Mabel Negrete

I am a performance-artist-researcher who works nowadays with the Counter Narrative Society to transform the weight I carry from witnessing the colossal architecture of the invisible punishing machine.

I was born in Chile and about 20 years ago I made the USA my home (originally Bay area of San Francisco). In 2007, I founded the Counter Narrative Society (CNS), a research unit that works to initiate counter narratives about bio-power, urbanism, culture and technology. In 2009, I joined the MIT program in Art, Culture and Technology and under the CNS started to ask the question, what is mass punishment? In the process of tinkering with ideas, traveling and learning about practices and theories of social control, statehood, criminology and the habitus, I discovered that I was looking at the invisible punishing machine.

The invisible punishing machine is an idiomatic, social science fiction-esque research concentration that I designed in order to examine aesthetically, morally, emotionally, and historically the underlying illegible social, spatial and technological causes that produce inequality and invisible punishment – a consequence of mass imprisonment, political persecution of individuals, the prison-welfare system, urbanization, neoliberal policies, and social-urban control in the USA.

From this perspective, now I make art as a method to convey philosophical and poetic concerns congruent to my activities as an artist-researcher and activist. I am exploring this practice through the counter narrative method I call paradoxical and interrogative remedies which symbolically uses the idea of poisonous treatments. On the one hand this method playfully counteracts undesirable and traumatic conditions by creating sometimes difficult emotional, anomalous situations; on the other hand, this analytic method opens new possibilities for healing, socializing and communicating meaningful bio-political issues, which in the appropriate social and spatial conditions I produce live actions, performances, multimedia installations, tactical objects and multifaceted projects for artistic research, personal therapy and radical pedagogy.

For information about most current project visit …when the invisible punishing machine is everywhere…The Weight I Carry with Me

Counter Narrative Society (CNS)
(a.k.a. Mabel Negrete)

Negrete holds a Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She lives and works between San Francisco, CA and Philadelphia, PA.

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  • Artist Info

    • Philadelphia, PA
      US - East

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