Short Summary Bio:
Daniel Tucker works as an artist, writer and organizer developing documentaries, publications and events inspired by his interest in social movements and the people and places from which they emerge. His writings and lectures on the intersections of art and politics and his collaborative art projects have been published and presented widely. Tucker earned his MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago and collaborates on the Never The Same curatorial and archive project with Rebecca Zorach. He recently finished editing the book Immersive Life Practices (SAIC, 2014) and completed his first feature-length video essay Future Perfect: Time Capsules in Reagan Country. He is currently curating an exhibition and event series Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements for which he received a grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. Tucker is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director in Social and Studio Practices at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. miscprojects.com
Daniel Tucker (b. 1983, raised in Argentina and Kentucky, USA) has worked as a cultural and political organizer, initiating a number of large-scale local projects and events. His particular focus has been on documenting social and cultural movements and the people and places from which they emerge. Most of his work exists in between documentary, advocacy, journalism, curating and art-making and deals with themes of political imagination, localism, hidden history, economy and community. All of his projects utilize careful consideration of audience and distribution and involve significant research and relationship-building to have effective and lasting impact.
From 2001-2005 Daniel contributed to collective art projects such as StreetRec (producers of the documentary Retooling Dissent), God Bless Graffiti, Department of Space and Land Reclamation, and numerous interventions about affordable housing in Chicago – which is summarized in the pamphlet “Trashing the Neoliberal City: Autonomous Cultural Practices in Chicago from 2000-2005” (co-edited with Emily Forman). In 2005 he founded AREA Chicago – the print/online publication he edited until 2010 that focuses on researching and networking local social and cultural movements in Chicago. In his time at AREA he co-edited 9 magazines, organized nearly one hundred public events as well as collaboratively organizing the Notes for a People’s Atlas of Chicago which eventually expanded to 20 international cities and was published in a catalog and web archive.
In 2008 Tucker co-organized “Town Hall Talks” with Nato Thompson and Creative Time, in which they interviewed 100 socially-engaged artists in 5 cities. His book of interviews with activist farmers, Farm Together Now: A Portrait of People, Places and Ideas for a New Food Movement, (with co-author Amy Franceschini and photographer Anne Hamersky) was published by Chronicle Books in late 2010 and was picked by Michael Pollan as the best food book of that year. From 2010-2014 he ran Art In These Times, a community gallery that continues to operate in the offices of the long-running progressive magazine In These Times. In 2013 he completed the documentary photography exhibition and online archive Crisis Image Archives, which toured throughout the United States and now resides as part of the collection of the Alternative Press Center where it was originally produced during a residency in the summer of 2012. Throughout 2013 he was an artist-in-residence at the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry’s while working on a project documented in the catalog Unfurlings – Explorations in Art, Activism, and Archiving with the group Never the Same (his ongoing collaboration with Rebecca Zorach). During a 2014 residency at the Grand Central Art Center (Santa Ana, CA) he produced his first feature-length video essay Future Perfect: Time Capsules in Reagan Country. Tucker recently finished editing the book Immersive Life Practices (SAIC, 2014), and is at work on a series of videos and installations about the political spectrum. He is currently curating an exhibition and event series Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements for which he received a grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.
During his 13 years in Chicago he has consulted for cultural, activist and research organizations including the Center for Urban Economic Development at UIC, the Metropolitan Tenants Organization and co-organized An Artists’ Congress with the Block Museum at Northwestern University. Nationally he worked as an organizer and facilitator for Creative Time, the National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (where he edited State of the Arts, aka the SOTA blog). As a consultant, he has helped non-profit organizations of various sizes organize public programs and work to evaluate and advance their communications work and has served on the advisory board’s of the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Threewalls SOLO exhibition program, the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials project. He is currently an advisory group member for Art & the Public Sphere journal and the Neighborhood Time Exchange residency organized by Mural Arts Program and is an occasional collaborator with the San Francisco-based art collective Futurefarmers.
He has lectured widely about the intersections of art and politics and his collaborative art work has been exhibited at institutions including Commonwealth & Council gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Charlotte Street Foundation (Kansas City, MO), Mass MoCA (North Adams, MA), Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago, IL), Park Avenue Armory (New York City, NY), Werkleitz Biennial 6 (Germany), Centro José Guerrero (Spain), the 4th Athens Biennale (Greece) as well as streets, protests, bus tours and rooftops. His writings have appeared in Afterimage, AREA Chicago, Art Agenda, BootPrint, Chicago Journal, Clamor, H-Art International, the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Landline, Mousse, Newcity, Next American City, and Proximity and in the books/catalogs “A Guide to Democracy in America” (2008), “Experimental Geography” (2009), “Uses of a Whirlwind” (2010), “Transductores” (2010) “Visions for Chicago” (2011), “Construir el lloc: Quadern pedagògic” (2011), “Deep Routes“ (2012) “The Pedway of Today” by Hui-min Tsen (2013), “The Questions We Ask Together” (2015), “Art as Social Practice – A critical investigation of works by Kenneth A. Balfelt” (2015). Amidst a significant number of project-specific articles and interviews, several broad overviews of his past work have appeared in the print/web The Morning News and the Chicago Reader, and podcast audio interviews Bad At Sports and Ben PR.
Funding for his projects has been obtained from public and private sources oriented around art, social justice, and cross-cultural exchange such as the Andy Warhol Foundation’s Propeller Fund, CEC Artslink, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council., Crossroads Fund,Danish Art Council, European Cultural Foundation, Fire This Time Fund, Graham Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Ministry of Culture – Republic of Croatia, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, Stockyard Institute/Weitz Family Foundation, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has been an artist in residence at the Grand Central Art Center (Santa Ana, CA), Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA), University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (Santa Barbara, CA), University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL), Learning Site (Copenhagen, Denmark), and Oberliht Association at K:SAK (Chisinau, Moldova).
Tucker attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning a BFA with a focus in exhibition organizing and documentary video in 2005. In 2013 he earned an MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he received both a University Fellowship and Dean’s Scholar Award while focusing on teaching, writing, and documentary video and served as a PAGE Fellow with the Imagining America network (2012-13). He has previously taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, co-taught a seminar on archiving socially-engaged art with Rebecca Zorach at the University of Chicago, co-taught a graduate seminar on the history of Tactical Media with Brian Holmes, and created an adult education seminar series on Chicago Political Art at the Newberry Library. Tucker is currently Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director in Social and Studio Practices at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, PA.