Luis Berríos-Negrón

Germany, Puerto Rico (residence), Puerto Rico (citizenship) °1971
research interests: Global Warming, colonial memory, environmental art
affiliation: UmArts Reserach Centre, Umeå Univeristy

I explore the forces and display of colonial memory and of environmental form.

Currently, I am postdoctoral fellow at the UmArts Reserach Centre of Umeå Univeristy (2023-2025). The work is a continuation to a recent research residency with at the national post-hurricane reforestation project in my home island of Puerto Rico (Para La Naturaleza, 2021-22), from a two-part research seminar he conducted at the Research Focus Transdisciplinarity programme in ZHdK (CH) titled Deposing Geoengineering (field sessions in Zurich, Fall 2021 / field session in Västerbotten, Spring 2022), and from my PhD dissertation titled Breathtaking Greenhouse Parastructures (Konstfack Collection 2020).

My qualifications are: PhD in Art Technology & Design from Konstfack / Royal Institute of Technology KTH in Stockholm (2015-20); Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003-06); Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Parsons New School for Design (2000-03). Recent merits are: finalist for Harvard University’s Wheelwright Prize (2021), and Resident Researcher at the art and science research programme hosted by the environmental NGO Para La Naturaleza in Puerto Rico (2021-22).

I am the founder of the Transhemispheric(a) Residency Programme (and its curatorial faction Transhemisférica), of the Anxious Prop art collective, and the Paramodular environmental design group. I am Associate Member of the M.I.T. Council for the Arts, currently based in Umeå and Berlin, with ongoing work in Copenhagen and San Juan.


research expositions

  • open exposition comments (0)


Exposition: IN SITU: Sonic Greenhouse. Composing for the intersections between the sonic and the built (13/01/2018) by Otso Tapio Lähdeoja
Luis Berríos-Negrón 24/03/2019 at 14:59

Comment about 'In Situ'

From a disciplinary and collaborative standpoint, the exposition presents a high level of excellence manifested by its technological output.

Specifically intervening in a greenhouse facility is of relevance. Beyond its role as contribution to research in sound art, it also compliments broadly to environmental art, installation, art display, curatorial practices, architecture, climate studies, history of science and technology, and sustainable architectural practice.

I am concern though that a critical analysis of ‘greenhouse’, itself as ‘medium’, is missing. It is a traditional, 19th century approach to celebrating greenhouse, falling short of addressing contemporary assessments of what this important technology, building, gas, effect, and spatial display, of natural history, and of art, represents today within the toxic logic of global warming.

I do want to absolutely point to the very thoughtful, if elegant aspirations to identify, and even privilege aural over visual experience.

But, in the context of perceptual and environmental studies, by omitting the overarching importance of ‘greenhouse’ in relation to the pervasive invisibility of global warming, the work unfortunately celebrates a still-colonial attitude towards perceptual problems, particularly the ones 'greenhouse' has represented for over 200 years.

As far as its research quality, this is a difficult aspect to evaluate. Is the work produced to create a series of specific aural outcomes in the way an artist traditionally preconceives and deploys the artwork, in this case the ephemera of instruments and triggers created to activate the space and produce a previously unknown aural experience, just as an abstract expressionist drip painter, or a performance artist or musician improvises to deliver a previously unknown outcome? Or was the work produced as a method to question and explore sensorial experiences in ways that would quantifiably and/or qualitatively inform and enrich the practice of sound art, installation, display, etc.?

I suppose these are the questions I would propose to both the authors and their 'readers'.

But, those questions ought not impede the thrust of the work, as I do strongly believe that In Situ merits due attention for the robust commitment and complexity it portrays.