Breach

80 Washington Square East


July 6 – September 2, 2023

Breach gestures to the ruin of climate catastrophe, historically situating a crisis by design. It examines the self-published archives of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, a pervasive yet inconspicuous design agency established in the early 19th century. Delving into the bureaucratic overflow of the Corps’ involvement in producing so-called “water-related infrastructures,” this research project documents an object-array of levees, dams, beaches, and walls that constitute a synthetic yet perpetually naturalized environment.

In suspending an achronological accumulation of technical reports, photographic scans, and audiovisual files, the exhibition recasts the apparatus of the Corps’ mediatic production in a counter-archive of environmental techniques. This armature reconsiders the discursive scaffolds sustaining the uneven development of militarized frontiers of extraction, mitigation, and pacification, holding open the epistemic floodgates for breaching otherwise.

This exhibition is part of the ongoing work of the Workshop for Environmental Technik (WET), a group founded by researchers Ricky Ruihong Li and Isabelle A. Tan dedicated to the experimental study of environmental politics. Their collective work explores the architectures by which territories of the Natural have been marked, unmarked and remarked upon.  

The exhibition is organized by Howie Chen, Jon Huron, Olivia Andrews, and Emily Dotsikas and designed by Fernanda Carlovich. Special thanks to S.E. Eisterer, Jeanne Haffner, and Mark Wasiuta.