Travis Mitzel was born in Pittsburgh, PA where he would gain an appreciation for Ecology and Animal Husbandry which grew from initial encounters with salamanders in Appalachian streams. After obtaining a BFA in Photography Travis began to explore animals that are “coming or going”, coming out of the wild and into the human sphere of influence, or out of existence and into the emptiness of extinction. While researching these specific species stories Travis became aware of the Anthropocene a new geological epoch marked by the effects of humans on the earth system.This shifted his artistic practice to examine New Ecologies and existential threats Non-humans and Humans are currently facing.
Travis Moved to Chicago to pursue his MFA in Studio Art at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Now using his studio and lab space both in Chicago and in Pittsburgh Travis seeks to create niches for non-human life, dismantle interspecies hierarchies, aestheticize new ecologies, and practice eco-mythology building. All of this is investigated with a mix of, Sculptural, Photographic, Scientific, Video, and Performative forms. The work is often produced in collaborations and partnerships with Non-Humans and Humans.