ANDREW NIESS
audiovisual researcher | instrument maker | editor



Based in Evanston, Illinois outside of Chicago, I am an audiovisual researcher, instrument designer, and editor. In May 2022, I completed my PhD at the University of Pennsylvania where the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities awarded me the Mellon Dissertation Fellowship for 2020–21.

My research reckons with the disorienting effects of contemporary ecological crises. I communicate my research through modalities that invite embodied engagements from a wide range of audiences. My creative practice spans propositional prose, instrument making, audio-visual archiving of sites of waste accrual, and convening performance spaces. This range stems from my commitment to communicating scholarship through forms that are adequate to the problems with which they contend. My modular dissertation, “Reorienting Sonic Creativity amid Ecological Disorientation,” can thus be read, played, breathed, heard, and viewed.

Breath is a critical site for interrogating place, ecology, and conditions of livability. As such, I design and build instruments that 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, Ecopedagogies (Routledge 2022), and the Journal of Japanese Studies (2024).

I am an independent editor offering line editing, developmental editing, indexing, and other services to improve my clients’ books, articles, and professional documents across a range of academic disciplines.

Updated July 2022