Ursula Biemann

Ursula Biemann is an artist, author, and video essayist based in Zurich, Switzerland. Her artistic practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations where she investigates climate change and the ecologies of oil and water, as in the recent projects Acoustic Ocean (2018), Forest Law (2014), Deep Weather (2013) and Egyptian Chemistry (2012). In her earlier art and curatorial work she made space and mobility her prime category of analysis, e.g. in the widely exhibited art and research project „Sahara Chronicle“ (2006-2009) on clandestine migration networks. Her video installations are exhibited worldwide in museums and the International Art Biennials of Liverpool, Sharjah, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Sevilla, Istanbul, and Venice. Biemann has published several books and is founding member of the collaborative art and media project World of Matter.
Biemann has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York (1988). She received a doctor honoris causa in Humanities by the Swedish University Umea and the Prix Meret Oppenheim, the Swiss Grand Award for Art, and the Prix Thun for Art and Ethics.

Artist Code: 656


Acoustic Ocean

2018, 18:00 minutes, colour, English and Sami with English Subtitles

Twenty One Percent

2016, 16:45 minutes, colour, English


2015, 11:00 minutes, colour, English with English, French subtitles

Deep Weather

2013, 09:00 minutes, Colour, English


2008, 35:15 minutes, colour

Sahara Chronicle

2007, 81:34 minutes, colour

Black Sea Files

2005, 43:53 minutes, colour

Contained Mobility

2004, 21:25 minutes, colour


2003, 20:00 minutes, colour

Writing Desire

2000, 25:00 minutes, colour, English/Spanish

performing the border

1999, 43:00 minutes, colour, English/Spanish

Critical Writing

Curatorial Incubator v. 13: The Job of Life
by Lisa Steele. Toronto: Vtape, 2016.
The (im)mobilities of assembly-line work
by Paula Brailovsky. Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ), 2015, v. 4, no. 1&2.
Museums of Human Bodies
by Hanna Musiol. College Literature: A Journal of Critical Literary Studies, Summer 2013, v. 40, no. 3.
Idle No More
by T.J. Demos. Camera Austria, 2013, v. 124.
Liquid Assets
by Sukhdev Sandhu. Sight and Sound, May 2013.
Video's Migrant Geography: Ursula Biemann's Sahara Chronicle
by T.J. Demos. The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis, 2013. London: Duke University Press, 2013.
Materialist Feminism for the Twenty-first Century: The Video...
by Angela Dimitrakaki. Oxford Art Journal, 2007, v. 30, no. 2.
Video Ground Zero
by Lisa Steele. Toronto: Vtape, 2002.