Michael Parker

Michael ParkerArtist’s Statement

My experiential and performative projects question ideas of individual agency and collective action by engaging with unexpected creative partners: construction workers, linemen-in-training, sauna enthusiasts, State Park employees and citrus growers. My work creates specific yet open frameworks that invite people to contribute to the activation of the artwork.

The Steam Egg is a 10-foot floating mirrored sculpture; a darkened communal sweat-filled ovoid sauna, where participants absorb the DJ’s acoustics from spoken word to death metal, breathe the HerbJ’s sage or seaweed infused steam and meet one another knee to knee.

The Unfinished, is an excavated obelisk along the banks of the L.A. River. It is a 137-foot replica of Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s monument known as The Unfinished Obelisk. The recumbent urban earthwork is a failed symbol of vertical power that exists on a post-industrial piece of state-owned land.

Juicework is an installation that explores the service economy by inviting viewers to use more than 1,000 stoneware tools, objects, tree slabs, cushions and water features, in an extractive exhibition of California land, labor, light, citrus and psychedelic speculation. Come thirsty.

Website: michaelparker.org


Select Solo Exhibitions

Juicework, Human Resources, Los Angeles

The Unfinished, California State Parks and Clockshop, Los Angeles

2011 – 2013
Steam Egg, Los Angeles

Select Group Exhibitions

R.S.V.P. Los Angeles, Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, Calif.
After Victor Papanek: The Future is Not What is Used To Be, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, Calif.

Steam Egg 2 & Personal Pool, Pomona College Studio Art Hall, Claremont, Calif.

The Privilege Show, Control Room, Los Angeles

Select Fellowships and Awards

CCI ARC Grant, First Quarter Center for Cultural Innovation, Los Angeles

Printed Matter Awards for Artists, New York, New York
McComber Travel Award, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Select Community-based Artwork

Shitwork, Machine Project and High Desert Test Sites, El Mirage, Calif.

Kids’ Waiting Room (with Rosten Woo and Alyse Emdur), LAPD Tech Lab, Dept of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles

How to Survive (with Alyse Emdur), High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, CA


M.F.A., 2009
University of Southern California

E.M.T. 2001
UCLA School of Pre-Hospital Care

B.A., 2000
Pomona College