Halfway through my art major in college, I interned with Taryn Simon and my process took on an interrogative narrative. My art-making process is much more important to me than the final view, and it goes: a) question, b) walk, c) notice, d) research, e) build, f) edit, g) document, h) share and i) connect through contemplation. My interest in the body continues to be in the forefront of my art; my goal is to generate connection by means of embodiment because I believe: to know your body is to know another’s. I refer to myself as a pedestrian artist and feel called to bring people into their bodies and thus their minds– which heightens their spiritual attention. Derived from my admiration of John Cage, I am most interested in the chance combinations of colloquial words, everyday-repetitive movements, and ordinary images and the transformation that occurs when you let them exist together in one time and space. This transformation is what I’m drawn to– described by writers like Christian Wiman and Mary Oliver– it brings us into a human interconnectedness of our body with others.
As I walk through the world, the questions that I ask vary, but at the core of my work is the passion for human interconnectedness. In college that meant documenting how phones affect our interactions with one another and over the past two years, it has shifted to analyzing the collective experience of womanhood. In my piece entitled “Ambiguous Loss: A Bricolage,” I document women I know through my eyes; translate their stories into collages, video, and performance; and weave it into a digital experience that is experienced by the whole body.
Sara Dotterer is a deeply spiritual, interdisciplinary artist who grounds all of her work in movement and meticulous research. She began her artist-journey as a dancer, and quickly expanded into choreography at a young age. Since then, she has transformed her practice to include painting, drawing, mixed media, video, installation, and performance art. She has a newfound passion for the fiber arts– namely knitting. During the day, she works as a strategist at a brand consultancy in Chelsea, NY while pursuing her art after work. She has taken numerous classes at SVA and Parsons to continue her studies in mixed media and design. She graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2018 with a double major in Studio Art and Anthropology. At her university, she was the Co-President of the Washington and Lee Repertoire Dance Company and President of Washington and Lee's Student Arts League. The role that dance and studio art play in her life evolved over time– from dancer to choreographer, and painter to advocate for other student artists. While at Washington and Lee, she choreographed three years in a row for the dance company and premiered “flat conversations” at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, New York in 2018. She is also a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, the national honor society in dance.
Her passion for culture and research has brought her to many new places around the world to gain new perspectives for her work. She received two university grants in 2016 to travel to Italy for 3 months to examine Italian culture, language, and advertising. During the summer of 2017, she traveled to New York City to intern with the contemporary artist, Taryn Simon, and do her own research on the way that smartphones affect movement in public spaces. In 2018, upon her graduation from Washington and Lee, she received another grant to continue research on phone use in the public sphere in Bologna, Italy. She hopes that her work will continue to bring her to new cities to bring cross-cultural comparisons into her work.