Megan Driscoll, postdoctoral research associate, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art
Blending video, digital imaging, and sculpture, contemporary artist Sondra Perry builds installations that explore the affective labor of survival, tools of land cultivation and expansion, and the commodification of human beings. Across these themes, Perry repeatedly emphasizes the failure of film and animation to correctly render her unruly, dark body—a problem that, her work suggests, cannot be solved with anything as simple as a chroma key correction. Rather, this is a systemic failure of visual technologies; her body operates as a built-in point of inefficiency and, potentially, resistance. In this lecture, Megan Driscoll demonstrates that Perry situates her body’s digital inefficiency within the long history of transforming the violence of un-visibility into a strategy of resistance against the regimes of power and technology.