Tabitha Soren: Surface Tension

Tabitha Soren, Katie’s-Vacation-Photo, 2018

“I want to expose the human experience in all its anarchic complexity,” says artist Tabitha Soren. “At this moment in the United States, our differences are being used as a way to divide us. I aim to create solidarity by making photographs that express similarities in the human experience. My work is about bringing the morbidity, dread, and anxiety of everyday life to the surface. I hope to humanize these feelings—normalize them. With any luck, the work will allow viewers to feel a connection with others.”

Soren has long explored the intersection of culture, politics, the body, and psychology. For years, she was best known for her Peabody Award-winning political coverage on MTV News. For the last fifteen years, Soren has devoted herself to fine art photography. Surface Tension, her first solo museum exhibition, will travel to Transformer Station in October following its debut at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. The Transformer Station exhibition will include a number of new artworks created specifically for the space.

“Building a second act in life is always awkward, but I’m grateful to be as passionate about making art as I was about the news when I was younger. My artwork is quite cinematic, undoubtedly as a result of producing television. I’ve simply moved from video’s 30-frames-a-second to one frame at a time with photography.”

Surface Tension encourages us to see our relationship with everyday technology in unexpected ways by highlighting the screens we routinely ignore or erase. The subjects pictured beneath the surface of her photographs reflect our culture, whereas the smears and markings of fingerprints record our physical movements and fleeting attention.

For this project, Soren uses a large-format 8×10 film camera. “What I love about this work is that it takes something minuscule—the residue and grime from our fingertips—and makes it larger than life. Shooting an iPad screen under a raking light allows me to reveal the tactile trail we leave behind on our devices,” says Soren. “The science of touch makes clear that humans need to connect with the physical world, yet we spend an increasing amount of time interacting with the cold impervious surfaces of technological devices. I hope my exhibition makes viewers question WHY.”

The opening reception will be held Friday, October 25, from 7:00 to 9:00pm, followed by an artist talk at 1:00pm on Saturday, October 26. Become a member of Transformer Station to attend an intimate members-only reception, October 25 from 6:00 to 7:00pm. Tabitha Soren and Fred and Laura Bidwell will give brief remarks around 6:30pm. Visit to learn more.


Reception 7–9pm Friday, October 25 | Artist Talk 1 pm Saturday, October 26
Free and open to the public

Transformer Station

1460 West 29th Street

Cleveland, Ohio 44113

Wednesday–Sunday: 11am–5pm

Thursday: 11am–8pm