Steve Shoffner / Intermedia Artist & Designer
Steve Shoffner is an LA-based artist and designer who received his Masters of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University. He has taught design and art courses at community colleges around Los Angeles. Currently Steve is founder of fefifolios, a design lab that creates interactive projects and websites for artists and galleries. The Looking Glass series, his interactive installations with video and performance, examines everyday peculiarities by splicing reality and its replication with bewildering seamlessness. Shoffner often installs his works in unique public environments as well as traditional galleries. His video animation was selected for a twenty-nine screen display at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal. He is a founding member of the artist collective, The League of Imaginary Scientists, which has exhibited extensively, including in Manifesta7, the European biennial in Italy, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Casula Powerhouse in Australia, Letterkenny Regional Cultural Centre in Ireland, Armory Center for the Arts, and the Weitz Center for Creativity in Minnesota.
Artist Collective Bio: the League of Imaginary Scientists
In the construction of objects and the crafting of performances by the League of Imaginary Scientists over the past five years, the collective has employed each of these elements: a sense of play, discordant feelings of reverence and irreverence, and a sense of our own culpability in nature’s less-than-great turns. Collaborative research endeavors by the League of Imaginary Scientists can be characterized as a series of creative experiments in the hybridized name of science/art. The League reinterprets established doctrine, inserts experiment as end product, and exercises play as process.
The League celebrates creative practice that stems from collaborative research and public interactions – without categorization by discipline. League research interests include environmental transliteration, psycho-geography, DIY discovery, and philosophy of science. In composite academic and artistic endeavors, the League embraces community and actively involves different disciplines.
Founded in 2006, the League of Imaginary Scientists worked with NASA’s Mars Rover Exploration team to create a study on Earth parallel to – yet the inverse of – the rovers’ study on Mars. As the MERS team sought evidence that Mars resembled Earth four billion years ago, the League peered into the planet’s climate future, asking whether Earth will eventually resemble Mars. The League also collaborated with the Danish choreography collective, E.K.K.O, on numerous projects spanning art, movement and ecology. One of these resulted in the performance of a melting “human glacier” in New York City and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen.
The results of the League’s work are often interactive physical sculptures or immersive environments that permit viewers to interact with scientific narratives while engage in the concepts and data embedded in the work. Imaginary scientists have visited MIT’s synthetic biology lab to work on interactive concept-based models of microbiological landscapes, and they have gone underground in the aquifers of Memphis, helping students, artists, and scientists develop a memory pool that spans centuries of water.
The League adapts its methodology to each project, while maintaining a playful approach. Viewers’ interactions are integral to the experiment. The resulting projects often incorporate a mechanization of complex social narratives. As creative researchers, we embrace the idea that anyone could imagine what the next science might be, and that often the most whimsical ideas can have both practical and delightful ramifications. By developing human-based interfaces for engaging with the world around us, the League asks broad questions about the nature of the universe and the position of humanity within its vastness. How do we respond?