Annette Barbier uses new technologies to address issues of home, defined locally as domesticity and more broadly as the ways in which we relate to our environment. Her work has moved from an emphasis on the personal to a consideration of the global, looking at ways in which home has come to be re-defined as populations shift, as our interdependence becomes increasingly clear, and as the natural world deteriorates.
While video continues to be a frequent medium of choice, other new technologies have become available that offer expressive opportunities such as the net, virtual and augmented reality, and installation that combines physical computing and video to produce responsive environments.
Other recent work uses computer-controlled laser cutting and engraving on natural materials such as leaves and feathers to heighten our awareness of our detrimental impact on the natural world. Casualties depicts birds found on the sidewalks of Chicago after colliding with glass curtain buildings, and Subtractions uses Canada goose feathers as the medium for engraving the identities of extinct bird species. Work just completed uses augmented reality to create public art for urban environments in which we are asked to both remember what we have lost and to imagine what the future will bring in a series that uses mobile devices to display images and models of the natural world as it was and as it will become if climate change continues unabated (expose-ar.com)
Additional new work is evolving from a desire to visualize not the appearance but the meaning of our relationships with one another and with time and space using data collection technologies such as motion capture and gaze tracking.
Barbier received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work, encompassing video, new media, and sculptural objects has received recognition in venues including the Chicago International Film Festival, Dallas Video Festival, Women in the Director’s Chair, Image Union, broadcast on WTTW Chicago, the Houston Film Festival, The Learning Channel, San Paolo Video Festival. More recent work has been shown in new media festivals and conferences such as the International Digital Media and Art (best of show 2005, featured artist 2011), International Symposium on Electronic Art, the College Art Association, and Ars Electronica. She has received numerous grants from organizations such as the Illinois Arts Council, the Propeller Fund, Faculty Research Grants at Columbia College and Northwestern University, the NEA, and the Fulbright program. She has received awards from the University Film and Video Association, the International Digital Media and Arts Association, FILE, Houston Worldfest, the Chicago International Film Festival. Her work has been reviewed in Media-N, the Journal of the New Media Caucus, After Image, the Journal of South Asian Cinema, the New Art Examiner and the Village Voice.