Episode 30: An Interview with Jen Bervin

Photo by Dianna Frid

Photo by Dianna Frid


Jen Bervin is an artist and poet whose research-driven interdisciplinary works weave together art, writing, science and life in a complex yet elegant way. She is a SETI Institute Artist in Residence, a program that facilitates a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas between artists and scientists. 

Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Des Moines Art Center; BRIC, Brooklyn; and the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University, Providence; and featured in exhibitions at MASS MoCA; Getty Research Center, Los Angeles; Yale University, New Haven; The Morgan Library and Museum, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Power Plant, Toronto; and Artisterium, Tbilisi.

Bervin has published ten books, including Silk Poems—a long-form poem presented both as a book (Nightboat Books, 2017) and as an implantable biosensor made from liquefied silk developed in collaboration with Tufts University’s Silk Lab. Silk Poems is a 2018 finalist for the 30th Annual Lambda Literary Award from the nation’s oldest and largest literary arts organization advancing LGBTQ literature.

Bervin is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including Foundation for Contemporary Art (2017), The Rauschenberg Residency (2016), Asian Cultural Council Fellowship (2016), LAP Fellowship, Montalvo Arts Center (2016), Bogliasco Fellowship, Liguria Study Center (2016), Fitt Artist in Residence, Literary Arts, Brown University (2015), and a Creative Capital Grant (2013).

Her work has been covered in media outlets such as Huffington Post, NPR, The Nation, LA Times, Artforum, FriezeHyperallergic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, and can be found in more than thirty international collections.

Bervin was recently a Winter 2018 Artist in Residence at the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities hosted by the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. Bervin taught a studio course titled “Advanced Materials” focused on the intersection of art and science through the exploration of traditional craft and technological innovation, offered through the Department of Art Theory and Practice in collaboration with the McCormick School of Engineering.

Read more about Jen Bervin at http://jenbervin.com/.