Alex Branch is a Colorado-based interdisciplinary artist whose works can be architectural, acoustic, or kinetic, and often require human involvement to be fully realized.
Alex Branch traces her interest in the theme of transformation back to her childhood growing up on an island in the Pacific Northwest. As a child, she was fascinated by the mysterious objects that washed ashore from unknown places. When she works with found objects in the present day, they carry a residue of a life lived. It’s impossible to know exactly where the objects have been or who interacted with them, but the fullness of their experience resonates.
Branch is an interdisciplinary artist whose work often requires or implies the involvement of a human body to activate and realize the piece. The objects and installations she makes can be architectural, acoustic, and kinetic. A person can be housed inside them or traverse water in them. They can be worn or flipped through.
The pieces included in this issue are rooted in the Southwest. Tumbling Tumbleweed is a tumbleweed rolling in place on an altered treadmill. Tumbleweeds are an iconic symbol of the American West, representing freedom and the rambling loner. Ironically, they are newcomers to the United States; having originated in Russia, they arrived here in the 1880s. The Piano Boat for the Rio Grande is a boat that Branch built in New Mexico for the Rio Grande, one in a series of boats she is building for specific rivers. It is both a functioning water vessel and a musical instrument. The boats in the series are also a source of collaboration with musicians. Finally, Fallen Tree is made from a ponderosa tree that fell due to beetle kill. The video embedded in the log shows the bark of the tree. The camera digitizes the bark as it moves over the bark and traverses the fallen tree.
Branch has lived in the Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, and East Coast. She currently resides in Colorado.