Christopher Lee Kennedy is a teaching artist and organizer who works collaboratively to create site-specific projects that explore relationships between the built and natural environment, queer identity, and alternative education. These projects generate publications, research, performances, and installations that invite new understandings of urban ecology, community-building, and social equity. With a background in environmental engineering, Kennedy often uses field science techniques such as transects, specimen collecting, sampling, and mapping, as well forms of storytelling and embodied experience to help archive and visualize complex systems. For the past few years, Kennedy has been increasingly interested in how urban ecological systems are adapting to global climate shifts including rising temperatures, toxic soils, mega-droughts, flooding events, and unprecedented urban development. His projects aim to question conventional notions of “wilderness” and “nature,” and to re-think the value of so-called wastelands: vacant lots, highway medians, post-industrial sites and transient green spaces as ecologically, culturally, and politically important for both humans and non-humans.
Kennedy was born in Ocean County, New Jersey and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has worked collaboratively on projects shown at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Levine Museum of the New South, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Ackland Art Museum and Queens Museum. Kennedy holds a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a M.A. in Education from NYU, and a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies from the University of North Carolina.