An Evening with Media Artist Jesse McLean

  • Wed Oct 26
Evening with Media Artist Jesse McLean

with Media Artist Jesse McLean

Jesse McLean

Jesse McLean is an experimental media artist utilizing collage strategies both aesthetically and conceptually. Her video work employs recognizable appropriated material alongside more elusive sources and material generated by the artist. Motivated by a deep curiosity about human behavior and relationships, her work is concerned with both the power and the failure of the mediated experience to bring people together. Recent videos put pressure on the ways emotions are lived in an age of mediated experience.

  • Somewhere only we know (2009), 5:00
    What can a face reveal? Balanced between composure and collapse, individuals anxiously await their fate.
  • The Invisible World (2012), 20:00
    In this video, materialism, emotional presence and the adaptive nature of human beings are broadly considered through the lens of time. A variety of time-based materials are collected (including home movies, internet videos, Sci-fi seventies films, and a photographed archive of objects) and collaged, revealing the filmmaker’s own hoarding tendencies. YouTube genres are parsed, including “haul” videos (where contributors display the results of a shopping spree) and unboxing videos (where a new purchase is unwrapped), and the results suggest not only how materialist tendencies have found a way to continue in the cresting virtual age but also how the need to own is often paired with the need to relate.
  • Just Like Us (2014), 15:00
    A familiar landscape comprised of box stores and parking lots proves a rich site for longing, intimacy, and radical change. Celebrities are observed in this environment and are reduced to ordinary beings in the process. An enigmatic protagonist reveals little moments of subjectivity that escape into the piece like a contaminant, rupturing the view and evidencing the paradox of connection and belonging within systems that simultaneously contain us and comprise us.
  • I’m in Pittsburgh and It’s Raining (2015), 14:20
    An experimental portrait of a lighting stand-in/body double whose work and corporal self appears in films even if her name does not. Through a purposeful masking of the (sometimes subtle) differentiations between performance and acting, famous Hollywood actress and her double, character, actual person, audience expectation, and cinema magic this video offers a look behind the silver screen.
  • See a Dog, Hear a Dog (2016), 18:00
    Brand new piece—description in the works!

McLean has presented her work at museums, galleries, and film festivals worldwide, including the Mumok Cinema in Vienna, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Views from the Avant Garde at the New York Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Kassel Dokfest, Impakt, and the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis. She was the recipient of an International Critics Prize, (FIPRESCI Prize) at the 2014 Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen and a Jury Prize in the International Competition at the 2013 Videoex Festival. She was a featured artist at the 2014 Flaherty Seminar and a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Video, Animation and New Genres at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Ithaca Premiere
Digital Projection color
1 hour 12 minutes
release year/country