Longitudes cuts across Latitudes’ projects and research with news, updates, and reportage.

Text on Crystal Bennes in the “Betwixt 2024” published by the Freelands Foundation

(Above and below) Betwixt 2024 publication. Photos by Andy Stagg, Courtesy of the Freelands Foundation.

In February 2023Latitudes was commissioned to write a text on the artistic practice of Crystal Bennes for “Betwixt 2024”, publication produced by the Freelands Foundation as part of their Freelands Artist Programme initiative supporting emerging artists across the UK since 2018.

The book has now launched, coinciding with the opening of an exhibition across four sites in central and north London between 17–23 February 2024, in which Bennes participates alongside 19 other artists based in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Sheffield.

For the occasion, Bennes presents “When Computers Were Women” (2021), a project on the connections between the histories of computational and weaving technology, that stemmed from a residency at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) in 2018 when she was struck by the formal similarities of the computer programming punchcards she saw in a cabinet and an older form of data-processing technology: the punch cards used to control the rods and hooks that raise the warp threads of looms fitted with Jacquard devices.

The artists featured in the “Betwixt 2024” publication are Adebola Oyekanmi, Adele Vye, Alaya Ang, Beau W. Beakhouse, Christopher Steenson, Crystal Bennes, Dorothy Hunter, Gail Howard, Jacqueline Holt, Kedisha Coakley, Kirsty Russell, Maria de Lima, Phoebe Davies, Rian Treanor, Sadia Pineda Hameed, Susan Hughes, Tara McGinn, Theresa Bruno, Thulani Rachia, Tyler Mellins and Zara Mader.

Writers in the publication are Alice Bucknell, Beth Hughes, Candice Jacobs, Cindy Sissokho, Colette Griffin, Ingrid Lyons, Jamie Sutcliffe, Jenny Richards, Kandace Siobhan Walker, Khanyisile Mbongwa, Lara Eggleton, Lucy A. Sames, Maria Howard, Mariana Cánepa Luna, Mark Peter Wright, Max Andrews, Precious Adesina, Rosalie Doubal, Sunshine Wong, Susannah Dickey, Theo Reeves-Evison and Zakiya McKenzie.

Published in 2024, 370 pages. Designed by Kristin Metho.

Available for £15 (plus shipping) here.

(Above and below) Crystal Bennes, “When Computers Were Women” (2021). Courtesy of the artist.

A month later, on March 16, 2024, Bennes will present her new project “O (Copper, cotton, cobalt, crude, naphtha, bauxite, palm)” (2023) at Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh, culminating her two-year residency there and at the Edinburgh College of Art on the Freelands Artist Programme. Involving tapestry, sculptural installation, video, and performance, her project addresses the rapaciousness and sophistry of commodities trading, an arena in which financial instruments are used to bet on the future value of raw materials and natural resources including crude oil, metals, coffee, and cotton.

Latitudes’ text will also be available on the Talbot Rice Gallery website and in the gallery booklets for £2 at the venue. 

Crystal Bennes, Fragment from “O (Copper, cotton, cobalt, crude, naphtha, bauxite, palm)”, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

A Classicist with a PhD from King’s College London, Dr Crystal Bennes previously worked in the U.S. Senate, and as an architecture and design journalist before retraining as an artist. She studied for an MFA at Aalto University, Helsinki, and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and obtained a practice-based PhD at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Her practice is grounded in long-term projects that foreground archival research, durational fieldwork, and material experimentation. Recent bodies of work include an ongoing photographic exploration of an artificial island in Sweden created entirely out of radioactive waste from industrially-produced synthetic fertiliser and the experimental recreation of a nineteenth-century hay meadow based on a myth of unintentional plant migration from Italy to Denmark. 

Recent exhibitions include Platform: Early Career Artist Award, Edinburgh Art Festival (2023); Flora Italica, Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen (2023); Mauvaise Herbes, Centre Photographique d’Ile-de-France; No Island is an Island, Landskrona Foto International Festival; and Hermes and the Veil, Gallery North, Newcastle (all 2021).

Klara and the Bomb (2022) her first photobook—charting connecting threads between the U.S.’s nuclear weapons research, women programmers, the invention of modern computers, and nuclear colonialism—was published by The Eriskay Connection in 2022, and it was shortlisted for the Photo Text Book Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2023. 

Between 2022 and 2024 she was a resident at Talbot Rice Gallery as part of a Freelands Foundation Artists programme. Together with Tom Jeffreys, she is the editor of The Peninent Review.


  • Latitudes’ writing since 2005.
  • Text on Lara Almarcegui’s Graves (2021) in “Sketches of Transition. An Atlas on Growth and Decay” edited by Michele Bazzoli, 27 Oct 2023
  • Text on Crystal Bennes for the Freelands Foundation Artists programme, 31 May 2023
  • Latitudes’ essay “Un suelo para las historias del arte del futuro” [Soil for Future Art Histories] in TBA21’s catalogue “Futuros Abundantes”, 22 Jan 2023
  • Max Andrews reviews Bruno Zhu’s exhibition “I am not afraid”, Cordova, Barcelona, 30 Mar 2022
  • Nueva publicación: “Passió i cartografia per a un incendi dels ulls” (MACBA, 2022), 2 Mar 2022 
  • New publication: “Things Things Say” now available, 28 Feb 2022
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