A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in New York, who views the body as a contentious domain wherein disparities are reexamined as potential sites of agency. Working to agitate systems of value, Burns utilizes audio-video, installation, sculpture, collage-drawing, writing and collaboration. The process of coming to matter is always in relief against that which does not matter such as; excess, waste and marginalized experiences. It is this space of supposed ‘non-mattering’ where Burns most often dwells.
A.K. Burns has exhibited internationally including recently at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; MMK Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, Germany; FRONT International: The Clevalnd Triennial for Contemporary Art in Clevland, OH; The Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, MA; and Portland Insititute for Contemporary Art, in Portland OR. Burns is currently completing a decade long endeavor titled Negative Space which includes a cycle of four multi-channel video installations that take science fiction as a point of departure. The series of works was introduced with, A Smeary Spot debuting at Participant Inc., NY in 2015, followed by Living Room in 2017 at The New Museum, NY. In 2019 the third work in the series Leave No Trace, premiered at the Julia Stoschek Collection in Dusseldorf, Germany and the work was produced with the support of EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.
In 2018, Burns was a NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Interdisciplinary Art, in 2016 a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University and in 2015 a Creative Capital Foundation Visual Arts Award recipient.
As a frequent collaborator; Burns was a founding member of W.A.G.E (Working Artists in the Greater Economy) in 2008—an artists’ advocacy group that remains active as a non-profit certification organization for Arts Institutions nationally. Created in collaboration with A.L. Steiner, Community Action Center, a video re-imagining pornographic cinema for queer womxn, trans and non-binary bodies was released in 2010 and has since been collected by the MoMA and The Julia Stoschek Collection. In 2010, Burns also began a collaborative practice with partner Katherine Hubbard, producing performance installations, videos and sculptures as well as staging The Poetry Parade…, at the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art, all in NY.
A.K. Burns is a Distinguished Lecturer and New Genres Area Head at Hunter College, Department of Art & Art History and serves as faculty in the MFA Film & Video department at Bard College. Burns is represented by Michel Rein Gallery, Paris/Brussels; and Video Data Bank, Chicago.