Based in Philadelphia, PA, I am an audio-visual researcher and instrument maker. I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities recently awarded me the Mellon Dissertation Fellowship for 2020–21. I am grateful for the institutional support that helps sustain my work.



Impelled by the urgency of contemporary ecological crises, I make research that highlights their disorienting exigencies. I communicate this research with an array of modalities that invite embodied engagements from a wide range of audiences. My research/creative practice includes: writing propositional prose; designing speculative instruments; audio-visual archiving of sites of waste accrual; and convening performance spaces. This research practice stems from my commitment to communicating scholarship through experimental forms. My modular dissertation project can thus be in turns read, played, breathed, heard, and viewed.



I consider breath a critical site for interrogating place, ecology, and conditions of livability. As such, I am designing and building new instruments that, when performed, link one’s breath to audio-visual archives of Pennsylvania waste sites.



In my written work, I analyze (1) how theorists of this disorientation mobilize ideas about sound, its practices and technicities; (2) how theorists of sound and music in particular have grappled with this disorientation; and (3) how practitioners of sonic creativity reconfigure musical mattering through a residual aesthetics. Amid such disorientation, I seek to reorient my labor within music studies specifically, and within the humanities generally, toward a practice of what I call the parahumanities. I develop theories of “disorientation,” “sonic creativity,” “residual aesthetics,” “parahuman,” and “parahumanities.”



My published writing is forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Protest Music, and in a Routledge collection on “eco-pedagogies.”

Mark