Kristen Sanders’ (b. 1989, California) paintings explore the crux of what makes us human; imagining a moment of first consciousness of a hypothetical early human ancestor. Since 2015, her work has been circling between the extreme past of hominids millions of years ago and the increasingly closer future of robots with super-human powers and artificial intelligence. Sanders is fascinated by self-invention, and distinguishing the human from both the animal and the animatronic. Her work posits that behaviors such as making a mark, or the first non-utilitarian artwork, should be valorized before corporeal evolution. By considering these defining moments for the pre-human, we can then reframe what many fear as the post-human.
Sanders lives and works in St. Paul, MN. She received a BA from the University of California Davis, and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently teaches at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.