We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiffany Trenda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiffany, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I pursued a career in the arts because I knew I had something important to say with a unique perspective. From an early age, I was always interested in dance, photography, video, and fashion. As time progressed, I focused more on performance and technology and conceptually about the female body and media.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am new media performance artist that creates wearables for live experiences. I use kinesthetic empathy as a construct to engage with the audience. While most traditional forms of theater and dance separate the audience from the performer, performance art is about bringing you closer to the audience. Therefore, this medium allows you engage with the audience on a more intimate level, as they become part of the work. The audience can inform and form the project while the artist creates the structure to allow this exchange to happen. My work explores the relationship of the body, particularly the female body to technology. Most often, I interchange my identity with screens to represent how we conceal and reveal ourselves through our tech devices. This impacts our memories and how we interact with others because our bodies are constantly choosing between the virtual and the physical world. My work is unique because I make wearables to engage with an audience up close. I make intimate experiences but allow the technology to either hinder or forms a closer connection between audience and artist. As a media-obsessed society, we relate to our devices as such. It brings us together but also separates us. Perhaps, in the future, we can build tech that creates a stronger community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When friends visit Los Angeles, I recommend: Museum of Jurassic Technology, The Broad Museum, Hauser & Wirth, REDCAT Theater, Electric Lodge, 18th Street Arts Center, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), and Track 16 Gallery. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Books that have influenced my body of work as a new media artist are “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” by Laura Mulvey, “A Cyborg Manifesto” by Donna J. Haraway, “Getting Under the Skin: Body and Media Theory” by Bernadette Wegenstein, “Phenomenology of Perception” by M. Merleau-Ponty, and “Simulacra and Simulation” by Jean Baudrillard. Over the years, I have reread this amazing collection of writings and find new material to recontextualize my work. It is unfortunate, that more focus has been on male philosophers then female. I hope that more emerging artists, educators, and students turn that page for the future. Artists that have inspired me include: Stelarc, Marikio Mori, Valie Export, Nam June Paik, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Yves Klein.