Tomas Percival is an artist, researcher, and writer. His work critically investigates the intersections of space and security, with a particular interest in structures of assessment, risk governance, carceral geographies, data infrastructures, and border administration. He holds an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was previously a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University and artist-in-residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie. He is currently a Lecturer at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
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Psychotechne: Assessment, Testing, Categorisation

Two-person exhibition with Sasha Bergstrom-Katz

Date: February – March 2023
Institution: Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck, University of London

Further information here
Psychotechne was a two-person exhibition of works by Sasha Bergstrom-Katz and Tomas Percival. The artistic research-based projects on view examined how individuals are assessed through tests, forms, and databases that utilise psychometric technologies. A variety of institutions—including educational, medical, and legal systems—utilise such assessments to inform decisions about the people they manage and use these techniques to categorise and move individuals. For example, the outcomes of tests can transfer children into different classrooms based on test-taking abilities; assessments are used to issue diagnoses which have the power to change how people are viewed and how they view themselves; and behavioural and mental health screenings are used to assign categories of “risk” within carceral and penal systems. The two artworks in this exhibition focused on particular case studies to explore how assessment, categorisation, and testing play an active role within institutional decision-making structures.

Psychotechne was funded by Birkbeck, University of London and the Wellcome Trust ISSF Fund. The exhibition was curated by Dr Sarah Marks, Director of the Birkbeck Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Mental Health.