Kristen Baumliér’s work spans the full spectrum of interdisciplinary media, including websites, interactive media, photography, and video. She received her MFA from the California College of the Arts in 1994, where she began utilizing humor, combined with interactive elements in her work.
Her work has been exhibited in Finland, Germany, and the Republic of Macedonia as well as in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Cleveland. Her videos have screened in New Zealand, Serbia, England, and in the U.S. She received an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship in 2004, and an ArtsLink project grant in 2005 to produce a site-specific collaborative work in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.
Baumlier’s work was a finalist in the Where Do You Give? design contest, and a prototype of her interactive game design will be exhibited across the U.S. in 2012-13.
In 2009, Baumlier began researching food, health, technology, and food systems and is currently developing new work that presents questions about food.
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.
Some of my studio work inspired my current project Food Font. I was photographing words and letters made out of food intending to use these images to open dialog about issues related to food. I realized my studio process had potential to be an engaging and an interactive way to promote discussion and build community around food. I transformed my personal practice into Food Font, which is an interactive project where people can make alphabets out of food, take pictures of each letter, and later use these and other food alphabets in an interactive online design tool. With the design tool anyone can “write with food” and create images to print, save, and share.
The goal of Food Font is to engage communities and build awareness about food, health, and sustainability. The project supports the efforts and promotion of the local food movement and also education about food and health. I want the project to create dialogue in these areas in both real and on-line communities.