Sandbagging (a field manual for care)

by Stephanie Dowda DeMer

Sandbags are the vernacular for coercive compliance. This utility object both conceals the impact of flood from avoidable environmental devastation and lulls us into acceptance of continued environmental harm through progress. The pervasive use of the sandbag reveals a longer history of environmental alteration by deteriorating wetlands, decrease of native plant habitats, and continual pollution. In this work, acts of kindness and care engender a duty of attention needed to imagine kinship with the current and future environment. Through various lens-based processes and apolytemporalsense of narrative, Sandbagging works to disentangle our compliance with carelessness.

To view the works in the exhibition visit Stephanie’s artist page.


Stephanie DeMer is an American photographer. Her work excavates invisibility and creates space for reflection through phenomena, communion, and kinship. She is the Iowa Idea Visiting Artist at the University of Iowa. She has taught photography at ASU and VCU. DeMer holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a Hambidge Fellow, Idea Capital grantee, and her work has been published in Dialogue, Bad at Sports, MuseA, ArtsATL, BurnAway, among others. She has shown at Whitespace Gallery-Atlanta, Grizzly Grizzly-Philadelphia, MART-Dublin and others.