Sarah Kanouse

Art & Art History
University of Iowa

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 space through ecological, historical, and legal forces, with particular interest given to the environmental and cultural effects of military activities. Her award-winning, feature-length film, Around Crab Orchard, addressed 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 agricultre on regional and global systems. Her work has been screened or exhibited at Documenta 13, the Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, the Smart Museum (Chicago), 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 JournalAcme, LeonardoParallax and in the forthcoming volume Critical Landscapes (University of California Press).  An Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Iowa, she teaches courses in video/time-based media and art and ecology. More information is available on her website: