Sydney Cooper


Sydney Cooper was born in the 60's in Los Angeles, California - the child of a Japanese and Jewish family. In one neighborhood she lived in as a teen there were families newly arrived from Vietnam, Marines from a nearby military base, long time Mexican Californians, newly arrived Mexican and central American immigrants, Low-riders, Surfers, Military families of Vietnam veterans, Bike gang members, Mormons, Samoans, and that was just on one street! This lineage and the question of how cultures, time and place intersect has influenced her longtime interest in ideas of the hybrid, cross-disciplinary practices, and the way our cultural and historical origins create distinctive ways of being. Sydney studied on the east coast further broadening her influences and received a degree in liberal arts at Bennington College in Vermont. Since then Sydney has lived in San Francisco, Paris, New York, Woodstock, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Chimayo and Santa Fe New Mexico.

Cooper has worked with "materials" as disparate as gardens, buildings, food, paint, plaster and precious metal leaf, people and communities, water and land. With these materials from our daily lives she has explored ideas of time, contingency and change. Sydney is also interested thematically in people as Homo-Faber: man-the-tool-maker, how we've extended ourselves and capabilities through "tools." Most recently this has been made manifest through our varied technological platforms and spaces.

Cooper has exhibited widely, including the Santa Monica Museum in California, the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Allied Cultural Prosthetics in New York City as well as various galleries and other venues. She has participated in and co-organized several site-specific public installations such as the Windows Project in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Bloc-Busta in New Mexico, and Wallworks at Plan B: Evolving Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Cooper also curated NM10: Dispersion, at CINEMALAND, Chinatown, Los Angeles. She also coordinated local artists to work with a roster of international artists for the Lucky #7 Biennial at SITE Santa Fe participating in a mural project with Scot Lyall and a recycled bottle project with Hiroshi Fuji. With her public artworks she has created a collaborative work "Constellation" for Wonderland a site-specific show of art especially commissioned for the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco by curator Lance Fung. Sydney also took her "We the People" project to the Portland farmers market for the conference on art and social practice Open Engagement in 2011, also in 2011 "We the People" was produced at the AHA festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This Fall Sydney will perform a site specific work for the Pacific Standard Time; Art in L.A. - Performance and Public art festival in Los Angeles presented by LA><ART, Art in the Parking Space curated by Warren Neidich and Elena Bajo.

Sydney Cooper currently lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
- Buckminster Fuller