Michelle Silva (she/her) is an interdisciplinary, New York based artist, working at the intersection of new and traditional media. Her work warps and abstracts from reality as a way of coping with a world that is too fast and too much, all at once. She uses time as a reflection of memory and motif as a rendering of space, speaking to her experiences growing up in a digitally-obsessed generation, while reflecting on the media of the mid-century and its impact on her family history. Her work uses the messiness of digital intervention and discombobulation — looking at Legacy Russell’s Glitch — to connect with other cyborg bodies by exploring relevant automatic systems, ranging from vintage automatons to AI generators to stylized software interfaces and more as form.
Through world-building techniques, Michelle refocuses the ‘American Dream’ outside of the military-industrial complex, citing Mark Fischer’s Capitalist Realism as the premises of many interventions. As the speed at which technology increases, so does the pace at which society evolves, adapts, changes— grows. Her work grasps at these fleeting moments of evolution, looking at moments of self-growth in relation to these technologies. In this way, space and time are both at the will of the viewer and the maker independently.
She often uses the ‘avatar’ as a representation of the self that is both real and unreal, physical and non-physical, and able to cushion the harshness of the real world —a metaphysical pseudo- self, a mask (in the Neurodivergent sense, but also in the Traditional sense), and a bridge to the unobtainable. Through abjection of the avatar, acting as stand-in for the physical body, Michelle is able to de-stimulate and find a sense of her Jewish-American, Neurodivergent, and Queer identities.