Sarah Kanouse is an interdisciplinary artist and writer examining the politics of landscape and public space. Her research-based creative projects trace the production of landscape through ecological, historical, and legal forces, particularly focusing on the environmental and cultural effects of military activities. Her award-winning, feature-length film, Around Crab Orchard, addresses how the politics of conservation and environmental justice are imbricated with military and penal economies deeply in an American wildlife refuge.
She is one half of the National Toxic Land/Labor Conservation service, a ‘wishful’ government agency addressing the cultural and ecological impacts of nuclear militarism, and a core member of Compass, an art collaborative currently staging a series of performative hearings into the intergenerational and inter-species impacts of industrial agriculture on regional and global systems. Working with Nicholas Brown, she recently published the photo-text book Re-Collecting Black Hawk, addressing landscapes of settler commemoration in the Midwest. Her work has been screened or exhibited at Documenta 13, the Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, the Cooper Union, the Smart Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and in numerous festivals and spaces at such institutions as CUNY Graduate Center, George Mason University, University of California Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin. She has written extensively about performative and site-based contemporary art practices in Art Journal, Acme, Leonardo, and Parallax, and in the books Critical Landscapes, Art Against the Law, and Mapping Environmental Issues in the City. She is Associate Professor of Media Arts at Northeastern University.