Kara Lynch

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Artist Statement


My practice is multidisciplinary as a solo artist and collectively with others. This includes single channel non-fiction video, multi-channel video and sound installation, and performance. Projects commit to theory and practice that moves towards an art, politics, poetics, and practice of social transformation. I embrace abstraction and resist the over-determined narrative and conspicuous hyper visibility of Blackness in our popular culture. In all of this I search for a kind of quiet – a visual vocabulary to describe the beauty and terror of the Black experience.

Video, an immediate and intimate medium guides me as an art form. The studio practice is research based and includes movement, writing, and sound as generative forces in the midst of our hyper visual culture. My methods and approaches combine performance, anthropology, documentary, conceptual and avant-garde art; while the concerns and aesthetics are deeply rooted in Black culture, collective memory, poetry, and personal history and informed by social justice action, feminist and queer politics. Currently I have two major research projects: Invisible and The Outing.

In 2099, the transatlantic slave trade never happened.

‘Invisible’ is a speculative project that explores the limits of Black liberation and western civilization This long-form episodic project asks: what if the transatlantic slave trade never happened? ‘Invisible’ confronts a history of violence meted out upon Black people while envisioning our survival and transformation. Dedicated to speculation: what-if and what could be – in ‘Invisible’, maritime meets speed of light.

This proposal is two-fold: the recovery of memory and an embodiment of memory as I re-inhabit and reconstitute it in public space. Episodes emerge as sound and video installations drawing from an event marking shared memories and folkways barely documented in history books. For instance, ‘Episode 03’ begins at the moment the shutter opens and closes to reveal G. H. Farnum’s photograph of the lynching of Laura Nelson and her son at the Old Schoolton road bridge on the outskirts of Okemah, Oklahoma in 1911. While onlookers line the bridge above, their bodies hang and hover over the North Canadian River. This documents their deaths and the ordinariness of that violence for onlooker and victim alike. As a response, I have developed “SAVED”.

it’s like it never happened and we feel it in our bones.

SAVED is conceived of as a collective living memorial to victims of lynching and link to local histories of violence and resistance, a live performance/sound installation, a re-photograph, and a witnessing. SAVED is performed in multiple cities and towns, linking to local histories and communities over the next ten years. Through research and collaboration with creative partners, we develop a vernacular performance specific to each place. In fall 2013 we created a pilot installation in Harlem River Park and the 145th street bridge connecting Harlem and the Bronx in New York City. The goal is to activate eleven more sites across the U.S. Much like activist projects like #SayHerName, collectively, SAVED confronts a legacy of racial and sexual violence in the United States in order to find grace in this story. (See website: http://acrowdgathers.wordpress.com)
Concurrent episodes of ‘Invisible’ include site specific guided audio tours through Greenfield, MA and Bayreuth Germany. ‘The Archivist’s Vault’ proposes a crossroads of stories where Indigenous meets settler; chattel slavery meets big bankroll; underground railroad meets paper-mill; 20th century decay meets 21st century re-purpose. And, ‘Juneteenth/Paradise’ is a sculptural video/audio installation meditating upon the time-lapse between the Emancipation Proclamation and freedom. The pace of ‘Invisible’ is slow and steady. I develop episodes much like stanzas of an epic poem.

The Outing follows the structure of a travelogue, incorporating personal memoir and tourist souvenirs into a visual narrative construct a series of queer video and sound postcards to convey these journeys. In 2016/17 I begin research for the fourth travelogue in the series to further challenge the traditional ‘coming out story’. Queering the Odysseus myth, a not so young woman, lost at sea, looks for home and the perfect wave in the Mediterranean. Battling her own demons and finding her roots, she wanders freely throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East until she finally docks in Mitilini, Lesbos – the home of her maternal grandparents, a site of gay tourism, and the border crossing for hundreds of thousands of recent refugees from Africa, Asia and the Middle East..

In addition to my solo practice, since 2004 I have been a member of an artist collective La Línea (The Line), a transnational feminist collective of women writers, artists and theorists. Our collective work criss-crosses the borderland between US and Mexico and propose poetics, creative expression, and artistic public intervention as weapons against violence and terror. I have also collaborated with a dancer and musician in Lebanon as a live trio performance group, and more recently with performance artist nyx zierhut with a series of actions that meditate upon police brutality and Black death. These collaborations are a dynamic source of energy and insight and an important part of my growth as an artist.




University of California, San Diego
MFA, Visual Arts Department
City University of New Y ork NY , NY
Post Baccalaureate Enrollment, Black Studies Department
Whitney Independent Study Program NY, NY Independent Study in Studio Art
Williams College Williamstown, MA
B. A. Art Studio and Russian Language and Literature, Double Major. 1960’s Scholar.
Moscow State University/Dartmouth College Moscow, USSR Junior Spring Semester University of Washington Seattle, WA Intensive Summer Language Program in Russian Language

Deposits of the Future FAVT, Iwalewa Haus – Center for Contemporary African Art, Bayreuth, DE;
site specific multichannel audio/video installation in conversation with Peggy Peische
‘SAVED’ Invisible New York City – 145th street bridge/Harlem River Park anchor artist for large public performance
GhostBusters II SAVVYContemporary Berlin, DE
curated by Nadine Siegert & Storm Janse van Rensburg
Invisible ‘Juneteenth/Paradise – Fugitive Inside the Gate’ five channel video/sound installation
Afro-stat II Iwalewa Haus Bayreuth, DE curated by Henriette Gunkel & Anna Schrade Invisible ‘Juneteenth/Paradise’fivechannelvideo/soundinstallation
The Archivist Vault – Mohrenwashe :: O Paradiso’ audio tour
Brick and Mortar Video Festival Greenfield, MA curated by Christoph Cox
Invisible ‘The Archivist’s Vault’ audio tour with video components 2008 Listen! Denniston Hill Arts Organization Woodridge, NY
Invisible ‘episode 03 :: saved’ site specific sound installation and performance 2007 Civitella Ranieri Center , Umbria Italy
Invisible ‘episode 12: 9th ward : study 01.2’ site specific video and sound installation in castle
Invisible – episode 03: meet me in Okema, Ok University of California, San Diego site specific, six channel video and audio installation

Red Africa – Things Fall Apart, Calvert 22 Group Exhibition/Screening ‘Moscow Journal’ 
curated by Mark Nash and Nadine Seigart
Project for a Re-volution in NY, Tompkins County Public Library Ithaca, NY curated by Todd Ayong and Krishna Ramanujan
RESPOND smackmellon gallery , NY
Towards the Unknown curated by Alhena Katsof ; production coordinator on site and contributor
‘A Drawing a Day for Yusef’ – a dual projection video installation in conjunction with exhibition of drawings by Yusef Lateef – Harold Library Gallery, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
Wayland Rudd Collection Winkelman Gallery, NYC & First Floor Gallery Harare, ZW
Faculty Show, Hampshire College Amherst, MA
Invisible ‘Juneteenth Paradise – Fugitive’ six channel billboard projection
Mapping Sites soundscape artist : multisite exhibition/blog
Spring Festival annual Middle East Theater and Dance Festival Beirut, Lebanon
One Acre Plot Majestic Farms Mountaindale, NY group exhibition of sound installations
Faculty Show, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
‘El Proyecto de Las Morras’ 2 channel video document of La Linea project
Death Jewel Film and Video curated by EE Miller Anthology Film Archive, NYC Parsons Hall Project Space 2008
Exhibition Holyoke, MA
CUBO Tijuana – EntijuanArte07 CECUT, Tijuana, Baja, MX sound installation
Faculty Show, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
Invisible ‘episode 12: 9th ward study 02’ video and audio installation Open Square Open Studios, Holyoke, MA
Invisible ‘episode 12: 9th ward study 01.1’ video and audio installation P.S. Odysseus – book v :: released + wrecked
5min. experimental video as part of PocketMyths DVD Odysseus Project
Faculty Show, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
Invisible ‘episode 12: 9th ward study 01’ video and audio installation
SuperSonic Art Center Pasadena, CA (june – august)
Invisible ‘episode 03: meet me in okemah’ video and audio installation, Group Show
La Estacion TJ Tijuana, Mexico ‘Xing Over’ audio installation in two stairways, Group Show CalTranzit, Marcuse Gallery San Diego, CA
‘Elegua – the crossroads’ performance & audio installation, Collaborative Project
Paradigm Promiscuity Proliferation Perversion, Marcuse Gallery San Diego, CA ‘Pornocopia’ soundtrack in collaboration with Brad Borewitz, Group Show
Unconditional Cake Show, Marcuse Gallery, San Diego, CA ‘Golliwog… that takes the Cake!’ sound sculpture, Group Show


FreedomNow – New York, New York
Series of public performance/action/meditation initiated by lead artist, nyx zierhut
National Day of Action for Black Lives – 135th street and Malcolm X/Lenox Blvd; morning rush hour 99th anniversary of NAACP Silent Parade – Marcus Garvey Park; dusk
Black August #1 – East River Park; dusk
Black August #2 – Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue; morning rush hour
Mouhawala Oula (First Attempt) – Beirut, Lebanon
Live trio performance for Dance, Video, and Saxophone collaboration with Alexandre Paulekivitch + Stephane Rives
Spring Festival annual Middle East Theater and Dance Festival – Beirut, Lebanon 2009 Premiere Performance Sunflower Theater, Beirut, Lebanon
La Linea Interdisciplinario Feminist Art Collective
El Proyecto de Las Morras –Tijuana, Mexico
workshop/book project with women in Tijuana single gender municipal drug rehabilitation center
Faculty Show, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 2 channel video document/installation
Proyecto Civico / Civic Project – theCubo CECUT Tijuana, Baja MX
Fear is Effective –Tijuana, Mexico//San Diego, CA
Mobile Projection – Madrid, Spain and Tijuana, Mexico
sticker, signs, text message alerts, window dressing, performances – Baja to Bay Area California & cyberspace
Poem Lines on Phone Lines Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
commissioned project – six months poetry project on demand through MCASD voice-mail

Black Russians, 2001
Prod./Dir./Writer/Editor 117min. Video Feature Documentary
Screened: Smithsonian Museum of African Art, SDSU, Oakland African Diaspora Film Society, Malcolm X Library, San Diego, Critical Race Theory Workshop Conference-Washington College of Law, University of Southern California, Cal Arts, Dartmouth College, Israeli Educational TV(pre-cultural boycott), Palestinian Film and Video Festival, CASAR – AUB, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Williams College, Amherst College, Princeton Univ., Loyola College in MD, Howard Univ., Women in the Director’s Chair Film &Video Festival, Iwalewa Haus, Bayreuth DE; and more…
A Conversation, 1999
Prod./Dir . 12min. Video non-fiction in collaboration with Jamika Ajalon
Screened: Short Works- UCSD, 2002; Youth Activist Conference, Hampshire College – 2001
The Outing: a travelogue series
2016… my lesbian grandparents Digital Video Experimental – in development
2012… Fruit in Season Digital Video Experimental – work in progress
2002 Mi Compañera 12min. Hi8/DV Experimental
Screened: International artist series, Beirut, Lebanon 2009; London Lesbian + Gay Film Festival, 2006; Dyke TV, 2005; AluCine Toronto Latino Film/Video Festival; San Francisco Black Lesbian and Gay Film/Video Festival; Mix: New York Experimental Lesbian and Gay Film &Video Festival; The New Festival – 2002.
1998 Me – Ba … I’m Coming, 9 min. Super8/Hi8/Digital video Experimental
Screened: Film du Femme, Cologne Fall 2000, Black Film Festival London, UK Aug. 2000, Queer Shorts Movie Awards Outfest, June/July 2000; London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival UK April 1999; Soho Arts Fair Apogee event, NY, NY 9/98; Women in the Director’s Chair festival Chicago, IL 3/22/98 and 1998/9 tour; OutFest, Los Angeles, CA 7/1998; The New Festival, NYC 6/10/98; Mix Festival NYC 11/9/97.
Ongoing: streaming on the Web www.ifilm.com (queer picks), www.planetout.com


2015 Garden Hill Fund Grant awarded for INVISIBLE : saved
2014 Research Fellow Kahn Institute, Smith College, Northampton, MA
Research Fellow ‘Les imaginaires du renouveau’ Point Sud/Goethe University, DFG – Dakar, Senegal 2013 Research Fellow/Guest Scholar-Artist Akademie for Advanced African Studies, Bayreuth University DE 2012-13 Research Fellow African and African Diaspora Studies Department, UT Austin TX
2012 Franklin Furnace Fund New York, NY
Mellon Grant for Language Learning and Acquisition Global Languages Center Amherst, MA 2001-4 San Diego Fellow Graduate Studies Fellowship in Visual Arts Department, UC, San Diego
2000 Queer Shorts Movie Awards Planet Out/ifilms best experimental for Me-Ba…I’m coming 1997 Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media Video Distribution Grant
1996 New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Video Fellowship
New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship in Media


2016 MELT – Movement Research summer intensive participant 2015 Urban BushWomen Summer Leadership Institute participant
Flaherty Seminar – the Scent of Places participant
Cultural Organizing Workshop by Arts&Democracy participant/Ethics and Common Good rep. 2013 Artist in Residence – Iwalewa Haus, Bayreuth, Germany
2012 Artist in Residence – Iwalewa Haus, Bayreuth, Germany
2007 Civitella Ranieri Center Artist Residency Umbertide, Italy
2006 Laboratorio Escritores Fronterizos/Border Writing Workshop Tijuana, MX/Chula Vista, US 2001 The Banff Centre for the Arts ‘SloMo’ Artist Residency Banff, Canada
2000 Wexner Center for Media Columbus, OH three-week residency
1996 The Banff Centre for the Arts ‘Pop Mass N’ Sub’ Artist Residency Banff, Canada
1994-95 Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest International Artists Residency Moscow, Russia


2015 Future Africa Visions in Time, Iwalewa Haus – Center for Contemporary African Art
Bayreuth, Germany; ‘Deposits of the Future’ conversation with Peggy Peische 2014 ‘saved’ – Artist Talk 98weeks Arts + Culture Collective, Beirut, Lebanon
Black Russians CASAR screening series, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
2013 Conceptualizing Future Africa Conference, Keynote – “invisible” Bayreuth University Germany
2012 AADS Faculty Presentation series – “Miss Otis Regrets…” University of Texas at Austin Northern Arizona University – Art and Politics Lecture Flagstaff, AZ
BIGSAS University of Bayreuth – Iwalewa Haus Bayreuth, Germany
2011 Symposium: “Black Imprisonment, Here and Now!”
African & African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas, Austin and the Harriet Tubman Literary Circle
International Women’s Day – you show me yours, I’ll show you mine
Artist presentation with Jaclyn Pryor
Symposium : African American Perspectives on Russian and Slavic Studies
Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies, University of Pittsburg
2008 Fear is Effective and other interventions by La Linea American University of Beirut, Lebanon Children of Men : the city v. the camp Academie Liban du Belle Arte Beirut, Lebanon
2007 Black Russians + Documentary master class Purdue University, Indiana CUBO Tijuana – EntijuanArte07 CECUT, Tijuana, Baja, MX sound installation
College Language Association National Conference Birmingham, AL
Policing the Black Body Williams College Williamstown, MA
IUFSFC invisible universe conference City College of NY, NY
SoundaXis Architecture . music . acoustics New Music Arts Project Toronto, Canada
Transgressing Gender Conference Zagreb, Croatia film program presenter
Homeworks III: a forum on cultural practices Beirut, Lebanon participant
Black Studies Symposium crossroads in the study of the Americas Amherst, MA respondent Association of Writers and Writer’s Programs Vancouver, BC, Canada Panelist
Open Square Open Studios, Holyoke, MA ‘Tetris’ site specific sound installation
COCU 175 Black Women Filmmakers UC, San Diego Presenter
Crossing Borders: Citizenship, Social Justice and the Crossroads of Culture UCSD, CA
Thinking Outside of Print I: Identity, Representation, and Activism through Film Presenter
Powering Up, Powering Down festival and conference of Art in Technological Times UCSD Performing Histories, Imagining Futures Panel Discussion Facilitator
Artist in Residence CalArts Valencia, CA Guest Presenter
Critical Race Theory Workshop College of Law, American University Wash, D.C. Presenter
Gallery 210two, Los Angeles, CA
9th Floor Grad Relocation Project, 8601 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA
San Ysidro/Tijuana border California/Mexico ‘Crossing Over’ performance and audio installation

We Travel the Space Ways – Black Imagination, Fragments and Diffractions, an edited anthology co-editor with Henriette Gunkel in review Duke Univ. Press Enclyclopedia v. 3 L-P edited by Tisa Bryant, Miranda Mellis, and Kate Schatz pending “Laura Nelson” “Lynch, Lynching, Lynched”
AFRO FICTIONAL IN[TER]VENTIONS – revisiting BIGSAS Festival of African (-Diasporic) Literatures, Bayreuth 2011-13 edited by Susan Arndt & Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard. Edition Assemblage : Germany 2014 In 2099 the Transatlantic Slave Trade Never Happened p.259-268
Encyclopedia v. 2 F-K edited by Tisa Bryant, Miranda Mellis, and Kate Schatz
Wama two cities meet in cyberlandia. http://tijuanabeirut.blogspot.com Escritores Fronterizos / Border Writers ‘me quemo {burnt}’ SoundaXis architecture . music. acoustics ‘21st century Griot’ Transgressing Gender ‘GenderFuck: a manifestation’
Xcp : streetnotes spring episode 03: meet me in Okemah from Invisible http://www.xcp.bfn.org/spring2005.html Bulbo Publication con La Linea ‘Las Calcas Devastadas’
Las Brujas y Bellas con La Linea the borderlands project
Artwurl.org – Working http://www.artwurl.org/aw_interviews.html Cabinet Magazine Issue #13: Past-Forward CD compilation Church http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/art/cds/pastforward.php
Ulbandus Review: the Slavic Review of Columbia University #7 Who’s Coming to the Party BFM : Black Film and Video Interview with Lyndon Barrois, Animator

AfroSat II catalog :: editors – Anna Schrade and Daniel Kojo Schrade
Essay on Invisible by Peggy Piesche
GhostBustersII (Haunted by Heroes) catalog edited by Nadine Siegert
Interview with Storm Janse van Rensburg
Full version found at http://stormprojects.wordpress.com/biography/kara-lynch/
Journal of the Society of American Music: Technology + Black Music in the Americas, v.1 n.4 “History, An Exit Strategy: The Retrofuture Fabulations of kara lynch” by Gascia Ouzounian

… Hampshire College Amherst, MA
Associate Professor of Video and Critical Studies
Sawt al Niswa (women’s voice) Video Workshop Beirut, Lebanon Facilitator/Instructor for multiple 5 week media production intensive for Community Activists
UC, San Diego San Diego, CA
Teaching Assistant –Culture Art and Technology Core Curriculum, Visual Arts Time-Based Art
Reader – ETHNIC STUDIES – Ethnic Images in Film; VISUAL ARTS: History of Photography & Video
1997-8 The Urban Video Project NY , NY
Video Instructor Satellite Academy Alternative Public High School
Team – taught semester-long class that produces a 30min. documentary on Black & Latino history/culture DCTV- Digi-Doc Workshop NY, NY
Instructor Digital Documentary Production and Avid Editing for Adults
DYKE TV – Production Workshop NY, NY
Instructor Basic Analog Video Production for Adults
Bronx Museum Satellite Gallery Program/The Girl’s Club – Photo Workshop Bronx, NY Artist in Residence working with youth in the Higher Visions After-School Program.
Satellite Academy On Forsyth NY, NY
Teacher/Consultant for Arts Benefit All Coalition (ABACA) Visual Thinking Class Developed curricula for Visual Thinking I and II.
The Field NY , NY
Facilitator for Theater and Visual Arts workshops with youth in temporary housing in the Bronx Facilitator for ‘Fieldwork’, Peer Group Workshops in Performance, Dance and Theater
Studio In A School NY, NY Artist In Residence for Multicultural and Cultural Programs. 1993 Miami Light Project Miami, Florida
Facilitator 10-day Fieldwork in Theater and Visual Arts for 8th Graders in Dade County Satellite Academy In The Bronx The Bronx, NY Artist in Residence

Listen! Denniston Hill Woodridge, NY
Co-curator/co-coordinator of sound installation and performance festival showcasing 27 artists
Welcome. Leibling Center for Film / Photo / Video Gallery Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
Curator exhibition of digital work by international women artists around issues of violence, home and militarization
Genderfuck Transgressing Gender, Zagreb, Croatia
Programmer, 55min of short works that brave the line of gender identity and performance
Becoming… Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA Programmer, evening screening and digital/video installation
Avid Editor NY , NY
Doc: “Step into the Next Millennium,” “New York City Teens Get Down N’ Dirty” Urban Video Project Narrative: “Double Wide Tornado Magnet” 16min 16mm color sync sound – S. Lynch
Artist Projects: “Mongolia/Daylight Passing” 10min. 16mm – Elaine Bukholtz; “Eight Times” 10min. – J. Taylor
The 9th New York Lesbian & Gay Film Festival NY, NY “Celebrating The Independents” Curator, ”Third World Newsreel: Visibly Queer, Audibly Clear’ Program of work from TWN
The New York Lesbian And Gay Film Festival NY, NY Print Traffic Co-coordinator & Shorts Selection Committee
Third World Newsreel Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Organizational Representative & Researcher at FESPACO International Pan African Film Festival
Analog Editor NY , NY
‘A Man Rides a Bike/El Culebrero’ & ‘Una Vuelta/A Ride Out’ – I.P. Montoya; ‘Choice Voices’ – REPOhistory


Academic Affiliations: CLA and ASA
Hampshire College
Co-coordinator Film/Photo/Video Program, Steering Committee – Center for Ethics and the Common Good, Farm STAR committee, Feminist Studies, Africana Studies, Cultural Center, Strategic Planning, Curriculum Committee School of Humanities Arts and Cultural Studies, multiple faculty search committees, Crossroads in the Studies of the Americas, Five College Women’s Center, Multicultural Education Initiative Organizer
Denniston Hill Advisory Board Glen Wild, NY www.dennistonhill.org
Denniston Hill Board of Directors Glen Wild, NY www.dennistonhill.org
The Mountain School, Vershire VT advisory board
OutfestLosAngeles,CA Juror,documentarycategory
Clockshop non-profit arts project, Los Angeles, CA board of directors
2003-04Voltaire Space Ocean Beach, CA member
American Friends Service Committee Advisory board for Europe Programs
Mix: New York Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film/Video Festival NY, NY
Programming Committee & Screening Committee


Experienced in all aspects of independent non-fiction, narrative, and experimental analog & digital video pre- production, production, post-production, fundraising and distribution … 6+ years experience professional AVID editing (XPRESS and Media Composer) … knowledge of & proficiency with Isadora, ProTools, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Suite: Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign … small and medium format photography … sound recording and AV system installation … certificate in Permaculture…


extensive work with young people … travel throughout Greece, Russia, West Africa, Middle East, Colombia S.A. and N.America… conversational & literate in Russian and Spanish, studying Arabic … West African dance… swimming … surfing… gardening …