Andrea Frank


Frank is interested in questions of identity, collective responsibility and memory, and psychological aspects of individual and collective human action. In different bodies of work and through a range of media, she has addressed issues ranging from collective memory to the tension between education and manipulation, to world trade and global challenges such as the energy crisis and environmental issues. Her work has been exhibited internationally, with recent solo exhibitions at Galleria Michela Rizzo in Venice, Carroll and Sons in Boston, and the Kunsthalle Göppingen, Germany.

In addition to her individual projects, from 1995 to 2000 Frank worked collaboratively as a founding member of the Munich/New York based artist group Department for Public Appearances, directly addressing issues in the public sphere.

Frank’s current research addresses the notion of change as an overarching theme and takes shape in a series of interrelated case studies. It critically investigates the transformation of the human environment since industrialization and looks ahead to the necessary psychological, physical, and systemic adjustments humanity must make in order survive on a full and finite planet. She is interested in the current accelerated pace of change, with ecological processes such as global warming, extinction of species, depletion of resources, and overpopulation approaching tipping points. Collectively, we are still embracing change in the form of growth and exploitation of resources within our world economic system; however, we have grown beyond the earth’s carrying capacity and are destroying the earth’s ecosystems and our basis of life. What may the future of progress look like considering these very real systemic constraints? What roles do education and learning play in relation to the psychology and mental models underlying these societal paradigms?

She is investigating these notions through the lens of System Dynamics (SD) and is experimenting with harnessing its methodologies and tools for artistic research and production. Her interest lies in using SD to critically address too narrowly defined system boundaries and time horizons in our understanding of globally interrelated systems, and how this perspective can challenge our collective mental models and societal norms.

Frank studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany, and received her MFA from Parsons in NYC, where she also participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. She is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including the DAAD, Rotary International Foundation, Danner Stiftung, Vermont Studio Center, Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and the MIT Council for the Arts.