Stefani Byrd's practice includes video, new media, and interactive technologies. Byrd is most noted for her temporary public art installations, made with frequent collaborator Wes Eastin, that create "empathy training" experiences for the audience.
These works are a hybrid of video and performance art that both disorient and re-orient the viewer. The work is both playful and sophisticated, drawing the viewer into active and often interactive engagement. Her practice aims to shed light on the complicated nature of communication within a contemporary culture where social stereotypes often define our interactions.
The 2011 installation "I Go Humble…" featured live video of two women and two homosexual men who cat-called only the males who walked by the empty storefront where the work was presented. The installation switched the power structure typifying sexism and created an “empathy training” encounter for the unsuspecting men whose reactions ranged from amusement to embarrassment and ultimately, avoidance. The seriousness of the subject matter is masked by the humor that the situation is intended to create.
They have received grants and support from groups such as: Creative Capital of New York, Flux Projects, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, and Idea Capital. Their work has been featured in such places as the Independent Film Channel, the New Filmmakers Festival in New York, the Atlanta Film Festival, the Huffington Post, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, the Hunter Museum of American Art and Art Papers Magazine.
Byrd's work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Columbus Museum of American Art, and the Diane Marek Collection and Trust.
Stefani Byrd received her BFA in Photography from Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, in 2008. She is currently a first year MFA candidate at the University of California San Diego with an emphasis in new media.