Carla Bengtson’s current site-responsive projects, situated in wild, domestic, and liminal spaces, create possible/impossible situations in which to attempt interspecies communication. These playful mediations between human nature and non-human culture expand the reach of relational aesthetics to include social relations with other species by introducing drawings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and sound into the umwelts, or lifeworlds, of nonhuman others. In these situations, media act as surrogates for human action—they interrogate what might be seen and what might be said between species, while revealing what images can and cannot effect.
Bengtson has received numerous awards, including a Ucross Foundation Residency Fellowship and an NEA Individual Grant for Artists. Selected exhibitions include POP Gallery, Queensland, Australia; JayJay Gallery, Sacramento; San Francisco Fine Art Fair; Art Fair Miami; RKL Gallery, New York, the Painting Center, New York, the Portland Museum of Art, Portland; and the Holter Museum of Art, Helena, Montana. She has lectured on environmental thought at International Environmental Philosophy Conferences and International Biodiversity Conservation Conferences in the US, Canada, and South America. Bengtson holds a BFA from Tyler School of Art, an MFA from Yale School of Art, and was a two-time participant in the Whitney Independent Study Program.