Steph Kudisch

Instagram: steph_kudisch


Bio: Steph Kudisch is a trans genderfluid artist whose work uses mutated intertidal aesthetics and personal storytelling to dwell in in-betweens. They were born with unilateral microtia and aural atresia, and are profoundly deaf in their undeveloped left ear. In recent sound sculptures Kudisch explores the complex implications and impacts of “deformity”. They work as a teaching artist on Ohlone land in the San Francisco Bay Area. Focusing in screenprint, analog + digital sound, and ceramics, Kudisch received their MFA as well as the Isaac M. Walter Sculpture Prize from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2018. Kudisch was selected for the San Francisco Center for the Book's 2022 Small Plates Project cohort, during which they created an edition of screenprinted books titled "to take part in taking apart", honing in on queer crip collectivism & imagination, overlapping ecotones, and a refusal of climate nihilism.

Statement: "my material makes me up" is a sound sculpture celebrating my trans sensuality, the indescribable power and immense relief of arriving at a sense of reverence & the ability to savor being in my body. It is dwelling in the indeterminate beauty of self-determination, in a kneading metamorphosis. I am malleable. The sounds that emerge from within the sculpture are formed from layers of my voice breaking, twisting, & humming recorded before and throughout my first 5 months of testosterone injections. Sometimes I feel that sound erodes me like water. How long does it take for canyons to form, particles rearranged? Abraded by the rush of soft living waters, this is my voice mutating. I am dog-eared like a book, and mutation is an embrace. Sometimes I am a pause, but I will keep trying to read every page. It often feels like too much to kvell in this beautiful absurdity while also holding knowledge and pain and rage about the past years’ many immense horrors. The attacks on trans self-determination & bodily autonomy are compounding and escalating every day. My access to hrt & top surgery has empowered me to become more myself in my 30’s than I’ve felt ever before, in symbiosis with more parts of myself. I know that we can and must delve deeper into the direct action & tactics of those who came before us, and continue to build upon their work in our own ways. There is so much to do, collectively and individually– change is god.