Caitlin Berrigan

My PhD centers on the research and production of an ongoing cosmology, Imaginary Explosions, an exploration into combining embodied and technoscientific knowledge production at the geological scale. The research-driven fictions follow an affiliation of transfeminist scientists as they operate through deep time in communication with the desires of the mineral earth for radical, planetary transformation. Co-conspiring with the characters, who are real life collaborators, the making of the work itself is an exercise in intersectional affiliation and climate reparation. It works to combine embodied epistemologies with technoscientific instruments of knowledge production, usually held in the hands of the powerful elite.
Remote sensing offers both extended apparatuses of viewing, feeling, and operating in the world, as well as expanded dynamics of population control. Large-scale spatial mapping technologies are primarily deployed, administered, and understood by economically dominant world powers and multinational scientific consortia. Asymmetrical power relations are thus reproduced and amplified at the planetary scale. It is urgent that these images and models be legible to wider constituencies than solely at levels of industry, military, and governance. What interventions, trespasses, transformative subjectivities are occurring through the deliberate decolonization and appropriation of networks of remote sensing by those on the peripheries of power?
I am approaching cultures of volcanism with sensory ethnographic methods to investigate how the measurement, monitoring, and exploitation of global volcanic activity contribute to visual cultures and knowledge production about how we understand and model planetary systems. I define my approach as “pseudo science fiction,” in that I employ an ethnographic observational methodology to speculative fiction in artistic practice. It is a method to demonstrate and inhabit technoscientific imaginations as they contribute to new epistemologies of seeing and sensing.
Caitlin Berrigan works across performance, video, sculpture, text, and public choreographies to engage with the intimate and embodied dimensions of power, politics, and capitalism. Her artist’s book Imaginary Explosions (Broken Dimanche Press, 2018) was the subject of solo exhibitions in Berlin and the Akademie Schloss Solitude, and her book Unfinished State is forthcoming from Archive Books with support from the Graham Foundation. She has created commissions for the Whitney Museum of American Art, Harvard Carpenter Center, and the deCordova Museum. Her work has shown at Henry Art Gallery Seattle, Storefront for Art & Architecture, Hammer Museum, Anthology Film Archives, LACMA, Goldsmith’s London, Homeworks Beirut, among others. She holds a Master’s from the MIT Art, Culture & Technology Program, and a B.A. from Hampshire College. She taught emerging media studio practice full-time from 2015-18 at NYU Tisch Photography & Imaging, and is now a research affiliate of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering Technology, Culture and Society.
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