(fik tilˈ əs) adj. capable of being molded or changed; earthen [Latin fictilis]
FICTILIS is the collaborative practice of Andrea Steves and Timothy Furstnau. We make projects.
Our projects tend to arise out of our relationships — to each other, and to our communities and surroundings — and are intended to both reflect and affect these relationships. We sometimes bring other artists, non-artists, and community groups into our collaborations and create new relationships.
Our work is research-based, rigorously interdisciplinary, conceptually oriented, and seriously playful. In no particular order. Much of our work attempts to expose and/or bridge the gaps between what’s considered the Social and the Environmental (or cultural/natural) and between what’s considered “art” or “activism” and everything else.
Our projects often involve the creation of semi-fictional institutions, motivated by the understanding that all institutions are, at some point, semi-fictional.
There are a few named Project Areas that our work tends to fall within, including Interlife Crisis, or the (dis-)connections between networked individuals and cultures, Critical Collecting, or the politics of acquisition, taxonomy, archiving, and display, (Re-)Materialisms, or the renewed valuation of objects and materiality, both human and non-, with a particular focus on Waste, guided by the belief that all material is, from its beginnings, potential waste.
Often our projects have multiple components that live in different places — some in the Art World, some in other places, some in many places at once, some one at a time. Accordingly, our work can be called many different things, regardless of the forms it takes: Installation, Performance, Curatorial, Exhibition, or Social Practice. All of these may or may not include the production of objects. We prefer the term “Projects”. When we need to define what exactly it is we do, we do; when we don’t, we don’t. We believe that an Artist Statement is a place where we need to do both. We hope we have done so.
Maybe it’s obvious that another of our interests is Language. It’s true. Language, yes, but not necessarily Statements. (Or not necessarily unnecessarily long ones.)
We are nothing without our community. Here are some individuals, artists, and groups who we’ve worked with or who have contributed significantly to our projects: Isabel Blue / Rani Ban / Rachel Kotkin / Rose Linke / Gabriel Harp / Vinh Nguyen / Sabrina Habel / Mary Anne Kluth / Dennis Palazzolo / CoClimate / Eroyn Franklin / Tory Franklin / UCSC Wastwater Research Group / Center for Genomic Gastronomy / Design Less Better / Liat Berdugo / Tom Deslongchamp / Amber Nelson / Anthony Fader / Madeline Courtney / Zach Corse Specific participants and collaborators for each individual project are listed on each Project page.
We couldn’t make most of these projects without a place to put them. This is a partial list of some galleries, festivals, and other entities have been kind enough to host our work: Ann Arbor Film Festival (Ann Arbor, MI) / Art Meets Radical Openness Festival (Linz, Austria) / Articulture New Media Art Biennial (Media, PA) / Children’s Fairyland / Magic Lantern (Oakland) / CityArts Festival (Seattle) / Corcoran School of Art & Design (Washington, DC) / Crown City Yacht Club (Seattle) / Dickinson House (Belgium) / Dublin Science Gallery (Dublin, Ireland) / Interface Gallery (Oakland) / Land Arts of the American West / Prelinger Library (San Francisco) / Princeton School of Architecture (Princeton, NJ) / ProArts Gallery (Oakland) / Read/Write Festival (Seattle) / Red Poppy Art House (San Francisco) / Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM) / Shadow Art Fair (Ypsilanti, MI) / Short Run Small Press Festival (Seattle) / SOMArts (San Francisco, California) / Southern Exposure (San Francisco) / Storefronts (Seattle, Washington) / Table of Contents (Portland, Oregon) / Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco) For a full list or CV, contact us.
FICTILIS is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) non‐profit arts service organization. Make a tax-deductible contribution and support our work here. We’re grateful to have received support for our projects and residencies from the following groups: Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation / Kenneth Rainin Foundation / Puffin Foundation / Seattle Storefronts / Santa Fe Art Institute / Interface Gallery (Oakland) / Arts Dean’s Fund For Excellence (UC Santa Cruz) / College Art Association / Left Tilt Fund / ProArts (Oakland) / Science Gallery (Dublin, Ireland) / Clorox Corporation Mini Arts Grants / Awesome Foundation (San Francisco) / Soup SF / Zellerbach Family Foundation / Haus de Kulturen Der Welt (Berlin, Germany)