Through performances and multimedia installations that bridge the digital/sensorial divide in the most engaging, emotional, and conceptually rigorous ways, Tiffany Trenda works toward a fuller understanding of the relationship of the body to today’s evolving technologies. Transforming herself (and sometimes others, sometimes liminal space) into living, sentient sculptures through wearables, including screens, Trenda interprets how our bodies constantly shift between physical and simulated experiences. Her most recent work involves virtual reality and the cryptoart space and will travel the world following its recent debut at the L.A. Art Show.
L.A. WEEKLY: What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
TIFFANY TRENDA: My work focuses on the mediated body from a phenomenological perspective. I explore how simulation affects our intimacy, memory, and sensorial interactivity while making unconventional forms of presence and embodiment.
Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?
Los Angeles is one of the most important cities for artists because it creates a platform for collaboration and experimentation. As an international artist, I find so many wonderful places that inspire new ideas. I find L.A. to be a great place for me to develop my body of work because of its diversity and artistically-driven environment.
When was your first show?
My first public performance was at the 2002 edition of Platinum Oasis for Outfest Film Festival in Hollywood. It was curated by the renowned Ron Athey and Vaginal Davis. It was an experimental 18-hour art event where I created a video installation/performance and allowed the public to view it from the window of a hotel room. It was an honor to work with such incredible curators/artists!
When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?
My most recent show was at DIVERSEartLA, curated by Marisa Caichiolo for the L.A. Art Show. Un/Seen is a collaborative project with composer Joseph Bishara, dulce303, and myself. It is a live performance within an immersive experience using volumetric capture. It transforms in real-time and is a hybrid of holographic, physical, and animation. All of this, while I am in another location not on-site.
The performance comments on how new immersive experiences create disembodiment. That is, we are physically in one space while our eyes and thoughts are experiencing another world simultaneously. Our bodies become dissociated as we shift between the simulated and the real. Furthermore, we are not immediately within the presence of another. Our presence is mediated and transported into another space that doesn’t actually exist. We are in essence, seen and unseen. Un/Seen has an international itinerary for the next year.
Did you go to art school? Why/Why not?
I graduated from Art Center College of Design and the masters program of Design and Media Arts at UCLA. I went to art school because it gave me an opportunity to focus on my practice. I used that time to create a dialogue around mediated performance and to experiment with new materials that would later develop into a body of work.
What artist living or dead would you most like to show or work with?
The artist I would most like to collaborate with would be Nam June Paik. He has been an inspiration for my “living sculptures” as he created one of the first wearables within a fine art context (a collaboration with Charlotte Moorman called “TV Bra for Living Sculpture” in1969). I could see us doing a garment together with television screens.
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