County: King County
James Coupe was born in Blackpool, United Kingdom. He received an MFA from the University of Edinburgh in 1999, and a PhD in digital art and experimental media from the University of Washington in 2009. He is an associate professor in the DXARTS program at the University of Washington. His work has been commissioned by numerous organizations, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Henry Art Gallery, and the Abandon Normal Devices Festival. He has received grants and awards from Creative Captial, the Prix Ars Electronica, and New Contemporaries. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including venues such as Camden Arts Centre, Parsons The New School for Design, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.
James received 2015 GAP Award funding to assist in his upcoming project titled Mehrwert (Surplus Value). He intends to use his grant to pay mTurk (Mechanical Turk) workers, whose responses will be converted into subtitles and overlaid onto their video portraits. The human insight will be automated, rationalized and broken down into quantifiable units.
As part of his 2008 Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, James offered a presentation about his film work at the Capitol Theater in Olympia, hosted by Olympia Film Society’s Helen Thornton and projectionist Joaquin de la Puente. His recent work involves “automatically-generated films”; he found it interesting to screen them in a movie theatre that dated back to 1924. He showed excerpts from films that influenced his work, as well as some new projects. “It was a really great experience to be able to engage with a cinema audience: it gave me a chance to discuss how my installations often include the audience as active participants.” James also introduced a new work, Today, too I experienced something I hope to understand in a few days, a project that uses Facebook status updates as film scripts, putting the audience in front of the camera.