Bio

Interested in creating situations on the verge of the impossible, Carla Bengtson’s speculative projects ask what might be seen and what might be said between species. Recent projects include creating a perfume based on the scent blends male orchid bees craft to attract a mate,  learning the embodied language of Western fence lizards, and partnering with crows to give other species a voice in climate-crisis politics. Bengtson has received awards from the Ford Family Foundation, the Oregon Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Art and Olfaction, and has had residencies at Djerassi, Ucross, Mass MoCA, 18th St Arts Center, Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Amazon, and a Signal Fire Outpost Residency at the Arizona/Mexico border. She has exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Queens Museum, Craft Contemporary LA, and the Portland Art Museum. Raised in Charleston, West Virginia, she received an MFA from Yale School of Art, a BFA from Tyler School of Art, and was a two-time participant in the Whitney Independent Studies Program. In addition to her art practice, Bengtson lectures on environmental thought at international environmental philosophy and biodiversity conservation conferences, and is a Professor in the Department of Art and an Associate of the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Oregon.