Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2018-19

(Brooklyn, NY)Laura Bernstein

Project Description

In this speculative lecture, a pseudoscientist presents their observations, recordings, and experiments accumulated after extensive field work on a species that is half-human and half-creature. Some members of this unfamiliar species bear striking resemblance to the beasts recorded by Roman statesman and philosopher Pliny The Elder in his 77-79AD Natural History. Drawing from the world of wonder cabinets and 19th-century sideshow performances, this lecture infuses scientific methodology with myth and medieval history to challenge historical modes of classification, raising questions about the future of our evolutionary biology and the vexed relationship between the dominant and the dominated.


Laura Bernstein is a multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn working with drawing, video, performance, sculpture and installation. Residencies and exhibitions include: The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program (2017–18), The Bronx Museum of the Arts AIM program (2016–17) and its Fourth AIM Biennial, The Lighthouse Works Fellowship (2016) and Vermont Studio Center (2013). She has shown her work in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Austria, and Rome, and her art is part of the permanent collection of the National Dance Institute in New York, NY. Solo exhibitions include Becoming Beast at NURTUREart, Brooklyn, NY and Bestial Field Recordings 2015--2018, The Lighthouse Works, Fishers Island, NY. She received her BFA in sculpture from RISD and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Images from left to right: Shakespeare’s Horny Hoop Jump, Documentation from 40 person video performance filmed April 8th, 2017 at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY; Prehistoric Bird (Stands 10ft tall, has wings but cannot fly), 2016, Ink Jet Print on exhibition fiber; What if Bodies in the Future Look Like Bodies from the Past, 2017, Epson Luster ink jet print.