Laura Milkins is an interdisciplinary artist living in Tucson, AZ. Her work explores vulnerability, intimacy, and cultural norms, using variety of media: online-interactive performance, video, drawing, painting, and live radio/podcasting. Through storytelling, her work examines the connection between technology, community and notions of identity.
Her current project, In Search of the Great America (2020), is a mobile radio lab “traveling” virtually to the biggest city and a small town in each state, asking people to define their great America: past, present and future.
Recent solo works include Of Birds and Men (2018-19), a series of 26 portraits of men in power who have been accused of sexual misconduct, accompanied by an exquisitely-drawn bird starting with the same letter as his name; For the Birds (2019), works on paper, Zero Packaging Project (2018-19), a year long performance; The Depression Session (2015-18), a performance radio show devoted to de-stigmatizing depression; Vertigo Performance Art Series: Wonder Women (2012), solo performance titled Death and Paperwork, and Walking Home: stories from the desert to the Great Lakes (2011), a five month performance in which Milkins walked 2,007 miles from Arizona to Michigan wearing a live webcam.
Additionally, her work has been included in institutional group exhibitions in the 2012 Desert Initiative (Tucson), 2009 Prisma Forum (Oaxaca, Mexico), 2009 Venus Cabaret performance at Casa del Lago (Mexico City) and 2007 La Pocha Nostra performance at MOCA (Tucson).
She is the recipient of awards, including the 2019 Tanne Foundation Award, 2011 ArtPrize Sustainability Award, 2008 Fulbright Award (Mexico), and a 2008 Puffin Grant as an organizer for Her Shorts International Video Festival (Tucson).
My work is about trust, kindness and faith in humanity. It is also about greed, avarice and oppression. At heart, I am a metamodernist. I am interested in creating what it could be, while I am critiquing what is, oscillating between hope for the future and despair at the state of the world.
I want to live in a kinder, cleaner world: better for women, better for men, and better for the plants and animals who also happen to live here. To that end, I create projects which are elaborate, demanding and develop a deep connection in my community. Continually, I ask my community members to be involved in the design of my work. I invite participants and viewers to share their fears, gird their loins and join the conversation.
My interdisciplinary work examines the connection between technology, the environment, and the female body in Western culture. Each of these projects is a subtle reminder that we are part of the system we live in and have the power to change it.
I aim to expose inequities and injustice in a way that is beautiful and hopeful. I want the viewer to feel invited into the work, gently with love and respect.
I believe my role as an artist is to provide the canvas for other people to express their ideas. My work is intended as a conduit for creating a new future that we all want to live in.