skin would call a poor eye simple

By Artist Jessica Tucker

March 2 – May 19, 2024

Opening reception: Saturday, March 2, 2024 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Free

skin would call a poor eye simple features a collection of new sculptural and video works depicting distorted bodies and faces suspended in both virtual and physical materials. Made through disrupted, glitched processes of face detection and body motion capture, these works challenge contemporary efforts to encapsulate the body through technologies of data collection and visualization. The works in this exhibition appear as reimagined skins, sensitive and uncanny, out of place. They disturb our sense of the body’s boundaries and question the nature of the body as surface and interface. What does it feel like to have one’s body translated and mediated through technological observation?

In all spheres of contemporary life, including the medical field, we are increasingly dependent on digital imaging techniques and analysis. We use these to assess and diagnose embodied beings based on patterns and probabilities. These lead to incredible advancements in our capacity for precision and accuracy, and yet also potentially further widen the gap between our representations and our lived experiences. How do we seek to quantify the body through technology in order to optimize the systems which approach and manage this body, this person? And how might creatively glitching or queering these processes open up new sensory experiences of otherwise disembodying and disempowering definitions of the human?

About the Artist:

Jessica Tucker is an American and Dutch artist, musician, and educator. In her performances, videos, sculptures, and installations, she playfully examines how we use machinic visions to construct our concept of the embodied self. 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.

About the Contemporary Arts Program: The International Museum of Surgical Science supports a commitment to contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and programs that use the frame of contemporary artistic practice to examine new perspectives in medical-surgical science and our relationship to the body. The Museum’s Contemporary Arts Initiative includes rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as an ongoing Artist in Residence program.

This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

This project is supported, in whole or in part, by federal assistance listing number, 21.027 awarded to the International Museum of Surgical Science by the US Treasury through the American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds in the amount of $125,000.00, representing 83% of total project funding.

This project is partially supported by a Chicago Arts Recovery Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

The International Museum of Surgical Science acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.