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Colleen Woolpert’s interactive objects and installations are rooted in photography and explore vision—both as concept and perceptual phenomena. An identical twin born on Halloween, Colleen’s life and work draw on the uncanny and on author John Stilgoe’s notion of directed serendipity. Raised in Michigan and currently based in Kalamazoo, Colleen has lived in seven states; in Syracuse, NY, she was inspired by late 1800s pre-cinema inventors who worked at the same site where her studio was located to pursue her own patent, which was awarded in 2018 for her exhibition stereoscope, the TwinScope Viewer.
Colleen’s TwinScope project promotes stereograph display and addresses topics like binocular vision, invention as art production, and her identity as a double image whose twin has a visual impairment, strabismus, which affects her depth perception. Relatedly, Colleen’s Persistence of Vision project stems from her work with blind artists and explores how we visualize the unseen and navigate the unknown, and reframes disability. Colleen holds a BA from Western Michigan University and an MFA from Syracuse University. Her work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, California Museum of Photography, Griffin Museum of Photography, and Light Work, among other venues, and her TwinScope Viewer has been acquired by numerous institutions, collectors, and artists internationally; it is currently touring Alaska to enable an exhibition of stereographs by pioneering photographer Edweard Muybridge.