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Visual Culture Seminar

Monday, October 17, 2022
12:00pm to 1:15pm
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Guggenheim 133 (Lees-Kubota Lecture Hall)
My Electric Genealogy
Sarah Kanouse, Artist and Associate Professor at Northeastern University,

For nearly forty years, Sarah Kanouse's grandfather, a 1930s Caltech alumnus, designed, planned, and supervised the network of transmission lines connecting Los Angeles to its distant sources of power. The electric grid was his second family: when he died, he left behind boxes of snapshots that mixed birthday parties and family Christmases with portraits of power plants and transmission towers. Years later, Kanouse learned his legacy also included some of the most polluting fossil fuel infrastructure in the country—much of it located out of state, on Indigenous land. This solo performance combines storytelling with moving images, movement, and an original score to reframe the power grid as a dynamic entity connecting unequally vulnerable communities. Weaving together signal moments in Los Angeles history, episodes of her grandfather's life, anxious fantasies about a climate-challenged future, and stories of resistance and reinvention, "My Electric Genealogy" is an essayistic working-through of energy as a personal and collective inheritance at a moment of eco-political reckoning.

To-go lunch will be provided.
Registration is required. To RSVP, please click

About the Visual Culture Program
The Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and based in Caltech's Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences. In collaboration with The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, the program features undergraduate course offerings, guest lecturers, and other programming to foster conversations between humanists and scientists.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Lu by phone at 626-395-1724 or by email at [email protected].