Sid Branca is an American interdisciplinary artist working primarily in performance.
Branca was born in suburban New York in the '80s. She relocated to Chicago at 17 to attend the University of Chicago, from which she received a degree in Theater and Performance Studies in 2009. She has studied, trained, and collaborated with a wide variety of artists, performers, educators, and academics. She is currently a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Media MFA program at Columbia College Chicago, as well as an affiliate of First Floor Theater, Prop Thtr, and the New Media Caucus. She is a pretty accessible person when not insanely busy, if you want to hang out on the internet or something.
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I am an interdisciplinary artist with a focus in performance. My work is performative, but this can take many forms, incorporating elements from performance art, theatre, video, music and sound art, installation and conceptual art, dance, clowning and circus arts, creative writing, photography, and digital/new media, among others. My primary medium is often the body, working with the performer’s body as sculpture and the body of the spectator as a site for physical, sensory experience.
My work engages with corporality, sexuality, identity, and the role of vulnerability, sincerity, and privacy in our current moment. With a background in more traditional performance training in classical, experimental, and physical theatre, I have come to a more expanded media practice out of a desire to explore the body’s relationship to contemporary (pop, digital) culture and new media. I have been preoccupied for a long time with the ways that the presence or absence of a body relates to the spaces it inhabits; this interest has now come to focus on cultural, virtual, and surveilled spaces.
The goals of my work are to infuse intimacy and physical experience into digital content, and to foster cultural agency and engagement with “high art”. My investigations into digital intimacy have included pieces using live video feeds, incorporating texts crowd-sourced from social media, the dialogue of live and pre-recorded sound, audio pieces with instructions for the listener’s physical state, and video work designed to elicit specific physiological responses. Examples of these include the media performance pieces Get off (the Internet) and girls’ room II and III, the sound projects Sonnets and Radio Radio Radio, and the video piece Inter.
The content of these pieces often draws attention to cultural through-lines and intersections by colliding pop culture and literary canon, lo-fi/DIY and “high art”. Much of my work is a type of adaptation, appropriation, or translation, tracing a central idea through several different cultural contexts, media, and sites of influence. By mixing these disparate sources, I hope to encourage a popular culture that feels an engagement with, rather than isolation from, canonical cultural production, and an increased awareness of the blurry lines between the production and consumption of culture.