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Work Samples

Old Oak

Old Oak is part of an interdisciplinary project that situates my matrilineage alongside larger notions of landscape, home, and gender.

Certain Histories

Certain Histories archives and memorializes what is left of the land homesteaded by my ancestors in 1873, ten miles south of my native Nebraska and an hour's drive from the geographic center of the United States.

Homestead

This video touches on the history of my great-great-great grandparents who claimed land under the Homestead and Timber Culture Acts. The landscape, now vast, indistinguishable farmland, reveals more absences than answers. Two 150-year-old trees at the site and a nearby pioneer cemetery where my maternal grandmother, her mother, and her mother's mother are all buried, are vague markers of this history. In returning to this land, my matrilineage is subsumed by Mother Nature.

Interior

Using paint swatches from my local hardware store, I color match photographs from my family archive. The colors, each assigned a poetic name, associate the nostalgic images with the universal ideals to which the names aspire, while also operating as found poems. Using the palettes established by these photographs, I painted found objects in flat colors to evoke an imagined home—a lamppost covered in Secret Hideaway, a sprinkler a flat Cosmic Sunset, a bicycle coated in Wish You Were Here.

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About Amber Eve

Baltimore City

Amber Eve Anderson's picture
Amber Eve Anderson’s conceptual, multidisciplinary practice pairs personal narrative with larger notions of place, landscape, and memory.  She is currently a Fellow at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC and serves on the Advisory Board of the Institue of Contemporary Art in Baltimore. She graduated with a BFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005 and an MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art multidisciplinary program at MICA in 2016. In 2019 she received an Individual Artist... more

Homestead

Homestead is an interdisciplinary project that situates my matrilineage alongside larger notions of landscape, home, and gender. In 1873, ten miles south of my native Nebraska and an hour's drive from the geographic center of the United States, my great-great-great-grandparents claimed land under the Homestead and Timber Culture Acts. The landscape is now vast, indistinguishable farmland. History reveals more absences than answers. Two 150-year-old trees at the site and a enarby pioneer cemetery where my maternal granmother, her mother, and her mother's mother are all buried, are vague markers of this history. In my return to this land, my matrilineage is subsumed by Mother Nature. The work archives and memorializes what remains of this place­­­­—personally significatn and universally forgtten­­­­—while considering the ways certain histories are privileged over others.

  • Old Oak

    Digital Photograph on Fabric with adhesive backing, Found paint swatches, Pressed cottonwood buds, Rconstructed historical book, Pillowcase embroidered by my grandmother, Tree limb, House paint
  • Detail of Old Oak

    Digital Photograph, Pressed Cottonwood Buds
  • Certain Histories

    My great-great-great-grandmother standing in front of the now-dying cottonwood that marks the land homesteaded by my ancestors
  • Homestead

    This video touches on the history of my great-great-great grandparents who claimed land under the Homestead and Timber Culture Acts. The landscape, now vast, indistinguishable farmland, reveals more absences than answers. Two 150-year-old trees at the site and a nearby pioneer cemetery where my maternal grandmother, her mother, and her mother's mother are all buried, are vague markers of this history. In returning to this land, my matrilineage is subsumed by Mother Nature.
  • Farmingdale

    Photographs, tracing paper, found objects, dirt, and vinyl
  • Detail of Personal Archives

    Cicada found at the National Homestead Monument preserved in resin
  • The Middle of Nowhere

    Archive of Google Reviews of the Geographic Center of the contiguous United States near Lebanon, Kansas.
  • The Middle of Nowhere

    Archive of Google Reviews of the Geographic Center of the contiguous United States near Lebanon, Kansas.
  • The Middle of Nowhere

    Archive of Google Reviews of the Geographic Center of the contiguous United States near Lebanon, Kansas.
  • Timescales

    Timescales, Two-channel Video Installation

DIRT

DIRT considers the way land is defined and occupied. Using a vintage RISK board game, I replaced the army pieces with various seeds and the deck of cards with an accordion book that incorporates visual elements of the natural world and the nostalgia of childhood. The board itself became a three-dimensional garden in the way of a pop-up book that uses images cut from used gardening books. Flowers, bushes, and trees are pieced together in shapes and colors that mimic the countries outlined on the board. Finally, the rule book is replaced with a meditation on the plants that define the experience of my childhood home. DIRT was purchased by the Decker Library at Maryland Institue College of Art.

  • DIRT

    Vintage copy of the board game RISK turned into a pop-up garden.
  • DIRT

    DIRT considers the ways that land is defined and occupied. This image shows the board game box with the army pieces replaced by various seeds significant to my childhood upbringing.
  • DIRT

    I replaced the deck of cards with an accordion book with related found objects and imagery.
  • DIRT

    Detail of the accordion book
  • DIRT

    Detail of the accordion book
  • DIRT

    In place of the rule book, I made a zine that is a meditation on the plants that defined my childhood home.
  • DIRT

    These pages reflect on the peony bushes that lined the fence in my parents' backyard and the black locust tree in the front yard.
  • DIRT

    Detail of the board game-turned pop-up garden.

Interior

By color matching a series of family photographs with interior paint swatches—each of which has an evocative name—I turn personal images into abstractions—universal ideas—that also operate as found poems. Using the palettes established by these photographs, I painted found objects in singular, flat colors. Installed in a gallery space, the color of the objects extends to include the pedestals on which they sit and the architectural aspects of the gallery.

Orientation Kit

Each Orientation Kit includes one Compass Plant seed, a plant indigenous to the prairies of the Midwest that orients itself in relation to the sun, a bottle of homemade Rooting Hormone from the cottonwood tree, and dirt from my childhood home. I mailed one kit to each of my previous 20 addresses.

Views from Paradise

Views from Paradise subverts one's understanding of place through language and inserts poetics into the digital landscape. The word paradise represents a place of perfection or escape, conjuring images of sunsets and shorelines. Using Google Maps as a means to locate “paradise," the project conflates a utopian ideal with a physical reality. In visiting these places, I redirect the gaze from the street looking in, to the visitor looking out, a perspective otherwise absent from Google Maps. The images, publicly uploaded, create an unexpected archive.

Views from Paradise was accepted for international hosting by Project Anywhere, a global blind peer review exhibition program. In addition to the online project, it was also presented as a lecture at the Anywhere and Elsewhere Biennial Conference at Parsons as well as an essay in Anywhere v. III.

Things I Don't Remember

Things I Don’t Remember considers the experience of a tourist and is a reflection on my first trip to Montreal in 2008. In returning to the city over a decade later, I couldn’t remember anything from having been before, so I went back to my own Facebook archive where I found four photographs I had taken there: the façade of an nondescript building, a pair of red doors with yellow awnings, a selfie with a stick of maple taffy in my mouth, and a caramel latte with whipped cream. Souvenir in French can refer to both a keepsake one might buy as a tourist as well as memory itself. With this in mind, I used the first photograph I posted from Montreal in 2008 and enlarged it to the size of 168 postcards. Of these, viewers see only six fragments of the image and are invited to take one from the stacks on display. If a memory is something we remember, what is something we don’t remember?

Apartment 404 Not Found

For Apartment 404 Not Found I moved my home into the gallery. I then documented the installation as a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) image before removing all of the furniture. A half-circle "orientation table" similar to what you might find at a hilltop vista, sits in the center of the space, the absent objects depicted on its surface. The dislocation of relocation is exemplified by the juxtaposition of physically standing in a vacant space while viewing that same space in virtual reality filled with the belongings of home. The furniture from the installation—packed atop a moving pallet, wrapped in plastic—became a sculptural object alongside the VR installation. My home remained empty for the duration of the exhibition.

Free to a Good Home

Through this collection of objects offered and acquired for ‘free to a good home’ on Craigslist, I construct an image of home based on the things within it. Everyday objects gain importance through personal histories and associations. At times poetic, at times mundane, the pages within document the ads and subsequent email exchanges, offering a glimpse into the online interactions of the anonymous. From a classic 1940s sofa to an underwater camera case, the ephemera of one home assumes life in another, each object connecting every home. Available for purchase at Printed Matter (New York, NY) and Amazon.com.

Holes in the Digital Sphere

Google Street View does not exist in Morocco, but with the release of the Google Street View App in the fall of 2015, users are able to capture and upload their own 360 degree street view images using their personal devices. If the user fails to capture the sky overhead, a black hole appears in the image. This piece shows all of the black holes in the digital Google Street View sky over Morocco, collected by taking screenshots while searching through all of the images. They are arranged in ascending order, so the smallest holes appear at one end of the line of images until the screenshot finally becomes entirely black. This references the gap between one's experience of a real place and one's experience of that place through digital representation.

Seabed

The bed is the most intimate of spaces. Over the course of one month, I took aerial photographs of my sheets each morning. The space of the intimate becomes the place of the immense in which the daily movement of the sheets stands in for seas swirls: the Atlantic Ocean that separated my two homes. A Unique Edition of 30 with 3 Deluxe Editions (+2 APs). Each edition comes in an archival box with a signed and numbered copy of the book, as well as a signed, unique print of the photograph. The 3 Deluxe Editions come with a USB containing a universal file for the Seabed video.

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