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Jacob Ciocci
Date and place of birth
b. 1977, Lexington, KY
Current location
Brooklyn, NY
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
201011, Research Resident

Jacob Ciocci is an American visual artist, performance artist, musician, and professor. Along with sister Jessica Ciocci and friend Ben Jones, he was one of the three founding members of Paper Rad, an artist collective active from 2000 until 2008, whose work in the field of––one of contemporary arts’ recent movements of the true avant-garde––helped ignite the genre, and is considered formative to a generation of younger artists whose works deals with the digital.

Ciocci has had solo exhibitions with Foxy Productions, New York; Interstate Projects, New York; Anthology Film Archives, New York; Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto; and And/Or Gallery, Los Angeles. He has exhibited and performed at a range of venues, including MOMA, the New Museum, and the Tate Britain. Ciocci is also one of the first Google Image results for the phrase “making friends with computers”.

Ciocci received his B.A. in computer science from Oberlin College. As a student at Oberlin College, Ciocci met Cory Arcangel and Paul B. Davis, and in 2000 Arcangel and Davis formed the experimental music collaboration Beige Programming Ensemble. Ciocci received his M.F.A. in art from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005.

“Music Is A Question With No Answer” (2010)

In September 2010, artists and musicians Jacob Ciocci and David Wightman (aka Extreme Animals) embarked up0n their 8th tour of the United States, premiering three new videos and two new performances at venues ranging from Universities to Media Festivals to DIY spaces. Continuing their ongoing investigation into the relationship between the banal and the transcendent, the works in “Music Is A Question . . .” combine original video footage with footage sourced from VHS tapes and the internet into a bewildering maelstrom of contemporary American pathos. Rejecting the distinction between the producer and the consumer, or the original and the derivative, their videos and performances attempt to blur boundaries between the authentic and the trite or the liberating and the imprisoning. How are tweens using YouTube, and how is YouTube using tweens? What happens to the activist notion of “going green” when it becomes as ubiquitous as a smiley face on a plastic bag? How many overt emotions can an audience handle before they stop feeling empathy and start feeling judgment? Excerpt from “Music Is A Question . . .”:

The tour coincided with the release of the three new videos onto DVD-R, published by Audio Dregs.

Included on the DVD-r:

“Questions of the Ages”

“My Life My Language”

“Gone Green”

All of the videos and performances were created at and made possible by Eyebeam in New York, as a part of their ongoing research into “Open Cultures.”

Much of the source material for the videos was collected and generously donated by Andrew Jeffrey Wright.


“By the time the Extreme Animals are seated once again and filling the auditorium with frenzied, apocalyptic sounds and visions chasing a recycling and pollution theme, I am fully awake again, and strangely, unexpectedly in love with and in awe of this furious planet.”

“The modern world can be a frightening deluge of images and commands, and if you have half a mind, that can be a depressing thing. So why not turn all that jumbled garbage on its head, and make it even more insane? It might even be funny. Laughter is better than sadness, a kind of small victory that Extreme Animals are in the market of producing.”

— Art Practical, Shotgun Reviews

Eyebeam models a new approach to artist-led creation for the public good; we are a non-profit that provides significant professional support and money to exceptional artists for the realization of important ideas that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Nobody else is doing this.

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