Born in New Mexico in the early 1950s, Connie Samaras currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of California, Irvine. As an artist, photographer, activist and professor, Samaras continues to address a broad range of subjects in her work, often allowing art and science to intersect in her pieces. Her interests include, among other things, charting the variable membrane between fiction and real world, mapping political geographies and psychological dislocation in the everyday, and approaching the practice of art in relationship to various methods of cataloguing history.
To create her most recent body of work, V.A.L.I.S. (vast active living intelligence system), Samaras traveled to the South Pole and to Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica to visually explore the harsh conditions of this extreme climate. The result is a series of photographs and videos that recasts the exotic space of Antarctica as a place, like any other place, where infrastructure and architecture have become a permanent part of the landscape.
Samaras is the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant, a C.O.L.A. Visual Arts Fellowship from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Adaline Kent award, which is awarded annually to a distinguished California artist by the San Francisco Art Institute. Samaras has exhibited and lectured on her work extensively at both national and international venues.