Photo: Breathe dress by Amy karle (left) with model Lisa Iannone
SCIENCE, ART & FASHION Meet Amy Karle, an artist and designer who uses the mind, body, science and technology to create art.
orking across a variety of platforms she engages questions about what it means to be human by creating projects on, around, or about the body; it is her subject and medium. Emulating patterns in anatomy, psychology and nature, Karle’s artwork taps our concepts of what it means to be human and in this body, expressing internal, ephemeral experiences in visual forms. Her work speaks to a wide audience because it explores and communicates fundamental truths of what it means to be human.
Through a unique negotiation of art, design, science and technology she creates garments, sculptures, experiences, and performances using physiology, consciousness and technology to create representations of our internal states so that we may study the mind and body and even learn to reprogram it. Her bioart has established a new discipline in the art world.
Tell us a bit about your background I was born and grew up in upstate New York. I’ve lived and worked in Manhattan, Milan (Italy), Detroit, and San Francisco. I’ve always been an artist since I was young, it’s the way I express myself best, the language I speak most fluidly. It’s my way of communicating what it means to be human with other people. I’ve always been interested in the body and healing and augmenting the body as well… I was born with a rare birth defect and couldn’t always do what other kids did. I had to learn what it meant to have freedom within constraint [of the body]. I had several surgeries until an experimental surgery worked when I was a teen. The way this life experience shaped me – and the understanding that others have life experiences and struggles that shape them - has consistently appeared in my work. I identify as both an artist and designer – to me, art and design are on a continuum where art is more personal: to make sense of one’s own world, and design is more global: to support others to help them make sense of their world. I’ve worked as an industrial designer in the Fashion and Automotive industry and have been working as a full-time professional artist for the past 12 years.