Kelley Meister constructs interdisciplinary, multimedia installations that fuse sculpture, printmaking, and drawing with time-based media such as video, sound-manipulation, and performative experience. Through the use of a rough, hand-made aesthetic, ze strives to create work where the architectural seams are made transparent to the audience. Kelley works as a teaching artist in schools around the state through COMPAS and in the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Learning Technology Center. Ze teaches stop-motion animation, documentary and narrative filmmaking, digital photography, computer game design, and photographic printmaking. Kelley’s artwork has been shown around the country and abroad in galleries, theatres, online, on the streets, and in impromptu art-spaces.
An exploration of life during the Anthropocene, my body of work employs the use of drawings, video, and performance to investigate this moment in geological history where the planet is shifted by the indelible touch of humans. We struggle to discern our next move. How will we maintain nuclear waste repositories tens of thousands of years into the future? Who will suffer most from the intensifying heat and rising sea levels? Where will future nuclear bombs be dropped, and will we ever evolve beyond war?
The ambivalence of despair and hopeful naïveté echoes through the work. Feelings of insignificance resulting from the ways in which we tackle seemingly insurmountable tasks or issues interests me, as well as the surge of possibility that comes from accomplishment or winning. To this end, I mine the whole process of creating the work for moments that bring those feelings to the surface. Through performance, participation, or installations, the process is revealed. I seek to emphasize the complex, evolving uncertainty that comes from our collective struggle to mitigate the damage the Anthropocene has already set in motion. By probing our feelings of insignificance, I draw attention to our compromised society.
Moreover, I choose to work in labor-intensive ways that literally bring those feelings of triviality to the surface, such as the laborious task of drawing each frame of the animation or making video collages through the use of multiple projectors when I could use digital processes to facilitate a speedier creation. A sense of humanity returns to what might otherwise be sterile technology-based work. By making the architectural seams transparent to the audience, I offer reassurance of the artist’s hand.