A.K. Burns is a interdisciplinary artist and educator based in New York, born on the coast of Northern California in 1975. Using video, installation, sculpture, drawing, and collaboration, Burns explores systems of value and the body as a contentious domain wherein socio-political issues are negotiated.
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 Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art in Cleveland, OH; The Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, MA; and Portland Institute 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.
A.K. Burns is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2021 Art Purchase Program, was a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Interdisciplinary Art, a 2016 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University, and a 2015 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. The work was also named one of “The 25 Works of Art That Define the Contemporary Age” by the New York Times in 2019. 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 an Associate Professor and the New Genres Area Head at Hunter College, Department of Art & Art History. Burns is currently represented by Michel Rein Gallery, Paris/Brussels, and Video Data Bank, Chicago.
*A.K. Burns is gender non-conforming and has no preferred pronoun.*