Hiltner views herself as an archeologist of science fiction exploring the media landscape of films, television and video games, intertwining these themes with current scientific inquiry. She appropriates and stitches together visual cues from both sources to create tableaus, interspersed with natural influences from the terrain of ocean and rainforest floors, interiors of the human body and nebulous arrays of stardust. The resulting sculptural environments use a variety of different mediums and processes, confronting the viewer with something that appears alien yet undeniably familiar. Since childhood Hiltner has found inspiration in the environments displayed in history and science museums, encapsulated moments in time inviting viewers to explore what once was and the lessons these histories can teach for our future.
The driving concept throughout her work is a fascination with how science fiction cinema influences our current understanding of scientific research, and how that filter of understanding will affect scientific advancement. These pieces have included studies in evolution, biodiversity and cosmic exploration just to name a few, intermingling rigorous observations and evaluations of naturally occurring phenomena with elements of a more fantastical nature. A connection to science and technology has played a prominent role throughout my artistic career, constantly searching for ways to reveal how fact can be far more glorious and stranger than fiction.