anyone to use as jpeg files and printables and have been used in classrooms, hospitals, farmers markets and in homes to promote discussion and awareness about food.
Baumliér-Faber ‘s current project, called Bliss – Salt, Sugar and Fat, uses photography and installation to present familiar processed foods in innovative ways. Viewers will be presented with a unique view of some of the foods designed by the food industry that light up our brains and make us want to eat more due to the use of salt, sugar, and fat.
I believe that art can go beyond being a visual object by communicating ideas that call people to action. Community art and involving an audience in a work can be a force for social change. Art can be a powerful tool to deepening ones’ views of ourselves and the world around us by provoking thought about social, political, and cultural issues.
As an interdisciplinary artist, I use still and moving images; audience interaction and technology in whimsical, non-traditional ways to provide multiple access points to ideas. I see making art as a process of research, discovery, creative activity, and engagement with others. My work seeks to develop an experience for the audience to enter into ideas, information, and dialogue.
My work is socially engaging, interdisciplinary projects with social interventions or participatory components. The final piece is less about a product and more about creating surprising, interactive, real world situations that encourage audience members to participate. Audience members become part of making the work, and I as the artist become a facilitator and collaborator.
My current body of work called Bliss: Salt, Sugar and Fat and is a visual installation experience comprised of various components including photography, mixed media, and food. The work provides a unique view of some of the foods that make our brains feel bliss due to the salt, sugar, and fat combinations they are made of. Viewers will be presented with a unique view of some of the foods that light up our brain and make us want to eat more.
The food industry manipulates what and how much we eat in many ways and we are largely unaware of it. We do not often think of food as being designed. I want to share this idea with people through art and experience.