Featured Artist

Katie Kotler

2019 EDAA Featured Artist Interview

Katie Kotler is a Toronto-based artist, musician and curator. Primarily working in animation and installation, her work integrates neon colours and geometric shapes.

What do you find the most appealing about working with digital and screen-based formats?

I like the independence of post-production. I enjoy working by myself and being particular about minutiae. I also appreciate the work flow of editing. For me, using digital formats presents a challenge: how creative can I be with a pre-set, and what is the most maximalist work that I can construct using as little outside materials as possible?

How do you see the relationship between virtual spaces and installation in your practice?

Installation is a way of engaging audiences in a manner that is more tactile and ephemeral than simply relying on screen-based work. Contemporary life revolves around the screen; installation is a necessary respite from the flatness of our 2D lives.

Also, I like the idea of creating a narrative by utilizing multiple mediums. The viewer is never able to completely “collect them all”—it is like when someone buys a McDonald’s Happy Meal and receives a toy from their favourite movie, or eats cereal that is named after your favourite character. One must commit to using more of their imagination to enter magical worlds when engaging with different mediums; another sort of ‘suspension of disbelief’ is demanded.

In three words, how would you describe your current style?

Contemporary Abstract Expressionist

As an early-career artist, but also someone who’s had consistent involvement in artist-run culture, how have you seen your work evolve from a student, to working on programming/curatorial projects, and now doing more independent work?

My themes are developing and hopefully growing richer. Initially, I was interested in crafting all the images in my head that I had collected through years of watching music videos on TV and then video art on YouTube. In recent years, I am interested in understanding my desire to create ethereal spaces as a reflection of my sense of self and tendency to absorb moods and energies.

What type of work haven’t you done that you look forward to doing in the future?

I would like to do more commercial work—music videos and ads. I would also like to experiment with making clothing with my images on it.