Statement / Bio
Jared Christopher Kelley is an artist drawing connections between digital simulations and their physical counterparts. As a child in a fundamentalist millenarian family, he was taught to believe he would live forever after the apocalypse. He has attempted to place the longing restlessness left by this belief into secular historic and contemporary transhumanist movements, using these as a means to sit with the unrealizable expectation of immortality. Utilizing the desire, mechanisms, and far reaching implications of achieving immortality through exponential advances in biotechnology and digital simulation, he creates works that connect, conduct, tunnel, and bridge the space between virtual and physical worlds. His narrative and poetic work contemplates this restless “space between'' as a psychological membrane used to transit freely between the virtual and physical. He draws from writing on linguistics and semiotics by Roland Barthes, the films and media theory of Hito Steyerl and Harun Farocki, and historical queer, religious, and transhumanist movements including the Russian Cosmists and the research of biogerontologists Aubrey de Gray and Cynthia Kenyon.
Kelley received his BA in Interdisciplinary Education in the Arts and his MFA with a concentration in New Media, both from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has performed and exhibited work in DIY spaces, small, medium, and large galleries, and regional museums in Atlanta and Chicago, including the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Roman Susan, and Gallery 400, and internationally in Australia and South Korea, including CICA Museum Gimpo.