November 8, 2023

Opening November 10th, 6 - 9 PM

Unidentified and Flying

Bun Stout & Jessica Tucker

Through December 16th

Troubled by the unknowability of ourselves, our nature, and our fate, we grow distant. Our unmoored desire for connection and ground propels us to grasp at tools built for grasping. Extended and strained, we don’t breathe deeply. We can’t bear to look around. Our faces and bodies hold and tighten. You’ve got to bend, wiggle, slip your way out of your own grip.

With one eye on our own projections and another on the authors of our machines, we cast our intimate devices as suspicious familiars, tricksters we can conspire with to discover vantage points way outside ourselves, where we can breathe and play. Unidentified and Flying, we become our own extraterrestrial guardian angels, alienated from ourselves no longer, an alien devoted and in love, watching its reflections ebb and flow.

Jessica Tucker

In her multimedia practice, Jessica Tucker explores how disrupting the digitally rendered self and recontextualizing it in new materials can speak to a shared longing for connection while struggling with dominant mechanisms of self-commodification, attention manipulation, and automated surveillance. Inspired by media technology histories as well as diverse spiritual and scientific definitions of consciousness and individuality, she exalts cracks in machines as in humans, looking at how our shared slippages reconcile meaning in the midst of what feels like entropy.

Jessica Tucker is an American-Dutch artist, musician, and educator. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and previously studied at Wellesley College, MIT, and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. She has performed and exhibited her work throughout Europe and the USA, including Rewire Festival, FOAM Museum of Photography, Goethe Institut, the Van Gogh Museum, and Mana Contemporary. She has been supported by the Chicago Artists Coalition, Thoma Foundation, DCASE, and the Mondriaan Fund, among others. She is currently a Grant Wood Fellow at the University of Iowa, specializing in interdisciplinary performance using digital media.

Bun Stout

Bun Stout's multidisciplinary artwork mostly lives within local nightlife, the bus there and back, and the bedrooms, bathrooms and stages of their collaborators. Synthesizing fashion, poetry, drag and digital image-making, their handmade augmented reality wearables transform wearers, often Chicago nightlife personalities, into otherworldly storytellers. Dreamed up as fashion objects from an imaginary future, in our reality they are garments and accessories for spaces where self-creation is a survival art practice. 

Bun Stout is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist engaging social technologies and local drag. In 2022, Bun Stout received the Chicago Artists Coalition's ENVISION Grant and DCASE Individual Artist Grant to complete their project Local Legend, a mixed-reality runway performance narrativizing their queer family’s exodus from Indiana. Local Legend was featured in the Chicago Reader's annual BEST issue as the “Best art show that flexed on Chicago’s place in the new media landscape." Other exhibitions include interactive installations at Ars Electronica, Cucalorus Film Festival, Currents New Media, Soho House, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Stout has spoken about their work at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and their poetry has been published by WUSSY magazine. Stout received a BFA from Indiana University and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. They teach at the Hyde Park Art Center and School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Programming at Roots & Culture is funded by The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, and generous grants from Builder's Initiative, The Reva & David Logan Foundation and The Ruth Foundation

Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center
1034 n Milwaukee Ave. Unit 1
Chicago, IL 60642
hours: Fri 4p-7p, Sat 12p-6p