Anthropocene Extinction: A Site Specific Installation by Swoon at the ICA/Boston

CA Adjunct Curator Pedro Alonzo sat down with the artist recently to hear more about her work and process:

PA: With regard to your creative process, you mentioned how your work is about traveling and observing the world. Could you talk a bit about that?

SWOON: Well, I like to travel a lot primarily just to get a global perspective, and also to get a sense of how people are surviving and making do all over the world. When I travel I try to seek out various peoples’ movements; I’m interested in how people are self-organizing. I try to weave these stories into my working process…I find them so inspiring. I feel like so many of these stories point toward something bigger about the way we can all survive in the world.

PA: A lot of the images seem to either portray people who have been left behind by globalization, or in other cases, your friends who are opting out of a world reliant on globalization. Are you trying to represent their stories in your work?

SWOON: I think in an intuitive way. Sometimes I’m actively seeking those kinds of images, like the time that I drew women who were self-unionizing in Mexico, or the kids who were living on the other side of the wall in Palestine. I’m definitely seeking out some of that, and also feel like so much of the community that I have built myself over the years has been about people who are trying to find other ways of living.