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Sam Heydt

The edge is closer than we think, but illusion won’t free us from reality, even as the sustained narrative of tabloids becomes history and the myth of progress continues to perpetuate inequality. Globalization has moved forward unevenly and no-one can say where this “New Frontier” is leading us. As the natural world is liquidated and substituted with an artificial one, the social landscape becomes increasingly fractured and alienated.  No longer in focus, all grand narratives dissipate in the space of post-history, as technological dependency diminishes the tangibility of our experiences. The medium has swallowed the message.

Our time is marked by a mass extinction, diminishing resources, global pandemic, and climate change. As the vices of the first world burden the third, the skeletons of old factories serve as caveats of growing inequality. The silent landscape a symptom of a world exploited beyond use and increasingly reduced to a bottom line.  Political dissidence is drowned out by the white noise of the media, as it sedates the social psyche with empty promises it proposes for the future it truncates.  

Conflating time and place, Heydt’s layered imagery collides, merges, and disrupts logical relationships between occurrences. Combining images of destruction with portrayals of the virtues born from the American Dream, Heydt confronts the disillusionment of our time with the ecological and existential nightmare it is responsible for.


Sam Heydt (born April 20, 1986) is an American social practice and recycled media artist born/raised in New York City. Although currently residing in Vienna, Heydt has lived/worked in Paris, Venice, Amsterdam, Athens, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Reykjavík, and Rajasthan.  Her academic career traversed Parsons School of Design, The New School, Cooper Union, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Universidad of Buenos Aires, and La Sorbonne.  In 2012, Heydt launched Jane Street Studio, L.L.C. in Manhattan.  Since established, the photo studio has broadened its performance to provide both design and marketing consultation in addition to art direction.  Its growing roster of clients spans Europe, North & South America, Asia, and Oceania.

In addition to this entrepreneurial undertaking, Heydt has attended artist residencies in Iceland, Australia, and New Zealand; where she has documented different forms of environmental exploitation.  A published author, producer, and lifelong activist, Heydt has undertaken a range of altruistic, non­-profit work. Her art, anchored in social advocacy, attempts to give a voice to the veiled, forgotten, exiled, and silenced.

Working across different media- film, video, installation, photography, sculpture, sound, and text, Heydt presents an abstract proposition for a world on the periphery of history, one that not only appears haunted by the ghosts of the past but built on it.  Often reinventing or trespassing the associative use of the material in use, Heydt is esteemed as one of the pioneers of the recycled media movement.  Her work has been shown in galleries, museums, art fairs, and film festivals worldwide. 



The Year of the Pandemic