On a recent cold February night, I am standing in Ellen Nielsen’s warm and wood-paneled home. Techno throbs softly from the back room studio, and I am filling my eyes with stretch velvet and sequins, crochet and curios. The place has a hip mustiness to it, an afghan industriousness of polish grandmother’s drawing room flayed with neon updates. As I move over to inspect a shadow box displaying tiny spangles of all colors and description, serially arranged in rows according to a bizarre logic belonging to kindergarteners and people who haunt Micheal’s crafting stores, I am reminded of a quotation I have to look up later: “Decoration”, says Michelle Kuo, “is a kind of technology.”

We recently visited Ellen Nielsen at her Pilsen apartment/studio to talk to her about her work and about the show that she’ll be having at the Plaines Project in May. Read about the studio visit, written by Alex de Leon, here.