Jess MacCormack's Dissociative Dreams

October 17 – 30, 2023 | FREE
Lobby Screen Array – SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver

Commercial AI image generation tools are trained on millions of images, allowing apparently endless possibilities of synthesized content; however, the reproduction of racist, sexist, heteronormative and colonial content has been invisibly encoded and made opaque to the public (Beller 2017). AI images are composites, but unlike physical collages, they show no evidence of the editing process. By filling in the gaps between text prompts and image output as well as extending images seamlessly, AI image generators produce a homogenized visual output whose ideological framing is concealed.

I experiment with prompt making then play with the other AI tools, such as outpainting, blend or zoom until I find something that resonates. I usually create a hundred images in a program like Midjourney and choose those I like best to animate in Runway. Then I edit these 4 second clips into a timeline and build a soundscape.


I am a queer, disabled artist and white settler working on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. My animations have been screened internationally at festivals such as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, MIX-26 the New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, Transcreen Amsterdam, LA Film Fest at UCLA, Inside Out, Imaginative Film Festival and International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA).

I have an MFA in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from the Bauhaus University (2008) and were an Assistant Professor of Studio Arts at Concordia University (2010-2013). I am currently working towards my PhD at SFU and am an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

My interdisciplinary art practice engages with the intersection of institutional violence and the socio-political reality of personal trauma. Working with communities and individuals affected by stigma and oppression, I use cultural platforms and distribution networks to facilitate collaborations which position art as a tool to engender personal and political agency. My practice draws on years of experience within decriminalization, decolonization and queer activism, working at the intersection of digital and embodied experience as mediated through internet image culture. | Instagram

October 30, 2023