© Laura J Gerlach/www.laurajphotography.de

American sculptor Michelle Jaffé creates participatory installations that manifest as sculpture, sound and performative video. These encounters invite a synaptic shift in attitude. Lured in, we navigate the environment.  Our sensory awareness is engaged. New neural connections are forged.        

Concept merges with meaning as Jaffé's materials amplify and illuminate her main concerns. How is individual psychology and pathology mirrored in society? When and where are the borders between terror, abuse and negligence blurred and crossed? By exploring armor, she asks what is shut in, what is shut out? 

For Jaffé's iconic work Wappen Field, chrome plated steel, LED’s, vocal composition and SuperCollider are deployed to create an enveloping installation. Poet Douglas Crase has said “Whether in the immersive dimensions of Wappen Field or the exquisite chamber
work Awakening, (an experiential light and soundscape of Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field), she has opened apertures on the sublime which render it visible, audible, and imminent.” 
Jaffé shares a sensibility for scale with Jackson Pollock and Richard Serra, as well as a sense for the comedic, a biting edginess and the theatrical with Oskar Schlemmer, Robert Wilson and Pina Bausch.
Jaffé was educated in England as a teenager, and earned a BA Honours in Fine Arts & French Literature from the University of East Anglia in England. Childhood exposure to Asian scrolls shaped her visual sensibility. Their depictions of space and balance, their unique evocation of so much with such economy, informed her work’s formal clarity and restrained reserve.
She has exhibited at The New Media Gallery, Vancouver, Duke University, NYCEMF, Beall Center for Art + Technology, Milton Art Bank, Transylvania University, Indiana University, UICA and solo shows in NY at Bosi Contemporary, Wald & Po Kim Foundation, Susan Berko-Conde Gallery & Brooklyn College. She has been awarded residencies at The Newlyn Gallery and Exchange Museum-UK, MacDowell Colony and Djerassi, and grants from NYSCA and Queens Arts Council. Jaffé's design work is extensively collected by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum at FIT and Museé de la Mode in Paris.