Sue Huang & Brian House

Post-Natural Pastorale

Post-Natural Pastorale is a sound/video installation that explores the relationship between human and environmental temporalities in a time of climate crisis. The project takes as its starting point New York City's Freshkills, once known as Fresh Kills Landfill, the largest municipal dump in the world. Currently in the process of a decades-long transformation into a public park, Freshkills is a uniquely liminal space, where our long-term effects on the Earth are palpable. The installation emerges from the multitemporal dynamics of this environment—the thousand-year decay of a Styrofoam cup, the multigenerational use of the land by humans, the seasonal cycle of the regenerating vegetation, and the gathering of clouds. Each of these temporal layers is translated into musical notation using municipal and public data, including statistical projections of weather patterns and methane and leachate emissions data from the Department of Sanitation. The resulting eight scores are played by double bassist Robert Black (Bang on a Can All-Stars), whose performances are filmed and later projected onto a labyrinth of screens in an installation space. When heard simultaneously, these performances create a soundscape of data that coalesces multiple temporalities into one immersive experience.Supported by The Robert Black Foundation and the Scholarship Facilitation Fund (UConn Office of the Vice President for Research). Selected by Creative Capital On Our Radar 2020.

Artist Bio

Knifeandfork (Brian House + Sue Huang)

Since 2004, artists Brian House and Sue Huang have collaborated as Knifeandfork on projects that critically reframe contemporary media and technology. Culture guide Flavorpill writes, “the imaginative bicoastal duo‘s installations utilize unorthodox media, including text messages and video clips, in their expository repositioning of traditional art forms.” The artists have previously exhibited at national and international venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), Cincinnati; Rhizome at the New Museum, New York; the Beall Center for Art + Technology, Irvine; Ars Electronica, Linz; and Kulturhuset, Stockholm, among others. They have received grant and commission funding from organization such as Rhizome; the James Irvine Foundation (MOCA, Los Angeles commission); and Creative Scotland (NEoN commission). They were selected as finalists for the Creative Capital Award in 2020 (On Our Radar). House ( holds a PhD in Computer Music from Brown University is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Amherst College. Huang ( holds an MFA in Media Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is currently Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Design at the University of Connecticut.