Visualizing the Invisible
Past Lecture

Visualizing the Invisible

Visualizing the Invisible
June 18, 2021 | 5 pm CEST | with Sria Chatterjee, art historian, and environmental humanities scholar


This lecture will explore the histories of seeing and how seeing—or the inability to see something—is political. The act of visualizing and processes of visualization are always implicated in forms of care as much as they are in political violence, surveillance, xenophobia and institutional racism. The COVID-19 pandemic has touched upon some of art and design history's really fundamental questions. To think of the ways in which we visualize the coronavirus today is also to delve into longer histories of seeing, of colonialism and the spread of infection. Through the digital project Visualizing the Virus, we explore the daily lived experience and its links to pathologies and natural sciences. We seek spaces for sociocultural critique and reflection on the scales of the crisis, and the role of design to bridge these infrastructural inequalities.

Sria Chatterjee is an art historian and environmental humanities scholar. She specializes in the political ecologies of art and design in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on transnational environmental histories, the histories of art and science, and the relationships between climate and race. Sria is currently a Researcher at the Institute for Experimental Design and Media, FHNW; an Associate Scholar at the Max-Planck Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florenz; and a Contributing Editor at British Art Studies, the open access peer-reviewed journal co-published by the Paul Mellon Center and the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven. Sria holds a PhD from Princeton University.

Register here for the Against the Grain Online Course to watch the lecture synchronously and asynchronously


This lecture is part of the Against the Grain Online Course:

April 16 | 5 pm CEST
Decolonizing Colonial Desire
with Uzma Rizvi

April 23 | 5 pm CEST
Deforestation as Epistemicide
with Franca López Barbera

April 30 | 5 pm CEST
Imperial Fevers, Invisible Lives
with Edna Bonhomme

May 7 | 5 pm CEST
The Frame of History
with Evan Nicole Brown

May 14 | 5 pm CEST
Finding Louise E. Jefferson
with Tasheka Arceneux-Sutton

May 21 | 5 pm CEST
Ladies of Letters
with Bahia Shehab

May 28 | 5 pm CEST
Salted Waters in the Whorls of Time
with Luiza Prado de O. Martins

June 18 | 5 pm CEST
Visualising the Invisible
with Sria Chatterjee