Zoë McCloskey


bio and CV


Zoe McCloskey is a conceptual artist whose work examines power dynamics between the rational and emotional, as they play out on both an individual and cultural scale. The artist's work takes the form of digital programs and objects, street art, social practices, and performances which rely heavily on research in vision science, shamanism, theology, and digital computation.  

McCloskey created unique street art installations and collective social practice projects for cities such as New Orleans, Mexico City, Dangriga, Oaxaca, and Buenos Aires. She performed an original work on mind and body with choreographer Magnhild Fossum at the Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich and a work on Genes, Memes, and Temes at the CyberpunkApocalypse Writers Collective in Pittsburgh. She has been an artist in residence at Gray Area, SF and the Program for Advanced Divination, LA. She has lectured on visual science and visual art at the College Art Association NY; for Internet Art Class at Stanford University; and the “Science in the Studio” AICAD Conference at California College of the Arts. She made a documentary of the Pirates Cove punk house; was a cover feature in SciArt in America; and taught a hybrid class of game design and social justice to youth at the Bay Area Video Coalition. 

McCloskey holds a BFA from the Cooper Union and an MFA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts. She currently manages the hacker/maker lab (Hybrid Lab) at California College of Arts and teaches Interactive Design II at San Francisco State University. She feels that facilitating the programming and electronics education of art and design students is an extension of her art practice -- a way to promote artistic critical discourse in the field of technology.




 I am invested in a re-evaluation of the power dynamics between the rational and the emotional, on both a cultural and individual scale. I work from the belief that the pragmatic role of art is to expose, complicate, and enrich existing ideologies.

In these works, I am most influenced by a context of technological ascendancy. Educating myself in the fundamentals of programming, genetics, and neurobiology, I enter the stream of ascendancy via curious fascination and informed camaraderie.

Trained in traditional fine art, and practicing from a place of sincere reverence for the empirical, my works ultimately exclude both. They often take the form of performances or digital projects, which rely heavily on research yet employ whimsy and audience participation. By re-contextualizing cartesian philosophies and deconstructing logics associated with information theory and artificial intelligence, I invite general audiences; including scientists, technologists, and artists, to consider their own critical agency.


Gray Area Incubator Program, April 2017-October2017.
Beam Artist in Residence, New Hampshire, 2012.
POWA and Benjamin Menchel Fellowship Program, Dangriga Belize, 2008.
LoCurativo Summer Residency, Argentina, 2007.
LACAP (Latin America Community Art Project) Summer Residency, El Salvador, 2005.

Press about Artist
Burke, Sarah, "Third Party" Arts & Culture Art Pick: East Bay Express, Nov 15 2016.
Anniversary Issue, SciArt in America, August 2014.
"Strait Talk with Zoe McCloskey" SciArt in America, April 2014.
Greenbaum, Hilary, "Who made that Dummy Text," NYTimes Design Blog: 6th Floor. Aug 24, 2011. 
Cargo Collective, “Featured Artist: Zoe McCloskey,” cargocollective.com, Aug 9, 2009. 
"Street Mood" Film by Manuel Diaz, Animation by Rodrigo Arturo Ferrer, 2009. https://vimeo.com/9715252
Mr. Fly, and Dr. Rabias, eds. Arte Urbe. Mexico, D.F.: La Gunilla Editores, 2009, pp. 22, 28.
Urbanartcore "Zoe McCloskey's Lorem Ipsum Art" Urbanartcore.eu 2009.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette Features, “Good Morning East: Firelei Baez and Zoe McCloskey.” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, March 26, 2009.
Ueno, Guiermo Purple Journal “Lo Pequeno es Hermoso.” Number 13, Summer 2008, pp 19-33.
Berrios, Dardo and Carolina Pellejero, Un Vagon Hermoso, Eco Club Buratovich, 2006.

Publications by Artist
McCloskey, Zoe. Introduction to Who Cares About These Feelings? Mail Art 2009-2015 by Mitsuko Brooks, published for LA Book Fair 2015. 
McCloskey, Zoe. “Graduate Art School.” Agency, Ben Kinmont, Antinomian Press 2012, p 27.
McCloskey, Zoe. "Keyword: Desire" Occupy as Form Conference, Guest Contributor. ARC Muses. Arts Research Center, UC Berkeley, Jan 26, 2012.
Lavelle, Megan, and Zoe McCloskey. "Memorandum." Introduction. Social Practice Book CCA, San Francisco: Social Practice, 2012, 6-7.
McCloskey, Zoe. "Notes on Asi Esta La Cosa" Asi Esta la Cosa: Emerging Artist from Mexico City and Chicago, ed Arielle Bielak, Marwen Center for Art 2010, 8.
McCloskey, Zoe. "S- F--" Digital Artifact Magazine, Issue 3, 2009.

In Private Collections of
Eric Shiner, Senior Vice President Fine Art Division Sotheby's.  
Cherubini Family Trust, Boston.
Contra Costa Martinez Health Center, Martinez CA
Tristan and Jeanine Roule, Contemporary Art Collection, Washington D.C
Hari Kunzru, Novelist
Yunuen Fortanell, W.H.O. D.F. Mexico




Exhibitions / Presentations/ Teaching


Program on Advanced Divination Residency (Project of Tim Hwuang) : Sept 18-22, Los Angeles


Game Code Design Class: Institutional Power, Bay Area Video Coalition, SF.
Intro to Unity: April 20th 2018, Hybrid Lab
Leap Motion w/Processing: April 13th 2018, Hybrid Lab
Matrix and Bar Displays: April 6th 2018, Hybrid Lab
Integrating Processing with Arduino Workshop: Feb 23rd, Hybrid Lab, SF.
Distance and Motion Sensor Workshop: Feb 30th, Hybrid Lab, SF.
Capacitive Touch Workshop: Feb 16th , Hybrid Lab, SF.
Basics of Programming in Python 1 Workshop: Feb 2nd, Hybrid Lab, SF.
Basics of Programming in Python 2 Workshop: Feb 9th, Hybrid Lab, SF.
Servo Workshop: Jan 26th, Hybrid Lab, SF.
NeoPixel Workshop: Feb 19th, Hybrid Lab, SF.


"NextGen ShowCase" with BAVC, The Mix SF Public Libraries, SF.
"NightLife" with CCA Hybrid Lab, California Academy of Sciences, SF.
"Gray Area Incubator Showcase" Gray Area Foundation, SF.
"In Visual Art and Vision Science: From 2D to Immersive Studies" Presented on Composed Session "Big Data and Broken Algorithms.” College Art Association 2017, NYC.


Permanent Installation Contra Costa Martinez Health Center, Martinez CA.
"Third Party" (all female artist exhibition of work that critiques the male gaze within personalization filters) CTRL + SHFT, November, Oakland, CA.


"Embodied Research" Lecture on Panel "Brain as Field" for AICAD (Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design) Symposium, "Science in the Studio" hosted by California College of Art, San Francisco, November 5-7.
Time Travel Museum, Hallow Earth Radio, Seattle.
Pet Projects Gallery: First Annual Headphone Festival, Holly Park, SF.


Dunkleholzi Meadow, "Umwelt Vertmittlung" for "A Test Flight Out of Time" Zurich.
ION, "Dream Money" for "Snoozenight" Zurich.
Stanford University, Visiting Lecturer, Internet Art Class, Palo Alto. 
Experimental AudioZone "Sechzig-Drei" Group Audio Exhibition, Zurich.


Cabaret Voltaire "Interrrational" Zurich.
Corner College "Introduction to Interstellar Travel" Zurich.
Public Panel, Social Practice MMUN Debate: California College of Art, San Francisco.


Cyberpunk Apocalypse “Genes, Memes, and Temes” CPA Writers Showcase, Pittsburgh.
“Con Razon” Oakland, CA.
“Evolutionary Competition of the Mind,” Assurance Agency, San Francisco.
Itcus Gallery “Beauty Salon” San Francisco.
Mauritzio Catalan Family Business Gallery “Hennesy Youngman: It's a small, small world,” NYC.
Overca$h “DONNIE OVERCASH 2012.” Oakland. 
Wattis Institute “John Baldessari Class Assignments.” San Francisco.


PLAySPACE: R&R PROjECTS “Wherehoused?” San Francisco.
Space 1950 “Frenzy” NYC.
“Existential Hopscotch” Miami.
“Existential Hopscotch” Pittsburgh.
New Willmington Art Association “Flights of Fancy” Willmington DE.
Blue Island Gallery “Mothers” Chicago.


On Contemporary Graffiti Panel: Columbia College of Art.
CC3 Gallery: Columbia College “Sixty Inches From Center,” Chicago.
54B Gallery “Decadent Dutchess” Chicago.


Bridgette Mayer Gallery “And I Don’t Want It to be Misappropriated” Philadelphia.
“Lorem Ipsum” Chicago. 
“The Illusive Meanings of Wrds” Columbus OH.
“Machete Garden” Chicago. 
“Sueño Privado” Guadalajara, Mexico. 
Unsmoke ArtSpace “No Longer Disturbing...” Braddock.
Chicago Underground Library: Juniper Outpost “Science of Obscurity Event.” 
Pony Club Gallery “Clock Show” Portland OR.
Aferro Gallery “OMG.” Newark NJ.


Tamarind Art Gallery “SAWCC” NYC.
Underground Gallery: University of Iowa “We Began There...” Iowa City.
"Proud machete" Dangriga, Belize.
"Firefly(s)" Portland, OR.
"Que Papel Juegas" D.F. Mexico.
"Que reflejas" Oaxaca, Oaxaca.
"La corrupti-on" Oaxaca, Oaxaca.
"Boats" Guanajuato, Gto.
"Lets meet here…" Brooklyn.
"Bandaged" New Orleans.
Pony Club Gallery “Alter Ego's” Portland OR.


Viajo Modulo “Modulo Exhibition” Médanos Argentina.
"The great es-cape" Washington D.C.
"Boats" Medanos, Argentina.
"The great es-cape" Buenos Aires, Argentina.
UnVagonHermoso “Ballena Performance” Buratovich Argentina.


Performer, Theater for the New City “Legend of Siguanaba” NYC.
Mobilivre “Mobilivre” Toronto and NYC.

California College of the Arts, Social Practice MFA 2013
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, BFA, 2005