Kristen Degree Iowa City, Iowa


My work focuses on investigating perceptions of culture and nature—understanding our surroundings as constructed in numerous webs of ecology and how they extend to issues of labor, industry, and food production. How do these spaces intersect? How do we live out these connections?

My project began with a search for old-growth hemlock, left behind from the logging days because it was not as commercially useful. The rubbings I took of park signage, the interior of the Civilian Conservation Corps-era log cabin, and the cut-down trees were inspired by the search for old-growth woods at the former logging camp turned State Park and as a way of mapping the language that guides us through the space.

Kristen Degree was raised in North Dakota, giving her a lifelong fascination with extreme weather events and horizon lines. She holds a MA in printmaking from the University of Iowa and is pursuing her MFA in the UI Intermedia program. She is in love with the Iowa prairie, video art, and language of the future.