We had the good fortune of connecting with Isabel Beavers and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Isabel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is a central driver of my creative process and practice. I utilize risk to push past boundaries and maintain forward momentum. If something scares me, I think it is probably worth doing. This comes up both in my personal artistic practice, as well as my work with SUPERCOLLIDER. Big risks present big payoffs.

I can think of most pivotal points in my life and career thus far, and they all focused around a risky decision: making a career shift from environmental conservation to artistic practice; making a cross-country move after graduating from my MFA program (Boston to LA), and, most recently, deciding to leave a comfortable job to launch full time into my own artistic practice and building SUPERCOLLIDER.

I think intuition is critical to my ability to take risks; typically I feel intuitively it is the right decision, even if it feels risky. The presence of fear definitely creates an emotional challenge, but it can be exciting. Ultimately I see this as part of the artists’ role: being willing to take risks, participate in difficult conversations, and sit with uncomfortability. When you are trying to break new ground, or present a dialogue in a new way, you have to be okay with taking a risk and possibly not meeting your goal. The never ending work of adaptation and creativity means you need to take risks over and over. It is something I am always pushing myself to do more of.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a transdisciplinary artist and creative producer based in Los Angeles. My work is iterative. It investigates ecology, climate, technology, and astrobiology. I use a lot of different media to explore research topics, including video, 3D animation, sculpture and immersive spaces. My work centers embodied knowledge and asks viewers to rely on sense-making as a primary mode for constructing reality. I hope my work contributes to building more equitable climate futures.

A current project I am thrilled to share is called ‘Nocturne’. Nocturne is a series of wild altars meant to be experienced at dusk, dawn, or at night. It is a network of collaborations with more-than-human ecosystems that offer opportunities for generating new eco-rituals. I am working with a group of worldwide participants to generate a network of wild altars. They are site-specific, made out of many types of materials, intimate and public. (Get in touch if you would like to participate!) We are hoping this network will generate new eco-rituals that can help us mourn, generate hope, and think about necessary adaptations for the future as we contend with the climate crisis. Nocturne is supported by CreaTures research project.

I am also excited to be the 2021 AICAD + NOAA Fisheries Art + Science Fellow. I will research, produce, and distribute creative work with communities in Puget Sound to conserve nearshore habitats crucial to recovering salmon and killer whales. I completed an AmeriCorps term with Skagit Land Trust in 2012-13 and one of the organizations’ central conservation goals was to re-establish healthy salmon habitat. I am excited to return to the pacific northwest and work on an ecological and policy issue through creative work. I hope to bolster existing communities through this project, and create collaborative public artworks with various members of the Puget Sound.

This year is also particularly exciting for me, as I am stepping into the role of Artistic Research Manager with SUPERCOLLIDER, an arts org that believes in a future where art, science, and tech collide to inspire social and environmental responsibility. As Artistic Research Manager, I will co-develop the long-term creative vision and artistic strategy through exhibitions and field-building programming with Founder + Director Richelle Gribble. It has been a long-term professional goal of mine to contribute to field building in art-sci-tech, and I am beyond excited about all that is to come for SUPERCOLLIDER, and the city of Los Angeles as we all look towards Getty PST, which will focus on art and science in 2024.

We are learning every day how critical it is to build generative collaborative relationships. We need to learn these skills to combat the climate crisis, to become better at facilitating equity in our communities, and to live better with the more-than-humans we share space with. A central tenet of my practice and process involves building better working relationships, and practicing the hard work of collaboration.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Arts District, Chinatown, Night and Market Song, Griffith Observatory, Runyon Canyon at sunrise, Apotheke for drinks, Flamin Tacos at the corner of Alvarado and Sunset, walk around the Silverlake Reservoir, catch an event at Navel, coffee at Maru in Los Feliz, a concert at The Troubador, a trip to Huntington Library + Gardens, the LA Arboretum, and get out of town! Check out Joshua Tree, Big Sur, Tuna Canyon–all of the incredible outdoor space southern California has to offer.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There many folx I would like to shoutout to! It truly takes a village, and I carry the energy that has been shared with me my mentors, colleagues, collaborators, friends and family every day. A shortlist would be: Mountain Time Arts team including Mary Ellen Strom, Laine Rettmer, Andrea Merkx; SUPERCOLLIDER crew Richelle Gribble, Elena Soterakis, Emma Akmakdjian, Janna Avner, Eli Joteva, Maru Garcia; CultureHub support from Scarlett Kim and Iris Yujin Jeong; graduate school mentors Patte Loper, Andy Graydon, Ethan Murrow, Jeannie Simms. And of course, my parents and sister!

Website: www.isabelbeavers.com

Instagram: @isabelbeavers

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/isabel-beavers-4238303a/

Twitter: @isabelbeavers

Other: www.supercolliderart.com; @supercolliderart

Image Credits
Kyu Sun Hong

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.