The Now and After works by Alison Hiltner - In creative conjunction with Nobel Conference 56
I view myself as an archeologist of science fiction exploring the media landscape of films, television and video games then intertwining these concepts with current scientific inquiry. The visual landscape of my work is a combination of all of those subjects to create ever-expanding worlds. Those that enter these sculptural experiences are confronted with alien yet undeniably familiar scenes leading them to reminisce while simultaneously dreaming about the history of the future.
The work is pollinated with visits to scientific laboratories that reach forward to the future for answers to questions that plague the present, becoming an essential component to the work I create. This odd temporality creates works with a fluid sense of time highlighting how our knowledge of the structure and dynamics of complex ecological networks are constantly evolving.
By maintaining a sense of intense wonder, informed by humor and a touch of the absurd, each piece presents a vignette of my research in process. Tenuously balanced between reality and artifice, formed with an earnest translation of the materials, tools, and techniques of both science and science fiction. Fact and fiction is shown to be porous reminding us as Kurt Vonnegut once said, “Science is magic that works.”
Alison Hiltner is a visual artist and the Associate Director of Soo Visual Arts Center, who lives and works in Minneapolis, MN. Hiltner has exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions, some of her recent credits include exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Telemark Art Center in Skien, Norway and the Weisman Art Museum. She has received five Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants, two MRAC/McKnight Foundation Next Step Grants, the Jerome Foundation Fellowship in 2011/12 and an Artists on the Verge Northern Lights/Jerome Foundation fellowship in 2013/14. In 2018/19 she received the McKnight Fellowship For Visual Arts, and was part of an experimental cohort through the Weisman Art Museum and the University of Minnesota’s School of Medicine. Hiltner has upcoming exhibitions at Tarble Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University and the Minnesota Museum of American Art in 2021 and the Weisman Art Museum in 2022.