Sarah Kanouse

Sarah Kanouse

Program Coordinator; Associate Professor - Media Arts, Interdisciplinary Arts


ARTD 5001: Art, Context, Action

ARTD 6001: Art, Media, Participation

ARTE 5XXX: Art, Ecology, Action (under development)

About Sarah

Sarah Kanouse is a research-based artist, critical writer, and program coordinator of the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. Her creative projects trace the production of landscape through ecological, historical, and legal forces, with particular interest given to the environmental and cultural effects of infrastructure, energy,  and the military.

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 in an American wildlife refuge. She is currently pursuing two projects: an experimental essay film examining fracking, ranching, and nuclear weapons at the Pawnee National Grassland in northeastern Colorado, and a performance addressing the Los Angeles electrical grid as a form of intergenerational ecological debt.

An inveterate collaborator, Sarah 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 and politics collaborative best known for staging a series of performative hearings into the intergenerational and interspecies impacts of GMO and industrial agriculture on regional and global eco-social systems. With Nicholas Brown, she published the photo-text book Re-Collecting Black Hawk, which addresses 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, Colorado College, and the University of Wisconsin. She has written extensively about performative and site-based contemporary art practices in Art Journal, Acme, Leonardo, Parallax and in the books Critical Landscapes, Art Against the Law, and Mapping Environmental Issues in the City.

Sarah Kanouse is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Art + Design at Northeastern University. She previously held a tenured faculty position in the University of Iowa’s School of Art and Art History and served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography at Southern Illinois University. She earned her MFA degree in Studio Art from the University of Illinois, and a BA in Art, magna cum laude, from Yale University.