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.