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Current Exhibition: Psychotechne: Assessment, Testing, Categorisation

Sasha Bergstrom-Katz and Tomas Percival

20 February - 25 March 2023
Mondays to Fridays, 10am-8pm
Saturday 11, 18 and 25 March 12-5pm

Book a free exhibition ticket

Launch event 24 February 6pm-8pm. Book a free ticket to the launch event

This exhibition critically explores the assessment, testing, and categorisation of individuals. Artists Sasha Bergstrom-Katz and Tomas Percival share an interest in how educational, medical and legal systems produce categorisations in ways that can then be used within institutional structures. Bergstrom-Katz’s ongoing project probes the history of intelligence testing by looking at the tests themselves. She presents an interactive desk as a space for exploration and engagement. The desk houses two historical intelligence tests alongside objects, images and articles that illustrate their ties to education, military recruitment and formations of race and ethnicity. Percival’s research project investigates OASys, a risk assessment tool used within British prisons to assess incarcerated people. His work examines how such tools are used to manage and control individuals and aims to produce a counter-narrative to the dominant assessment generated by such carceral technologies.

Psychotechne: Assessment, Testing, Categorisation is funded by Birkbeck, University of London and the Wellcome Trust ISSF Fund. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Sarah Marks, Director of the Birkbeck Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Mental Health.

Sasha Bergstrom-Katz

Sasha Bergstrom-Katz is an artist and researcher working at the intersections of the history of science, psychology, cognitive sciences, and perception studies through artistic, historical and affective methods. She is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD at Birkbeck, University of London in Psychosocial Studies. Previously, she was a fellow at BS-Projects, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany. She has exhibited at the Inter Arts Center, Malmö, Sweden; Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles; In Lieu, Los Angeles; AWHRHWAR, Los Angeles; Human Resources, Los Angeles; and the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance.

Tomas Percival

Tomas Percival is an artist and researcher. His work examines the conjunctures of space and security, with a particular interest in regimes of assessment, risk governance, prison infrastructures, criminal justice data, asylum administration, and forensic bordering. He holds an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. Percival was a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie and visiting fellow on ‘Security Vison’ (ERC-project) at Leiden University. He is currently a lecturer and PhD candidate in the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Dr Sarah Marks

Dr Sarah Marks is a historian of the psychological disciplines, Director of the Birkbeck Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Mental Health and editor of the journal History of the Human Sciences. Her research focuses on historical context of psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy and the political and social impacts of these practices in the 20th and 21st centuries. Marks holds a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, which enables her to work with researchers Becka Hudson and Rachel Starr to understand how cognitive and behavioural therapies are experienced by service users across a range of settings, including criminal justice.