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 Terrible Miracles 

Terrible Miracles 

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Terrible Miracles: 3 Channel Audio Installation (excerpt)Sarah Bernstein, Bret Berry
00:00 / 01:04

Terrible Miracles deconstructs and reimagines eye witness accounts of the Rocky Mountain Locust plagues. These locusts, whose swarming devastated areas of North America in the late 1800s, had a lasting legacy on the cultural, economic, and agricultural policies of the United States. As I was researching this phenomenon, I was struck by how closely these first-person texts resembled the style and sentiments of American folktales. A strange feeling of slippage, between history and allegory, became the driving force for the textiles, sculpture, poetry, and intermedia installations woven together in this body of work.

I am fascinated by the mythos of catastrophe and its role within folklore. The personal and collective desire to touch, revise, and reenact extraordinary events is as ancient as it is contemporary. I have come to think of this desire, so inherent to human nature, as type of liturgical impulse or folkloric instinct. This work employs a material vocabulary, both digital and analogue, to examine this impulse to blend the extraordinary historical into the creative contemporary. It speaks to a magical and disruptive sense of anachronism, a trait often found within contemporary allegiance to historical lineages of storytelling, craft, and depictions of the natural world.

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