Elise Sibley Chandler is a conceptual transmedia artist and anthropologist, living in the Chihuahuan Desert along the Texas Mexico border, a region defined by and nestled between the Rio Grande and Pecos Rivers. As a Teaching Artist and Public Programs and Outreach Coordinator for Marfa Studio of Arts, she investigates the embodied experience of hidden systems particularly associated with water.
Through multisensory site-specific installations, sculptures, videos and performances based on ethnographic research, Elise investigates expressions of ideological contestations of space and the ways in which the phenomenological experience of out-of-sight infrastructure influences our water consumption. Her work exposes subterranean water systems by drawing attention to overlooked fixtures like the hydrant. She de-mystifies networks of flows by publicly uncovering the hidden systems of pipes and the discourses and inequalities in resource distribution that work in consort with revitalization and displacement. She produces collaborative arts- and ethnographic-led planning processes to engage the public and generate sustainable water resource planning solutions.
Elise received baccalaureate degrees in both Studio Art and Anthropology with a certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies from UT Austin in 2013. Believing in the power of art to change the character of a place, she helped engage diverse communities on the thinkEAST Austin Affordable Living and Working Development and served as the Project Coordinator for Fusebox Festival, who partnered with thinkEAST on an ArtPlace America Grant in 2015.