Jessica Tucker is an American and Dutch artist, musician, and educator. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and previously studied at Wellesley College, MIT, and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. She has performed and exhibited her work throughout Europe and the USA, including Rewire Festival, FOAM Museum of Photography, Goethe Institut, the Van Gogh Museum, and Mana Contemporary. She has been supported by the Chicago Artists Coalition, Thoma Foundation, DCASE, and the Mondriaan Fund, among others. She is currently a Grant Wood Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, specializing in interdisciplinary performance using digital media. In her performances, videos, sculptures, and installations, she playfully examines how we use virtual vision to construct our concept of the embodied self.

Artist Statement

In my creative practice and research, I playfully investigate the experience and significance of being a technologically mediated body. I’m interested in how machinic mirrors reaffirm an ideology of the self as definitively bounded and quantifiable by its physical and mental movements. My multimedia works translate ungraspable virtual processes of self-quantification into embodied revelations of distorted desire. By challenging the automated visions of motion tracking systems, 3D simulations, augmented reality, and machine learning, I explore cracks in machines as in humans, harnessing our entangled vulnerabilities in solidarity against relentless optimization.

I sample tropes and trash from media theory, pop music, devotional imagery, quietly intimate corners of the Internet, and my own self-documentation. I remap this media debris across virtual and physical materials that I variably recombine in videos, sculptural objects, installations and performances. I often deconstruct my processes in live activations where I weave multimedia elements together through poetic lecture, fragmented voice and electronic music, and guided gesture experiments with viewers.

Much of my recent work incorporates distorted self-portraits I produce through repetitive misuse of face-tracking augmented reality filters. I use these grotesque faces as virtual masks in performances, as skins for digital avatar bodies, and as source material for print-based 2D and 3D objects. With this ongoing experimentation, I’m interested in how disrupting the digital self-image and recontextualizing it in other materials can speak to a shared struggle with dominant mechanisms of self-commodification, attention manipulation, and automated surveillance.