Crystal Bennes’s practice is grounded in long-term projects which employ archival research, durational fieldwork and material experimentation. Recent bodies of work include:
– an ongoing photographic exploration of an artificial island in Sweden created entirely out of radioactive waste from industrially-produced synthetic fertiliser;
– a series of hand-woven Jacquard wall hangings created by translating an entire computer punchcard programme from CERN into weaving instructions for a Jacquard loom as a feminist statement on the gender politics of science and computing histories past and present;
– and the creation of a weed garden connected to a particular nineteenth-century myth of unintentional plant migration from Italy to Denmark.
Crystal’s first photobook Klara and the Bomb —charting connecting threads between America’s nuclear weapons research, women programmers, the invention of modern computers, and nuclear colonialism—was published by The Eriskay Connection in July 2022.
She recently completed an AHRC-funded practice-based PhD in fine art at Northumbria University researching the histories and uses of gendered representations of nature in the sciences, and exploring feminist critiques of physics.