Portrait by Brad Ogbonna for the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program (2014). Portraits by Christa Holka (2012–2018) here.

As a performance artist, Amber Hawk Swanson has explored care, animacy, and desire in the context of queerness and disability. Her complementary scholarly interests focus on investigations of enabling objects and actions; technologized, roboticized, and transpeciated bodies and selves; animacy and animal intimacy; and worldmaking in the online forums and livestream channels that have served as the primary platforms for her work. Hawk Swanson’s practice has embodied these concerns through a material and conceptual engagement with captive marine mammals, silicone Dolls, and networks of care among the community of silicone Doll-loving men known as iDollators. Recently, she has explored sites of belonging and protection that simultaneously function as spaces of violent exclusion, and, along with her collaborators, Synthetiks advocate Davecat and his roboticized silicone spouse Sidore, how sexual racism functions in the Doll community.

Hawk Swanson has exhibited nationally and internationally for the span of her twenty-year career. Scholarly writing on her work, including Amber Jamilla Musser’s chapter on her collaboration with artist Xandra Ibarra in Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance and Jillian Hernandez’s discussion of Hawk Swanson’s early Doll work in “Meditations on the Multiple” can be found here.

Amber Hawk Swanson is the Creative Director and one of three Co-Creators of The Harmony Show. She teaches in the sculpture department of Rhode Island School of Design and is currently a doctoral student in performance studies at Brown University. Hawk Swanson received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was a recipient of a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant and a Franklin Furnace Fund Grant, among others. She was live on-air as a host / producer during the first two years of Chicago Public Radio’s Vocalo initiative and has additionally worked as a registered carousel operator in Brooklyn. Hawk Swanson was born and raised in the Midwest near the Mississippi River where she lived half of each week in a blue collar community with people who worked outdoors and the other half of each week in a middle class community with people who worked indoors.

Amber Hawk Swanson’s given and legal name is “Amber Hawk Swanson.” Her last name is “Hawk Swanson.” Citations should read “Hawk Swanson, Amber.” An example is provided below.

Hawk Swanson, Amber. 2005–2006, 2013. “The Feminism? Project.” https://amberhawkswanson.com/The-Feminism-Project.