Jacki Apple

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Jacki Apple is an American visual, performance, and media artist, audio composer, writer, director, producer, and educator whose diverse artistic career has encompassed a wide range of media and forms including multimedia installations, interdisciplinary performance, audio, radio, photography, video, film, artist books, drawings, site specific works, and public art projects. Her works have been performed, exhibited, and broadcast in art spaces, galleries, museums, theaters, festivals, on radio and cable TV throughout the United States and Canada, and in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.[1][2][3][4]

Art Work[edit]

Apple began doing feminist performance, conceptual, and installation works in 1971 dealing with the subjects of image and identity. The first of these performances took place at Apple, the alternative space run by artist Billy Apple. Transfer, a collaboration with Pamela Kraft, was based on Freud's idea that there are four people in every relationship between two people—you as you see yourself and as others see you. Transformance: Claudia 1973, a collaboration with Martha Wilson,[5][6] was a seminal feminist performance work exploring media imagery and the relationship between power and beauty, and has been written about in numerous publications over the past five decades.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] Apple's early feminist conceptual performance works have been featured in more recent historical exhibitions including Love Gasoline: Works from 1968-74, Gloria: Another Look at Feminist Art,[18] and in Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art at the Brooklyn Museum 2012.[19]

Despite a change of narrative themes and formal structures beginning in 1974, her interest in the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, image, and perception established in Transfer continued in the installations Trunk Pieces [20][21][22][23] at 112 Greene Street [24] 1975 and later published as a limited edition text/photo artists book by Visual Studies Workshop,[25] Rochester, NY in 1978, Partitions 1976 and Black Holes/Blue Sky Dreams 1977 both with recorded soundtracks,[26][27] and the collaborative multimedia performances Heart of Palms II: (On the Other Hand, Motions Along the Lines) at MoMA in 1978 and the Santa Monica Arts commission Palisade [28][29][30] 1987 with choreographer/writer Jeff McMahon, composer David Moss and artist John White. In Apple's satiric, ironic film noir ballet for radio Swan Lake 1989 commissioned by New Radio and Performing Arts /New American Radio,[3][31][32] the original romantic narrative was recast and resituated amidst the glittering surfaces and dark underside of late 80s Los Angeles, as Apple delved into seduction, voyeurism, violence and the consumption of media images from Hollywood to the art world.

As of 1974 Apple's work moved into a new interdisciplinary terrain, combining multilayered sound, images, non-linear narrative, architectural structures or spaces, organic materials, and technological media in a wide range of installations, some with performative components, site specific works, large scale multimedia performance works, artists books, and audio works. Spanning the next four decades consistent narrative themes and structural underpinnings have connected all her work regardless of media. Archaeology, paleontology, theoretical physics, earth sciences, Japanese aesthetics, and the politics of culture, have all been influential sources from the 1970s to the present. Topics range from the confrontation between nature and culture, the relationship between matter and consciousness, history and memory, biological and geological time, to political, social, and environmental issues in works such as Digging 1974 [33] and The Mexican Tapes 1978-9 film/performance/audio work,[34][35] Free Fire Zone[36][35] film/audio fifteen story/song vignettes about living and dying in America in the last half of the 20th century, The Garden Planet Revisited 1982,[37][38][39] a visionary post-apocalypse sci-fi opera featuring performers Lin Hixson, Anna Homler, Martin Kersels, and Ulysses Jenkins, The Amazon, The Mekong, The Missouri and The Nile 1985 about language and colonialism [40][41][42][43][44][45] with choreographer Mary Jane Eisenberg/Shale and composer Bruce Fowler, and Fluctuations of the Field 1989 a site-specific outdoor performance based on the writings of physicist David Bohm.[46] Since the 1990s ecological and environmental issues have been central to Apple's work. The extended series The Culture of Disappearance 1991-2008 [47][48][49] Includes four installations, several text/sound audio compositions, a live radio performance and book works that explore species and cultural extinction and the conditions of loss and denial endemic to industrial and post-industrial society. In You Don't Need A Weatherman Apple explored meteorological and environmental catastrophes such as floods, droughts, and the climate in crisis.[1] Her 2009 site specific installation and artists book project In the Gully: Meditations on Water, was a collaboration with typography designer Paul Soady about the absence of water. Created specifically for the terrain, ecology and geomorphology of the location, then translated into six one-of-a-kind books, it incorporated poetic texts, signage, and photographs in 2010.[2]

An innovator in the development of radio art Jacki Apple's text/sound/music audio works [50][51][52][53][54][55][56] have been commissioned and distributed by New American Radio during the 1980s and 90s, broadcast nationally, and featured in numerous international festivals in Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Canada, England, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. A comprehensive retrospective of her audio and radio work 1979-1997 was presented at the international Sound Culture ‘99 festival Auckland, NZ. In addition to her solo CDs Thank You For Flying American, ghost.dances\on the event horizon, and the 1979 LP The Mexican Tapes, her audio/radio works have also been included in numerous LP, cassette, and CD anthologies, and audio art exhibitions. As a critic she has written seminal essays and reviews on radio art and artists. From 1982-95, she was the producer/host of Soundings,[57] a weekly one hour radio show on KPFK-FM, Pacifica Radio, Los Angeles featuring artists performance, sound, and music works, radio art works, live interviews, and live performances with Terry Allen, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Rachel Rosenthal, David Antin, John Fleck, Spalding Gray, and others. She has written seminal essays and reviews on radio art and sound artists. In 1991-92 she conceived, directed and produced and performed in the ground-breaking radio art series Redefining Democracy in America featuring six 28 minute parts, commissioned by New American Radio. Episodes in Black and White (Parts 1,2,3), a collaboration with writer/ performers Linda Albertano, Keith Antar Mason, Akilah Nayo Oliver, is a complexly interwoven dialog between the four artists as they confront the deep schisms and contradictions in an America teetering on the edge. They raise questions about who speaks, who is listened to, who is heard, who is silenced, and how that has shaped our present social reality, as they grapple with issues of race, sex, money, power, drugs, family, children, violence, and censorship. Their voices, which are both deeply personal and political, look inward and outward. It was a Black History month feature presentation on KPFK-FM, Pacifica Radio, Los Angeles. The Voices of America (Parts 4,5), produced with KPFK over several months during the 1992 election year, gave listeners three minutes of live airtime to address their fellow citizens on “what should we aspire to and how we should get there" as if they were running for President. The compilation of voices from across the political spectrum was orchestrated and edited by Apple into a multilayered montage of views on education, the environment, racism, greed, government, the power elite, spiritual values, and broadcast in October 1992. A Leap of Faith (Part 6), a collaboration with Keith Antar Mason produced in the aftermath of the Los Angeles uprisings, is a poetic exchange between the two artists- one white and one black-- born in America in the middle of the 20th century...on opposite sides of the dividing line. Their narrative journey traverses an American landscape that reveals the schism between official history, memory and experience as they search for ways to understand each other and change the course of the future.

An important part of her art practice has been creative collaboration with composers, musicians, choreographers, visual artists and writers including Garrett List, Tom Recchion, Joe Berardi and Kira Vollman, Bruce Fowler, Julie Adler, Rudy Perez,[58] and Helen Thorington. In 2015 Apple and Thorington published The Tower, an illustrated experimental fiction about an imaginary ten-dimensional architectural structure inspired by, and evolved out of research into the theoretical physics of multi-dimensional spaces including the Calabi-Yau Manifold and M-theory of multiple universes. Written in parallel columns, it can be read both vertically and horizontally. The signed and numbered limited edition book is in the collections of The Huntington Library, The Getty Research Center Collection, Museum of Modern Art, NY, The Fales Library NYU, The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, La Jolla, Virginia Commonwealth University Special Collections, The Brooklyn Museum, Wellesley College Special Collection, and others.

Between 1999 and 2005 Apple created five Public Art projects commissioned by the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. The Little Tokyo Branch Public Library designed by architect Anthony Lumsden featured twenty-one transparent photographic images printed on marble squares set into the entrance lobby wall. She collaborated with architect Tracy Stone on the River Gates project for the Trust for Public Land, 2010-11.[59]


Jacki Apple is an interdisciplinary visual, performance, and media artist, audio composer, writer, director, producer, curator, designer and educator born December 11, 1941 in New York City. She attended Syracuse University in 1959-60 and graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1963. Apple became involved with the artist-run alternative space movement early on as a co-director of Apple, the Chelsea art space run by artist Billy Apple from 1969 to 1973. As the co-founding curator of exhibitions and performances at Franklin Furnace Archives from 1976-1980 [60][61][62][63] she presented artists books shows, readings and performances, and organized curated traveling book shows, including works by then-emerging artists Jenny Holzer and Eric Bogosian, and others. From 1980-81 she curated a major exhibition for the New Museum of Contemporary Art and edited the catalog for Alternatives in Retrospect 1969-1975, a survey of artists spaces no longer in existence.[64][65] She moved to Los Angeles in 1981 where she joined the Board of Directors of LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), chaired the Non-Static Arts Programming Committee until 1986 and wrote the catalog for the Art of Spectacle 1984 performance series produced by LACE, UCLA and Some Serious Business. In Los Angeles she was a co-founding member with Lin Hixson of the Cactus Foundation, a non-profit producing organization of performance and media-based artists.[66] As an independent curator she co-produced the annual EARJAM new music festivals [67][68][69][70] with Julie Adler at Side Street Live, the Armory Northwest, and REDCAT in L.A. From 2000-2004 the weekend-long event brought together a wide cross-section of Los Angeles composers, musicians, and vocalists. Apple conceived, curated, and designed the survey exhibition Yoshio Ikezaki: Elements at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA. 2017. She wrote and edited the 64-page catalog that received an award of excellence from the University & College Designers Association and will be catalogued into their permanent design collection archives. Now Professor Emerita, for thirty-three years beginning in 1983 Apple was a faculty member in the Humanities and Sciences Department at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, where she taught Intro to Modernism: An Interdisciplinary Cultural History, Live Art performance workshop, The 60's: A Cultural/Social History, The Ecology of Fashion, among many other courses. She served on the Faculty Council 2000-2006, as Director of Faculty Affairs 2007-2008, and was elected as Histories Co-Director, Department Directors Council 2011-14. As an educator, artist and writer she was an active member of the College Art Association where she served on the Education and Nominating Committees (2005-2011) and the ArtSpace/Services to Artists Committee (2011–14) which she Chaired in 2011-12.

Critical Writing[edit]

Since 1982 Jacki Apple has written and published essays, feature articles, reviews, and interviews on performance and media arts and culture in numerous publications, books, and art catalogs including Artweek, The Drama Review, L.A Weekly, Media Arts, Public Art Review, and Art Journal.[16][71] She was a contributing editor/writer at High Performance magazine from 1983 -1995 and Media Arts Editor 1993-95. She has been writing for Fabrik magazine since 2006 and currently has her own column Peripheral Visions: Perspectives on Culture, Media, and Performance in Fabrik's online magazine http://thisisfabrik.com/peripheral-visions/ A complete bibliography of thirty-six years of writing can be found at http://www.jackiapple.com/writing/CriticalWriting/CriticalWriting.html


  • 1978 Black Holes/Blue Sky Dreams, Airwaves, 110 Records, N.Y. LP
  • 1980 The Mexican Tapes, LP, 110 Records, New York
  • 1983 Idaho (Free Fire Zone) High Performance #23, Astro Artz, L.A. LP
  • 1983 The Garden Planet Revisited (excerpts) Live to Air, Audio Arts, London
  • 1992 Episodes in Black & White Part 1 (compilation/excerpt) SiteLess Sound Tellus #25, Harvestworks, N.Y. CD
  • 1993 "Voices in the Dark” Radius # 2, Nonsequitur, Albuquerque, N.M. CD
  • 1995 Thank You For Flying American, Stories and songs 1980-1992, retrospective CD, Cactus/Chronic Interactive, Los Angeles
  • 1995 ghost.dances\on the event horizon, CD, Cactus/Chronic Interactive, Los Angeles
  • 1996 “A Leap of Faith” (excerpt) Voice Tears, The Drama Review, NYC
  • 1998 You Don't Need A Weatherman (excerpt), RAS 3, Centro de Creacion Experimental Taller de Sonido, Cuenca, Spain

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2012 College Art Association recipient Distinguished Teaching of Art Award
  • Durfee Foundation Visual Arts Grant 2008, 2003[72]
  • Art Center College of Design Faculty Enrichment Grant 2014, 2007, 2001
  • L.A. Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Public Arts Commissions 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997
  • California Arts Council Artists Fellowship New Genres 1996
  • National Endowment for the Arts Inter-Arts grant 1991-92
  • Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Media Arts grant 1990
  • VESTA Award in Media Arts 1990
  • Santa Monica Arts Commission Grant 1989
  • National/State/County Partnership project grant 1987, 1989
  • National Endowment for the Arts Inter-Arts grant 1984, 1992
  • New York State Council on the Arts Multimedia grant 1981
  • National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship 1981,1979
  • NEA Museum Program project grant 1980
  • ZBS Foundation Residency Grant 1978[73]


  1. ^ a b "SPACES / Artists / Directory". Spacesgallery.org. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Jacki Apple Web Retrospective". Jackiapple.com. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "New American Radio". Somewhere.org. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  4. ^ "Articles about Jacki Apple - latimes". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  5. ^ Urbach, Marina. Ed. Conversations with Jacki Apple and Martha Wilson, Style and Process Catalog, New York 1976
  6. ^ Jacki Apple: Correspondence with Martha Wilson Patterns of Communication and Space Among Women. Heresies Magazine #2 1977
  7. ^ Lippard, Lucy. ed. exhibition catalog. Circa 7500, Cal Arts, 1973
  8. ^ Lippard, Lucy. Transformation Art Ms Magazine, October 1975
  9. ^ Lippard, Lucy. From the Center: Feminist Essays on Womens Art. Dutton, NY 1976
  10. ^ Butler, Cornelia. From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows:1969-74, Afterall Books, Central St. Martin's College of Art Press, London. 2012
  11. ^ Barber, Pauline. Splinterview 2: An Interview with Jacki Apple, Spleen 2, February 1976
  12. ^ Withers, Josephine. Feminist Performance Art: Performing, Discovering, Transforming Ourselves, The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, History and Impact. Broude, Norma & Garrard, Mary D., eds, Harry N. Abrams, New York:1994
  13. ^ Lippard, Lucy. The Pink Glass Swan. Selected Essays on Feminist Art. The New Press, New York, 1995
  14. ^ Goldberg, Roselee. Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present. Harry Abrams, NY 1988
  15. ^ Goldberg, Roselee. Performance: Live Art Since 1960. Harry Abrams, NY 1998
  16. ^ a b Carlson, Marvin. Performance: A Critical Anthology. Routledge 1996/2004
  17. ^ Barber, Bruce. Interview with Jacki Apple. Performance [Performance] and Performers, Volume 1 Conversations,YYZBooks, Canada 2007
  18. ^ Fischer, Barbara. Love Gasoline: An exhibition of the body in sculpture, performance, video and photo-based works of the later 1960s and early 1970s. Catalogue, Mercer Union, Centre for Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada 2001
  19. ^ Morris, Catherine Morris/ Schaffner, Ingrid. ed. Gloria: Another Look at Feminist Art of the 1970sexh. catalog White Columns, New York 2003
  20. ^ Anderson, Alexandra. Trunk Pieces, New York Arts Journal #13, NYC 1979
  21. ^ Brody, Jacqueline. Reviews: Artists Books, Print Collectors News, NY. July/Aug 1978
  22. ^ Princenthal, Nancy. Artist's Book Beat Print Collector's News, July-Aug 1988
  23. ^ Women Artists of Southern California: Then & Now exh. catalog. Track 16 Gallery 2007
  24. ^ Brentano, Robyn/Savitt, Mark. 112 Greene Street, NYU Press 1981
  25. ^ Rice, Shelley. Words and Images: Artists Books as Visual Literature, Artists' Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook, Ed. Joan Lyons, Peregrine Smith Books, Layton, Utah, 1985
  26. ^ Airwaves LP, 110 Records, NYC 1978
  27. ^ Roth, Moira. The Amazing Decade: Women and Performance Art in America 1970 -1980., Astro Arts, Los Angeles 1983
  28. ^ Sadownick, Douglas. Palisade: Exploring Love as a High Art Form, Los Angeles Times, July 28, 1987
  29. ^ Sadownick. Douglas.Jacki Apple -- Palisade, High Performance #39, 1987
  30. ^ Burnham, Linda Frye. Cliff Notes, LA Weekly, July 24–30, 1987
  31. ^ Zimmer, Elizabeth. The Lady and the Lake, Los Angelles Herald Examiner, Friday August 11, 1989
  32. ^ Laine, Carlotta. Dancing on the Dial photo. Los Angelles Herald Examiner, Sun. June 11, 1989
  33. ^ Stitelman, Paul. Review, Arts Magazine, September 1975
  34. ^ The Mexican Tapes, LP, 110 Records, New York. Album Notes. 1980
  35. ^ a b "Jacki Apple – The Mexican Tapes". Continuo.wordpress.com. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  36. ^ The Mexican Tapes, LP, 110 Records, New York. Album Notes. 1980
  37. ^ Vickland, Saibra. The Garden Planet Revisited, Images & Issues, Sept./Oct. 1982
  38. ^ Jacki Apple & Lin Hixson: Coversations on Performance, Women in Theater and Performance Acting Up! Heresies #17 1984
  39. ^ Lacy, Suzanne & Ternad, Jennifer Flores. Voices, Variations, and Deviations, Live Art in Performance in Southern California, 1970-1983. edited by Peggy Phelan. Routledge, NYC, London 2012
  40. ^ Gardner, Colin. Tell Me A Story, Sing Me A Song, Artweek, Aug 13, 1983
  41. ^ Gardner, Colin. Colonialism and Postmodernism, Artweek, Sept 7, 1985
  42. ^ David, Martin. Rivers of Empire, High Performance # 31, 1985
  43. ^ David, Martin. Stepping Outside LA. Weekly, Aug 16-22, 1985
  44. ^ Burnaham, Linda Frye. Reviews, Artforum, November 1985
  45. ^ Baumstein, Shelley. The Dance of the Rivers at the Ford, Los Angeles Times, July 20, 1985
  46. ^ Spiegel, Judith. The Physics of Performance, Artweek, Vol 20, #30, September 23, 1989
  47. ^ Denholm, Jeannie/ Owens, Maggi. Confronting Nature, exh. catalog. California State University, Fullerton/Chapman University, 1995
  48. ^ Rubin, David. Birdspace. A Post-Audubon Artists Aviary. exh. catalog. Contemporary Arts Center,
  49. ^ Brentano, Robyn/George, Olivia, ed. Outside The Frame: Performance and the Object New Orleans, LA 2004
  50. ^ Durland, Steven. Sound Philosophies. Audio Art of Jacki Apple, High Performance #28, 1984
  51. ^ Weiss, Allen S. ed. Experimental Sound and Radio, TDR Book, MIT Press, 1996
  52. ^ Concannon, Kevin. Cut and Paste: Collage and the Art of Sound, Sound By Artists, ed. Dan Lander & Micah Lexier, Art Metropole & Walter Phillips Gallery, Canada 1990
  53. ^ Bornstein, Erica. The People's Airwaves: Jacki Apple's Redefining Democracy in America., Visions Magazine, Spring 1993
  54. ^ Apple, Jacki. The Voices of America, High Performance, Winter 1992.
  55. ^ Apple, Jacki Radio Culture, (Festival catalog), New Adventures in Sound Art, Radio Art Companion, Toronto, Canada 2002
  56. ^ [1][dead link]
  57. ^ "Guide to the Jacki Apple Papers : 1984-2000 : MSS 173". dlib.nyu.edu. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  58. ^ Looseleaf, Victoria. Fluidity of form from Perez., Los Angeles Times, Mon. Nov. 24, 2003
  59. ^ "Tracy A. Stone Architect". Tracystonearchitect.com. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  60. ^ Ault, Julie. Alternative Art New York 1965-1985. University of Minnesota Press, 2002
  61. ^ Apple, Jacki. A Different World: A Personal History of Franklin Furnace The Drama Review(TDR) Spring 2005
  62. ^ Apple, Jacki. Alternatives Reconsidered. Alternative Histories: New York Art Spaces 1960 to 2010 , MIT Press Cambridge, MA 2012
  63. ^ Rachieff, Melissa. “Do It Yourself: Histories of Alternatives”, Alternative Histories: New York Art Spaces 1960 to 2010 , ed. by Lauren Rosati & Mary Anne Staniszweski, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA 2012
  64. ^ . Apple, Jacki. Alternatives in Retrospect: An Historical Overview 1969- 1975, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, NYC. 1981
  65. ^ [2][dead link]
  66. ^ MOFFET, PENELOPE (26 May 1991). "Cooperative of Performance Artists Enters a New Phase With Fund-Raiser". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  67. ^ Woodard, Josef. Earjam Gathers Fringe Into a Community Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2001
  68. ^ Woodard, Josef. Earjam Festival Brings Fringe Into the Foreground, Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2002
  69. ^ "Franklin Furnace Links". Franklinfurnace.org. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  70. ^ "EarJam - Julie Adler". Julieadler.com. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  71. ^ Stiles, Kristine & Selz, Peter eds. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art, A Sourcebooks of Artists' Writings Univ. of California Press 1996
  72. ^ "Jacki Apple". Durfee.org. The Durfee Foundation. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  73. ^ Apple, Jacki. "Jacki Apple". LinkedIn.com. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 

External links[edit]