Cynthia Hooper’s videos, essays, paintings and interdisciplinary projects interpret water, waste, energy, agricultural, and urban landscape scenarios in the United States and Mexico—examining these sites’ perceptual and metaphorical characteristics, as well as their complex political and environmental contingencies. Her generously observational strategies and detailed investigations propose a nuanced, reflective, and often sympathetic reception for these places, and also advocate for the efforts of regional laborers, activists, and researchers who tactically refashion their complex geography. Her aesthetic strategies attempt to collapse autonomous frames of reference into collective and relational ones, and her evidence-based narratives honor the diversity of perspectives and experiences that index the sites that she studies.
Cynthia has worked with Tijuana's complex urban infrastructure, contested and politicized water issues along the U.S./Mexico border, as well as projects about California's Klamath and Ohio's Cuyahoga rivers. Recent sites examined include the reconfigured wetland refuges of California’s Central Valley, the artificial wetlands of Mexico's Colorado River Delta, and the built environment of California's Humboldt Bay. Exhibitions include the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City, the Centro Cultural Tijuana, and MASS MoCA, and recent publications include Arid: A Journal of Desert Art, Design and Ecology. Cynthia has also been awarded residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, as well as grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Gunk Foundation. She lives in Northern California.