Jeremiah Barber


VTape, Ontario

Jeremiah Barber is a San Francisco based artist who explores perception and communication through performance, sculpture, and speculative design. Central to his work are anticipated failures: constructed realities, knowledge gaps, and a future designed through our bodies, which are fundamentally unreliable. Barber has been commissioned for projects nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Southern Exposure, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. In 2015 he received the Eureka Fellowship from the Fleishhacker Foundation. In addition to his solo practice, Barber cofounded the artist collective 100 Days Action. He teaches sculpture at the University of California Davis.

Barber’s recent work has focused on the intersection of biology and technology. Inspired by recent scientific discoveries around plant and animal consciousness, and the increasing plausibility of synthetic consciousness, his research has led to a series of projects that highlight the limits of our own knowledge-building tools when compared to the expansiveness of nonhuman knowledge. “Lightroom / Darkroom”, which were created for an exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, explores pigeon photography and early camera flashes made from moss spores. “Tree Cranes” is a series of site-specific sculptures commissioned by I-Park Art Foundation in Connecticut, which allows the viewer to capture swooping, panoramic video of the New England landscape with a camera rig constructed of trees and stones found on site. These projects form a critical response to biomimicry (human design informed by biological systems, such as a high-speed rail whose nose takes the shape of a kingfisher) by presenting ecological networks as complex, interwoven, and resistant to anthropocentric desire. 

Ethologists use the word umwelt (“surrounding-world”) to describe a problem in studying other species: we do not share the biological tools to communicate or comprehend one another. Barber’s recent work in interspecies dialogue is a continuation of his interest in the outer boundaries of perception. In a series of collaborative works with partner Ingrid Rojas Contreras, the artists explore failures of memory and body through performances that draw on their divergent family histories. Their collaboration culminated in “The Marvelous Real”, a two-person exhibition at the Mission Cultural Center. Barber’s solo performances, in the tradition of the Dadaists, are bleakly hilarious—absurdity that flips between humor and exasperation. His performances, several of which are in the collection of VTape in Ontario, Canada, and have screened in festivals internationally, are performed for the camera and presented in video loops that suggest an infinite repetition. 

Born 1983, Michigan, U.S.


2010 Master of Fine Arts, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Stanford CA
2006 Bachelor of Fine Arts, COLUMBIA COLLEGE, Chicago IL

Solo Exhibitions

2023 Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco CA. “Period”
2018 CCA Hubbell Street Galleries, San Francisco CA. “Take Action” (with 100 Days Action)
2017 Cue Foundation, New York NY. “Exhabitations”
2016 Recology Gallery, San Francisco CA. “Make Me Change Me
2015 Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco CA. “Lo Real Maravilloso”
2011 Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris FR. “Kafka Diaries”
2009 Tropo MFG, Pomona CA. “Once More with Feeling”
2007 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago IL. “Here/Not There”

Selected Group Exhibitions & Screenings

2024 Southern Exposure, San Francisco CA. “1974/2074”    
2023 SF Camerawork, San Francisco CA. “2023 Benefit Auction”
2023 Brenda Tuxford Gallery, Eureka CA. “Backcountry Metaverse”
2023 Four Chicken Gallery, San Francisco CA. “Ode to San Francisco”
2023 Bass & Reiner Gallery, San Francisco CA. “Pyramid Scheme”
2021 S.P.A.N.E., Regina Canada. “AIR”
2021 Art Journal Open, “Feral Intimacies
2020 Natural Discourses, Alameda CA. (postponed due to covid)
2020 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco CA. “After Life”
2020 Minnesota Street Projects, San Francisco CA. “Quarantined”
2019 Coco Hunday, Tampa FL. “Rulers
2018 Vtape, Toronto ON. “Video in the Age of Sublime Uncertainty
2017 Sonoma State University Gallery, Sonoma CA. “Art Studio Faculty Exhibitition”
2017 Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose CA. “Detritus
2017 Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival, Chicago IL. “Retrospect
2017 Aggregate Space Gallery, Oakland CA. “Orium”
2017 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco CA. “24 Hour Resistance” (with 100DA)
2017 Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco CA. “100 Days Action
2017 Royal Nonesuch Gallery, Oakland CA. “100 Days Action
2016 SF Camerawork, San Francisco CA. “Recology AIR Retrospective
2016 California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco CA. “NightLife Live
2016 Limited Access Festival, Tehran IR. “The Physical Limits
2016 SFAC Gallery, San Francisco CA. “Bring it Home: (Re)Locating Cultural Legacy Through the Body
2016 Center Space, Chicago IL. “Synapse”
2015 Root Division, San Francisco CA. “Resonate
2015 SOMArts, San Francisco CA. “Night Light
2014 Southern Exposure, San Francisco CA. “White Hot Lamp Black
2014 California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco CA. “NightLife Live”
2014 SOMArts, San Francisco CA. “Night Light”
2013 SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco CA. “All Good Things…
2013 Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival, Chicago IL. “Corporeal Discomforts”
2013 Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito CA. “Translocura: Art at the Brink of Madness
2012 Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago IL. “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi: Industry of the Ordinary
2012 Highlight Gallery Projects, San Francisco CA. “3020 Laguna Street
2011 Root Division, San Francisco CA. “A Live Animal
2011 Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, San Francisco CA. “Sincerely Yours: Almanac”
2011 List Center, MIT, Cambridge MA. “Failure”
2010 Thomas Welton Gallery, Stanford CA. “Square Root”
2010 Worth Ryder Gallery, Berkeley CA. “At Bay”
2009 The LAB, San Francisco CA. “PastForward: 25th Anniversary Exhibition”
2009 PLAySPACE Gallery, San Francisco CA. “Sweet & Matchless”
2009 Thomas Welton Gallery, Stanford CA. “Very Close to Far Away”
2008 Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago IL. “IN>TIME”
2007 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago IL. “Mapping the Self
2007 Caro d’Offay Gallery, Chicago IL. “Finding Balance”
2006 Manual Labor Gallery, Chicago IL. “Things that Hide”

Selected Performances

2018 Root Division, San Francisco CA. “Horizon Waver”
2016 SFAC Gallery, San Francisco CA. “Para/sel/llel/ves
2014 Southern Exposure, San Francisco CA. “Other Half Orbit
2013 SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco CA. “If Only My Own Person
2013 JACK Space, Brooklyn NY. “18 1/2 MINUTES”
2012 Prosser Studio Theater, Stanford CA. “18 1/2 MINUTES”
2012 Root Division, San Francisco CA. “From Our Bodies Blinking
2012 Highlight Gallery Projects, San Francisco CA. “Dreamburn”
2011 Incline Gallery, San Francisco CA. “DOWN”
2010 Thomas Welton Gallery, Stanford CA. “Nonexistent, Come to Me”
2007 Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago IL. Max King Cap’s “God’s Punk”
2006 International Conference on Performance Art Theory, Tijuana MX. “Barter”
2006 Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago IL. “The More I Meet”
2005 A+D Gallery, Chicago IL. “Spin”
2004 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago IL. “Camera/Action: Performance and Photography”

Awards & Distinctions

2024 California Humanities for All, Project Grant (with moira williams and Root Division)
2021 California Arts Council, Individual Artist Fellowship
2020 Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York NY, Emergency Grant
2020 San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco CA, Artist Relief Grant
2018 Alternative Exposure, San Francisco CA, Grant (with 100 Days Action)
2016 Franklin Furnace Archive, New York NY, Grant
2016 Co-founder of 100 Days Action
2011-2016 Member of Root Division’s Curatorial Committee
2015 Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco CA, Eureka Fellowship
2013 San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco CA, Individual Artist Commission
2012 Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York NY, Emergency Grant
2012 Stanford University, Stanford CA, Suzanne Baruch Lewis Grant
2008 City of Chicago and Illinois Arts Council, Chicago IL, Community Arts Assistance Program Grant
2005-2007 Member of Marina Abramovic’s “Independent Performance Group”
2004 Columbia College, Chicago IL, Pougialis Fine Arts Apprenticeship


2025 Sculpture Space, Utica NY
2019 Millay Arts, Austerlitz NY
2019 I-Park, East Haddam CT
2017 Southern Exposure (with 100 Days Action), San Francisco CA
2017 Royal Nonesuch Gallery (with 100 Days Action), Oakland CA
2016 Recology Artist in Residence Program, San Francisco CA
2015 Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside CA
2011 Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris FR
2011-13 Root Division, San Francisco CA
2007-08 Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago IL


2016-present Continuing Lecturer, University of California Davis
2017-19 Lecturer, Sonoma State University
2017 Lecturer, Stanford University
2016 Lecturer, California State University, East Bay
2013-15 Lecturer, University of California Santa Cruz
2010-14 Lecturer, Stanford University
2011-13 Instructor, Root Division
2011 Instructor, Cantor Arts Center
2011 Instructor, L’Académie de Paris (Oxbow Program)


Emily Wilson “Colorful Street Art Represents Essential Workers” 48 Hills Aug 11, 2020
Andrew Salomone “These Art Activists Held 152 Events Over Trump’s First 100 Days” Vice May 15, 2017
Shachar Peled “How Artists are Marking Trump’s 100th Day in Office” CNN Apr 29, 2017
Michael Krasny “Bay Area Artists Respond to the Trump Presidency” KQED Forum Mar 1, 2017
Evan Karp “A 100 Day Counternarrative Through Art” SF Chronicle Jan 12, 2017
Allie Rasmus “From Trash to Treasure” FoxNews Nov 12, 2015
Unexpected Projects “Other Half Orbit” OpenSpace Mar 16, 2015
Thea Quiray Tagle “Intimate Dynamics...” Hyperallergic Feb 24, 2015 
Lea Feinstein “(Im)materiel and the Marvelous Real” Art Practical Feb 17, 2015 
Jonathan Curiel “Real, Marvelous and Very Personal” SFWeekly Jan 29, 2015
Jin Zhu “Other Half Orbit +2” Shooting Wide Open Aug 1, 2014
Miguel Arzabe “Water and Vapor: Jeremiah Barber at SOEX” Carets and Sticks Mar 10, 2014
“Featured Artist” Panhandler Issue 7, 2012
Jaime Gillin “Art from Architecture” Dwell Feb 24, 2012
Graham Hiemstra “3020 Laguna St: In Exitum” CoolHunting Feb 16, 2012 
Kate Conger “House is Raw Material and Venue for Art” SFGate Feb 1, 2012 
Molly Oleson “Fleeting Art Makes Lasting Impression” Mission Local Fall 2011
Jin Zhu “Performance” Shooting Wide Open Sep 24, 2010 
J.D. Beltran “Mapping With Moss, Metal, and Much More” SFGate Jun 26, 2010 
J.D. Beltran “Monumentality Through Simplicity” SFGate Aug 28, 2009 
Max King Cap “Once More with Feeling” Tropo MFG Aug 2009 
Bonnie Trafelet “Old Growth at the Museum of Contemporary Art” Chicago Tribune Jul 20, 2007 
Teresa Sewell “Performance Artist Logs Fall after Fall” Chicago Sun-Times Jul 20, 2007


Inauguration of the People, by the People” Living Room Light Exchange Vol. 02, Apr 2017
Interconnect with Each Other Privately” Living Room Light Exchange Vol. 01, July 2016
Pursuit of an Impartial Reflection” Ventriloquist Vol. 01, May 2015
The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind” ed. Claudia Rankine and Max King Cap, Mar 31 2015
“Smoke and Mirrors” Sanaz Mazinani: Unfolding Images, Bulger Gallery Press, Apr 2012
“Video Artists Embrace […] Unbearably Long Titles” KQED Arts, Nov 27, 2011
“On the Surface of Things” Introductions, Root Division, Oct 2011
“Katy Grannan’s ‘Boulevard’” Art Practical, Apr 23, 2011
“Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico” KQED Arts, Mar 1, 2011
“Failure”, Aspect EZ, 5 min video excerpt, Mar 2011
“Reference and Reverence: New Works on Paper by Enrique Chagoya” KQED Arts, Jan 11, 2011
“Andy Goldsworthy: ‘Incidental Objects’” KQED Arts, Dec 3, 2010 

Public Lectures

“A Handbreadth of Time” Visiting artist lecture, Columbia College Chicago, Oct 2020
”Add Oil Chinatown!” panel talk, Chinese Cultural Center, Aug 2020
”Fewer Better: Artists & Sustainability” panel talk, Cuyana, Aug 2016
”Instant Vintage” Visiting artist lecture, Stanford University, Mar 2012
”Query & Pursuit in Artistic Practice” panel talk, Black Mountain College, Oct 2010
”Artists in the Current Political Climate” panel talk, Art Chicago, Apr 2008