Allen Killian-Moore (he/him) was born the fall of 1981. He is a neurodivergent, autistic, multidisciplinary artist working in Wet Plate Collodion, Moving-Image, Writing, Curation, Performance, Visual Art, and Social Justice. His work across a variety of mediums explores coexistence in many forms—individual and collective, social and political, life and death. Allen's working definition of coexistence is the following: Things (places, people, animals, objects, ideas) existing all at once, in both disharmony and harmony, along with the tension between those things and states of being. To all of his work, Allen brings his autistic, idiosyncratic, outsider perspective; circumventing the narrow mindsets of our often ableist, neurotypical world.
Allen’s wet plate collodion photographic work is multidimensional. His community sourced personal portrait sessions in the Neurodivergent Tintype Studio are a paradoxical amalgam of contemporary fine art photography and vernacular photography, ultimately intended for personal home viewing. This ongoing project is called Contemporary Vernacular Paradox for those reasons. Much of his other work in wet plate collodion is project based and intended for public engagement. Allen's project based work exists in a socially engaged fine arts context and he is interested in the way that photographic portraiture may radically center images of people who’ve been denigrated, excluded, or oppressed. Allen utilizes a victorian era photochemical process to create socially aware studio portraiture which is deployed to artfully elevate difference to the level of compelling visual signifiers. As the wet plate process is both a science and an art, it is highly controlled yet entails collaboration with chance. Thus, there are visual imperfections inherent to the process which lend it a potent aesthetic variety, and its actinic (blue/uv light sensitive) likenesses call out for recognition from their hand-varnished, physical surfaces.
Allen’s moving image work has been praised for its reflective quality and raw poignance, with critic Stephanie Burke for Art Talk Chicago describing Allen’s video installation, Body Tempest, as “Physically much more than I expected… Killian-Moore enshrouded the projection in a hobo circus-revival tent, blood red and ominous. The tomb-circus-house blur all served to heighten the impact of watching such a tragic event unfold through the filter of a single repetitive act, the pulling and contemplation of hair.” In the fall of 2018, Allen was an Artist In Residence at the North Dakota Museum of Art, and he was the recipient of a Career Development Grant in 2018.
Allen’s work has has received grant support through the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, and his work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at a wide variety of venues, including a solo exhibition at the Duluth Art Institute, the Joseph Nease Gallery, Hennepin Theater Trust’s Made Here exhibition in Minneapolis, and Fill In The Blank Gallery in Chicago. His work has also been featured in the annual Chautauqua Art Lab in Saint Louis, and his moving image work has screened nationally on the viewer curated Current TV network. In addition, Allen is the founder and curator of the Saltless Sea Cinema, a roaming micro-cinema program which screens avant-garde film and video art.
Allen’s essays and poetry have been published in Boneshaker Almanac, Geez Magazine, Aqueous Magazine, and Whole Beast Rag, among others. In 2020 Portland based Microcosm Publishing released Well Tidy Scran, Allen’s pocket guide to vegan Scottish cooking, and in 2017, they published his ode to a worker co-op, Owning The Means of Production. Allen was a writer in residence at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writers’ Project in Pittsburgh in 2013. His first book of collected poems was published in November 2016 on Dauntless Supply Company press. The collection was described by Whole Beast Rag publisher Katherine Hargreaves as, “The work of peeling back the fur; for now we must confront the animal inside, there are no easy truths here - that is not the point… At their core, Allen’s words ask that you abandon what is old in order to realize your necessary form.”
Allen’s music performance project, AOE, recorded an album titled Workplace Democracy which combines furtive musical landscapes with spoken word performance pieces. In 2015, the album was released by Chicago based 1980 Records. Foreign Accents Music Journal described the album as “Confident, freely-flowing sonic unpredictability… The sound of a haggard brain searching furtively through a thick undergrowth of abstraction, with intuitively-controlled chaos leading up from the roots into an ambiguous glimmer of checkered daylight.” Currently, Allen performs solo and with the Allen Killian-Moore ensemble, providing live soundscape musical scores to avant-garde film projections.
In addition to his work as a multidisciplinary artist, Allen is also a progressive secular humanist, a vegan, and a democratic socialist, who has worked on a wide variety of political, community, and social justice projects related to homelessness, housing, worker-ownership, wealth disparity, racism, police violence, neurophobia, ecology (environment), classism, economics, homophobia, veganism, food justice, feminism, intersectional lifestyle politics, labor, human rights, atheism, and community based solidarity, among others.