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Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture: Heidi Kumao

March 3, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Before joining the University of Michigan faculty, Heidi Kumao taught at Syracuse University, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Rhode Island School of Design, and City College of New York.

Throughout her career, Kumao has used new media and animation, kinetic/electronic sculpture, and performance art to create “performative technologies” meant to heighten the public’s awareness of everyday behavior and its underlying psychology.

Her work takes the form of intimate robotic/kinetic installations, single channel videos and animations, and wearable electronics.

Kumao’s current projects often use technology to address feminist issues and insert a female point of view into the world of high-tech innovation. In Misbehaving: Performative Media Machines Act Out, funded by the Creative Capital Foundation, hybrid machine “beings” represent women and girls who disobey or resist expectations. For WiredWear, funded by the U-M Office of the Vice-President for Research, she created articles of women’s clothing equipped with custom electronics that communicate with the wearer. During the 1990s, she devised “cinema machines” – sabotaged household objects outfitted with projectors. Kumao also works collaboratively with Preemptive Media, a group of artists, activists and technologists, to create projects around emerging technologies and corresponding policies.

Kumao’s work has appeared in solo exhibits at the Museo de Arte Moderno of Buenos Aires, Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, Center for the Arts-Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, the New Museum of New York City, the Arizona State University Art Museum, and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo, New York. Her work has also been included in numerous group shows, including Motion and Document – Sequence and Time: Eadweard Muybridge and Contemporary American Photography, which toured the U.S. for two years.

Kumao has received grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Creative Capital Foundation (NYC), Microsoft, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work is represented in both public and private collections nationwide.

An endowment established in 1983 through the generosity of Nancy and Robin Hanes supports the Art Department’s Visiting Artist Series. This important program brings both established and emerging artists to campus to discuss their work in public lectures and to offer individual critiques to our M.F.A. students.  The Hanes Visiting Artist series greatly enriches both our academic programs and our outreach to the wider community.  All lectures are free and open to the public.

Artist website:


March 3, 2015
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category: