Jonah King

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Artist Statement

To think about the form of the hand, as it evolved to touch, to grasp, to protect, we must also think of the evolution of the forms touched, the plants, the tool, the body of your lover. And know that these things coaxed each other into form. So, as the fruit made themselves edible, so too did we learn to taste the sweetness of fruit. As, more recently we formed user interfaces ergonomically to hands, and soon found our thumbs and forefingers were morphing to the controllers.

In the Anthropocene, now that humans are geological forces, we can be compared to the glacier that carved the valley and the volcano that birthed the mountain. In that logic, the digital age becomes a mass displacement of minerals; the screen an evolutionary conclusion of the rock. Coltan from the Congo, glass made of sand, plastics from plankton.

So what does that make the 3D form? The magical conjuring of data is not separable from the material. This text as I type it is copper, zinc, alloy, bedrock, rubber. It is palpable all the way through. The digital image has a past, present and future in the economy of minerals and molecules that undulate the Earth. The 3D render, a momentary wave and break of planetary deep time.

Born in Ireland, I grew up in a country characterised by complicated relationships between belief and land. As one of the few Irish Jews, my identity was confused by two hours of mandatory Catholicism classes per day. My mother, an archeologist, would take me to excavations of pre-Christian sites that held testament to travel between worlds, blood-sacrifice and sun-worship, usually then being used to graze cattle or park cars. Meanwhile, a territorial war raged on between Catholics and Protestants. Coming to New York in the wake of a massive economic collapse, I couldn’t help but think these things were somehow connected.

My video installations explore how scientific, political and religious paradigms determine our relationship to nature. Understanding that digital media is collapsing the distinction between what is imagined and what is lived, I weave fictional and true accounts through constellations of moving images generated in the studio, with actors, or in collaboration with community groups. Together, these elements blur the boundaries of truth and fiction, invoking speculative narratives of envisioned utopias, nostalgic recollection, projected futures and apocalyptic dreams.



Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine
MFA Columbia University, New York, New York
BFA National College of Art and Design, Dublin (Valedictorian)

Confluence, Zwitschermaschine, Berlin

Finished Goods Warehouse – Pfizer Warehouse, Brooklyn
Post-Humanaties – Little Berlin, Philadelphia
Columbia MFA Thesis Exhibition – Fisher Landau Center for Art, NYC
2015 Slump Show – Rainer Ganahl, Decatur Studios NYC
Floating Point – Judith Charles Gallery, NYC
In Response – Repetition and Difference, The Jewish Museum, NYC
Picturing Asia, International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden
Columbia First Year MFA Exhibition, Wallach Art Gallery, NYC
Foundation 14 – Tullamore Arts Centre, Tullamore
Ex – Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast
Spirit of the Stairs – Basic Space, Dublin
Collaborations 2014 – Smock Alley, Dublin
Video Kills – CHQ, Dublin
Temple of Psychic Youth – Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin
Bergamo Scienza, Milan
Elements – National Science Gallery, Dublin
Rendered – Block T, Dublin
Immersion Is Unity – Abraham J. Rogatnick Gallery, Vancouver
Security Check – Block T, Dublin
Snakes & Ladders – Broadway Symphony Space, New York
Is This City Fit For Purpose? – Temple Bar Square, Dublin
Cycles – Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF), Dublin


Curatorial Projects:

2015 Bodies Burning At The Edges – LeRoy Neiman Gallery (curator); with Thomas Beale, Robert Montgomery, Jacolby Satterwhite, Kiki Smith.


2009-2014 Exchange Dublin: Collective Arts Centre (Founder/Director) Not-for-profit, all-ages, multi-disciplinary arts centre run on collectivist principles.


2009-2010 (E.G.) Example Curatorial Collective (Curator); Curatorial project of 15 exhibitions showcasing emerging Irish and International artists at Exchange Gallery, Temple Bar, Dublin.


2009-2010 No Signal (Founder/Coordinator) A weekly meeting of new media artists with seminars and public events.


2009 CHANGE? (Director); One week of discussions and workshops examining notions of social change; Project Arts Centre, Dublin.


Selected Bibliography:

2013 Abbot, Rosa. “Video Kills” Totally Dublin January

2012 Dunne, Adain. “The Temple of Psychic youth” The Irish Times June

2012 RTE One Day Series. “Jonah” RTE Television June.

2011 Ostrowska, Malwina. E.G/Example; New Ways of Making and Exhibiting Visual Art



2015 Panelist, Works In Progress Series, MODA Columbia University

2015 Artist Presentation, Ox-Bow School of Art

2015 Visiting Artist, Rutgers University, New Jersey

2014 Lecture: The Trickster, Utopia School, Flux Factory, New York

2014 Artist Presentation, Basic Space Critique Circle, Dublin

2013 Visiting Artist, South African Professional Photographer’s Guild, Johannesburg

2013 Lecture: “Direct Action Praxis”, NCAD Feminists Society, Dublin

2010 Visiting Artist, Ormond Studios, Dublin

2010 Artist Presentation: “Art and Activism” (with Guerilla Girls), NCAD, Dublin

2009 Artist Presentation, TACTIC A Symposium Of Tactical Art-making, The Lab, Dublin



2016 Andrew Fisher Fellowship

2015 Ox-Bow Resident Award

2014 Columbia University Visual Arts Scholarship

2012 Block T Emerging Graduate Award

2012 Student of the Year, National College of Art and Design

2012 Inaugural Owen Walsh Award

2011 International Exchange, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver

2009 Green Planet Award



2015 Ox-Bow MFA Residency, Saugatuck, Michigan

2015 Institute of Investigative Living with A. Zittel & J. Trainor. Joshua Tree

2015 NIRMAN Varanasi, India


Public Collections:

– Irish State Collection