Living Rivers


In this essay I take up a new materialist lens to read Caycedo’s project, Be Dammed (2013 to Present), in which she works across media to counteract the anthropocentric perception of the environment that deems it subservient to human industry. In Be Dammed, Caycedo collaborates with local communities and resistance groups to create videos, multimedia sculptures, and participatory performances that contest the damming of rivers. This essay focuses specifically on Caycedo’s Geochoreographies, or collaborative performances, and her Cosmotarrayas, or hanging sculptures. I argue that by employing memory, collectivity, and performance, Caycedo’s Be Dammed project invites her audience, and in extension the larger global public, to adapt a greater attentiveness to the lively ecological networks that bind human practices and environmental devastation.

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