Sarah Abarbanel is an artist and educator based in the Hudson Valley and is currently an MFA candidate at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College in New York. Her interdisciplinary, research-oriented approach to subject matter includes sculpture, video, sound, and poetry. She is interested in the radical permeability of boundaries that constitute seemingly fixed subjects, and the ways in which trying to research, know, or understand any particular one can productively undermine these same pursuits.


mixed media installation, Bard College, 2021

In transitional objects, photographs, projections, and sounds were oriented around or within vitrine-like sculptural display cases. These “tables of contents” corresponded to sections of poetic prose broadly based on the history of the New York Aquarium. The vitrines were installed in the space according to the original architectural plans for this site. Viewers of the installation were invited to touch the printed images and move freely between the constellation of displayed parts.





forming nouns usually denoting a place.

a place for relating to.

if anyone is familiar with this site it’s had two unapparently

the ocean water came rushing into the aquarium, bypassing the sand and up through the vents and ducts the lower levels filled within minutes in ten to fifteen feet of standing water and dirty chemicals. everything that was out there was coming in and everything that was in here was going stunning

doesn’t dwell here very long stunning doesn’t do that

without container couplet or paragraph you’ll have to fill it up yourself while still wanting more from the fish’s i

click here to read the full text


Mixed Media Installation, Banff Centre, CA, 2018

Speech forms was an evolving mixed media installation and series of dance performances utilizing sound, gesture, and drawing. Using the studio as a site, I covered the space in vinyl dance flooring and drew a phoneme-inspired map on which the dancers rehearsed. The drawing contains two circles, each of which has forty-four equidistant, color coded points around the circumference. Each point represents one of the forty-four phonetic sounds in American English. The circles’ interiors were filled with sand, a common material used in early childhood classrooms to facilitate multi-sensory learning and memory.
Responding to a diverse series of prompts and spoken scores, the dancers improvised between the corresponding series of speech-points to create sentences. The dancers taught one another new phrases as they moved through an intuitive process of mirroring and repetition.


Mixed Media Installation, SHOWROOM, Gowanus 2016
In cmyk, cotton thread was woven across four wooden frames to create four screens: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. When the viewer occupies a specific vantage point in front of these screens, all four align to create one rectangular shape. However, when the viewer moves, the image breaks, and one's attention is called to the four discrete planes it is composed of, as well as the activated moiré where the screens overlap.