Negative Space

A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist whose work examines the body politic, highlighting the body’s relationships to culture, politics, performance, and criticism.

Artist Bio

Negative Space is a cycle of video installations, publications and sculptural works. The opening episode, A Smeary Spot includes a 53 minute 4-channel video, drawing on theater and documentary methods to exploit and rethink the science fiction genre. This work is about orientation, a re-orientation within a speculative present. Shot in two locations: on public lands in the deserts of southern Utah and inside a black box theater, where performers deliver recitations of appropriated texts that compose a loose manifesto on being. Negative Space is a surreal narrative of bodies in transition (both movement and definition) and their relationship to nature, technology, territories and resources. In relation to these bodies known as “acting agents”; the land, the water, the refuse pile and the theater are not simply grounds, resources, waste or stages upon which their actions occur, they are also sprawling protagonists. Forthcoming episodes focus on subjects such as the body, landscape, water and the void.

Award Year

In Progress


A.K. Burns

Brooklyn, NY

A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn, NY. The artist’s work explores the body as a contentious domain through which socio-political conditions are negotiated. This is apparent in the work Negative Space, a series of multimedia installations expanding upon a longstanding interest in the body as a site of cultural and political negotiation. The New Museum Education Department’s Spring 2017 Research & Development Season provided additional support for Negative Space and culminated in Shabby but Thriving, a two-channel video installation at the New Museum, exploring the body’s relationship to the law, the environment, activism, performance, and criticism.

Burns is also a founding member of W.A.G.E (Working Artists in the Great Economy) an artists’ advocacy organization. Burns has exhibited collaborative and solo works internationally at the Tate Modern, The Museum of Modern Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Kitchen, The Sculpture Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Project Arts Centre Dublin.