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 Still image from  Magic for Beginners

Still image from Magic for Beginners


Artist Talk & Video Screening


Join us for a talk and video screening event with Silver Eye artist Jesse McLean.

McLean’s artwork is an investigation into human and nonhuman emotional relationships, and an exploration of the effects of our increasing immersion into digital culture. Her Silver Eye solo exhibition, When it Rains, it Pours, presents a selection of videos and images that playfully and poetically probe cultural fears of artificial intelligence and other automated systems that replicate human tasks, behaviors and interactions.

Program for, Jesse McLean – Selected Videos

Just Like Us, 15’, 2013
A familiar landscape evidences the paradox of connection and belonging within systems that simultaneously contain us and comprise us.

Somewhere only we know, 5’, 2009
What can a face reveal? Balanced between composure and collapse, individuals anxiously await their fate.

Remote, 11’, 2011
There is a presence lingering in the dark woods, just under the surface of a placid lake and at the end of dreary basement corridor. It’s not easy to locate because it’s outside but also inside. It doesn’t just crawl in on your wires because it’s not a thing. It’s a shocking eruption of electrical energy. In the collage video Remote, dream logic invokes a presence that drifts through physical and temporal barriers.

Magic for Beginners, 20’, 2010
Magic for Beginners examines the mythologies found in fan culture, from longing to obsession to psychic connections. The need for such connections (whether real or imaginary) as well as the need for an emotional release that only fantasy can deliver are explored.

I’m in Pittsburgh and It’s Raining, 14’, 2015
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.

Jesse McLean was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. She received her BA in Studio Arts from Oberlin College and her MFA in Moving Image from University of Illinois at Chicago. She is based in Milwaukee, WI, where she is as Assistant Professor of Film/Video/Animation/New Genres at Peck School of the Arts, UW-Milwaukee. She has presented her work at museums, galleries, and film festivals worldwide, including Projections at New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Mumok Cinema in Vienna, CPH:DOX, Kassel Dokfest, and Impakt. She was the recipient of an International Critics Prize, (FIPRESCI Prize) at the 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 MacDowell Fellow in 2016. In 2016 she was selected for a Mary L. Nohl Individual Artist Fellowship.

Jesse's video work is distributed through the Video Data Bank.