ANDREW NIESS
audiovisual researcher | instrument maker | editor



Based in Evanston, Illinois outside of Chicago, I am an audiovisual researcher and instrument designer and maker. I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities awarded me the Mellon Dissertation Fellowship for 2020–21. I am grateful for this sustaining institutional support.

Impelled by the urgency of contemporary ecological crises, I make research that highlights their disorienting exigencies. I communicate this research through 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 design and build instruments that when performed link one’s breath to, for instance, realtime air quality conditions in three user-specified cities.

My published writing is forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Protest Music and in a Routledge collection on “ecopedagogies.” I perform freelance editing and indexing services to academics on books, articles, and professional documents.

Updated September 2021