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They/Them

Jess MacCormack is a queer, mad artist and white settler working on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Their art practice engages with the intersection of institutional violence and the socio-political reality of personal trauma. Working with communities and individuals affected by stigma and oppression, they use cultural platforms and distribution networks to facilitate collaborations which position art as a tool to engender personal and political agency.

Jess Mac’s digital work has been shared through various online platforms, such as VICE Creator’s project, PAPER Mag, and Art F City. Their animations have been screened internationally at festivals such as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, MIX-26 the New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, Transcreen Amsterdam Transgender Film Festival, LA Film Fest at UCLA, Inside Out, Imaginative Film Festival and International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA).

They have an MFA in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from the Bauhaus University (2008) and were an Assistant Professor of Studio Arts at Concordia University (2010-2013). Jess is currently an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Jess MacCormack

TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN

BLACK LIVES MATTER

HIV IS NOT A CRIME

SEX-WORK IS NOT A CRIME

NO JUSTICE NO PEACE

DECOLONIZE

Selected Press

2020

  • Wendy Rose, ‘Qaleidoscope’ celebrates Canada’s QTBIPOC filmmakers, Saltwire

2018

  • Mikhel Proulx, A Cruising Ground of Aesthetics, Porn, Politics and Selfies: An interview with Jess Mac, nomorepotlucks

2017

  • Caterina Berardi, Art, politics and irony: in conversation with Desearch Repartment, Curating the Contemporary
  • Phoebe Braitwaite, Dispatches: Cologne, Frieze.com
  • Beckett Mufson, 6 GIF Artists Hack the Language of Propaganda, VICE Creator’s Project
  • Beckett Mufson, 5 LGBTQ+ Artists Share Their Thoughts on Pride with GIFs,   VICE Creator’s Project
  • Chase Joynt, Collaboration as Aesthetic Resistance: The animated films of Jess Mac, CNQ Magazine
  • Steven Leyden Cochrane, Selfie-care, Winnipeg Free Press

2016

  • Paddy Johnson, GIF of the day, Art F City
  • Michael Worthy, Giphy Artist Spotlight: Jess Mac’s Pixels of Protest, PAPER Magazine
  • Leah Collins, “Too Much ‘Fake News’ on Facebook? Build a New Social Network!”, CBC Arts
  • Michael Worthy, “Giphy artists spotlight”, Paper magazine
  • Prachi Gupta, “This Woman Has a Message for Donald Trump, but She Would Prefer to Show It to You”, Cosmopolitan Magazine
  • Selected digital works, Exhibitionists, CBC television
  • Beckett Mufson, “GIF Art, All Grown Up!”,  The Creators Project, VICE
  • Must sees, Desearch Repartment at M:ST 8 & Stride, Canadian Art
  • D.J. Fraser, “Desearch Repartment Institute for Durational Futures: Brought to you by The Essential Happiness Possibility AKADEMYSPACE Cologne”, C Magazine
  • June Chua, Canadian video in trans exhibit pushes new boundaries for world’s oldest gay museum, Yahoo news

2015

  • Peter Conlin, “Deep Art Horizons: A Dialogue with the Desearch Repartment”, Temporary Art Review
  • Katja Peglow, “Auf die YAGA-Matte!”, Missy Magazine
  • Julius Tambornino, “Satire vs. Neoliberalismus”, Stadtrevue
  • Ina Plodroch, “Desearch Repartment Selbst-Optimierung”, radio report, Deutschlandfunk,
  • Laura Beeston, “How to be invisible: Designers create anti-surveillance products to protect privacy”, The Globe and Mail
  • Mark Clintberg, “Desearch Repartment’s Corporate Creativity Workshops for Art”, ESSE magazine
  • Lisa Sproull, “The Art of Corporate Satire”, CultMTL
  • Edwin Janzen, “Learning to Say Yes”, articule

2014

  • David Hobbs, “Ex Libris :: Jessica MacCormack – The See”, Weird Canada

2013

  • Jacob Wren, Jacob Wren on Jessica MacCormack’s The See”, Lemon Hound
  • Sarah Mangle, “The See by Jessica MacCormack”, FUSE magazine
  • Jeff Miller, Three new graphic novels you should see”, CultMTL

Selected Screenings

Videos Screened

  • YAGA: Torture Compassion
  • Taste the Power
  • Where we were not Part I: Feeling Reserved, Alexus’ story
  • Joan
  • Psychic Capital
  • Love is a Hunter
  • Nothing ever happened
  • We become our own wolves
  • I didn’t know what to say to him

Screening Events

  • MIX Copenhagen: LesbianGayBiTrans Film Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Scissors & Tape: DIY Female Animation Screening, Filmpool (Regina, SK)
  • Queer City Cinema International Film and Video Festival (Regina, SK)
  • Welcome to Kanata, Ottawa International Animation Festival (Ottawa)
  • Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative (Regina, SK)
  • LA Film Fest at UCLA (LA, USA)
  • Chennai Rainbow Film Festival (India)
  • octubre trans* (Barcelona, Spain)
  • Contemporary Aboriginal Art: Dancing Cops & Red Girls, Urban Shaman (Winnipeg)
  • MIX-  26th New York Queer Experimental Film Festival (NYC)
  • Paranoid Paradise, UT Connewitz, (Leipzig, Germany)
  • Inside Out, The 22nd Annual Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival (Toronto)
  • Sex Workers Film Festival (Hamburg)
  • Transcreen, Amsterdam Transgender Film Festival (Amsterdam)
  • ImagineNATIVE Film Festival (Toronto)
  • The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (San Francisco)
  • Transcreen, Film Huis Cavia (Amsterdam)
  • Trans*_Homo in the Gay Museum of Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
  • Inside Out, The 22nd Annual Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival (Toronto)
  • Entzaubert Queer Film Festival (Berlin, Germany)
  • LA Transgender Film Festival (Los Angelos, USA)
  • La Tournée VFP, DAÏMÕN (Gatineau, QC)
  • Outeast Film Festival (Halifax)
  • Inside Out, The 21st Annual Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival (Toronto)
  • Ladyfest (Rome)
  • Sorry I ruined your party: The Next Generation of queer/feminist Canadian video art (Marseille, France) (Turku, Finland) (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (San Francisco, USA)
  • 19th Mix Brasil Film Festival of Sexual Diversity (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia)
  • Inside Out, The 21st Annual Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival (Toronto)
  • Image+Nation (Montréal)
  • Antimatter Film Festival (Victoria, BC)
  • Best of Canadian Shorts Program: Kingston (Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival), Peterborough (Peterborough Pride), Hamilton (Art Crawl), Ottawa (Inside Out Ottawa)
  • International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), (Montréal)
  • Animation With Love, Centre For Art Tapes, The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s Windsor Theatre (Halifax)
  • Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival (Kingston)
  • Raw Cut Filmfest (Warsaw/Berlin/Glasgow)
  • Plastic Paper Film Festival (Winnipeg)
  • Document 8: International Human Rights Documentary Festival (Glasgow, Scotland, UK)
  • Rhubarb Festival, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Toronto)
  • VFP, Group Intervention Video (Montréal)
  • Square Pegs 3, Modern Fuel Gallery (Kingston)
  • Sounds of… Short Film Festival, CCA (Glasgow, Scotland, UK)
  • Vox Feminae Film Festival (Croatia)
  • Reel Pride Film Festival (Winnipeg)
  • Make It Good: Queer Music Videos (Portland, Oregon, USA)
  • 2Pause, Freezing Music Video Culture (Amsterdam)
  • Animated Dreams International Animated Film Festival (Tallinn, Estonia)
  • In/habit Roving Art Series: No Nation (Chicago, USA)
  • Qalidescope: Queer Film on Tour (Ottawa, Montreal, Sackville, St. John, Winnipeg)

Selected Exhibitions

You can write something here to describe the section.

2020

  • SHAME SHAME, go away, experimental graphic novel launches online (due to Covid-19)

2018

  • State of Exceptional Webnation, Desearch Repartment, URL:IRL, Dunlop Gallery (Regina)

2017

  • State of Exceptional Webnation, Centre on Contemporary Arts (COCA) Seattle (USA)
  • UK iParty for Human Rights aboard the CensorSHIP, Desearch Repartment, Arebyte Gallery (London, UK)
  • Laying Claim, curated by Amber Christensen, Estevan Art Gallery & Museum, (Sakatchewan)
  • State of Exceptional Webnation, Desearch Repartment, Western Front (Vancouver)
  • Yaga, Desearch Repartment, MAWA & Platform (Winnipeg)
  • Motivate – Stop Torturing Your Selfie, Desearch Repartment, University of Winnipeg (Winnipeg)

2016

  • YAGA: Torture Compassion, Desearch Repartment, M:ST 8 & Stride Gallery, (Calgary)
  • UAB Project – uncovering artist’ books, Grimsby Public Art Gallery (Grimsby)
  • MILLIONAIRES CAN BE TRANS* // YOU ARE SO BRAVE*, Schwules Museum (Berlin, Germany)
  • The Work of Gifs in the Age of Digital Reproduction, Silicon Vallée, Galerie Galerie (online)
  • I ate you, Loop Dreams, Rhizome & Giphy, (New York, USA)

2015

  • The Essential Happiness Possibility presents the Institute for Durational Futures, Desearch Repartment, fellowship and exhibition, Akademie der Künste der Welt (Cologne, Germany)
  • The Desearch Repartment’s Corporate Creativity Workshops for Art, exhibition articule (Montreal)
  • The Desearch Repartment’s Corporate Creativity Workshops for Art, Artspace (Peterborough)
  • URL, Sidewalkscreening.gif, Whippersnapper Gallery (Toronto)
  • Queer Networks, Studio XX, curated by Mikhel Proulx (Montreal)

2014

  • <url> <img> <irl> online digital project, The HTMlles 11 | ZÉR0 FUTUR{E} (Montreal)
  • Status Quo™ Desearch Repartment, Opteka Ateliers (Cologne, Germany)
  • URL<>IRL, MANIFEST! Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas, New York University
  • The See, book launch and screening of animations, Open City Cinema & aceartinc. (Winnipeg)

Contact Jess MacCormack