Cleo Barnett is a curator, artist, and cultural worker based in Brooklyn, New York; Seattle, Washington; and Auckland, New Zealand. Her work pulls from history, theory and mysticism to explore how we related to one another through personal and virtual contact. Working in solidarity with her international networks, Barnett's practice moves within the intention to open up access to public space for community expression and connection through an ongoing investigation of solidarity economies. Mainly Barnett's work and scholarship manifest in the forms of public art festivals, exhibitions in non tradiational spaces, moving images, analog photography, participatory projects, multi media installations, consulting and community organizing. Her process is a combination of intuition, research, inspiration from her surroundings, and a human centered design approach to explore methods of exposure and the poetics of space.
In 2016 Cleo was awarded the The Loisaida Inc., Center Fellowship, where she worked as a researcher and artist in residence in New York's Lower East Site. This same year Cleo was awarded the Post-Graduate Summer Research Fellowship from New York University, during which time she launched the nowHERE organization.
Cleo graduated from New York Universities Tisch School of the Arts with a masters in Art and Public Policy in May 2016. She earned her undergraduate degrees from the University of Auckland in 2013, double majoring in Political Science and International Business. Today she continues to work as a consultant in New Zealand and across the United States.
Illustration commissioned by Sean Morris.