Lecturer 2017 - present

Of Ecuadorian and Chinese descent, Marisa Morán Jahn’s artworks redistribute power, “exemplifying the possibilities of art as social practice” (ArtForum). Characterizing her playful approach, MIT CAST writes, ‘[Jahn] introduces a trickster-like humor into public spaces and discourses, and yet it is a humor edged with political potency.”

Key projects include Bibliobandido (a story-eating bandit), Video Slink Uganda (experimental films slipped or “slinked” into bootleg cinemas), Contratados (a Yelp! for migrant workers that has served 2 million users), and CareForce, a project that amplifies the voices of America’s fastest growing workforce, caregivers, through two mobile studios (NannyVan, CareForce One), an app for domestic workers named by CNN as “one of 5 apps to change the world,” and a PBS/ITVS film series produced with Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmaker Yael Melamede. She is currently working on “Snatchural History of Copper”, a project (art, film, book) she initiated that investigates copper, an key element used in motherboards, our homes, electrical wires, and the IUDs of 170 million women across the world.

Jahn has presented her work at The White House, MoMA, IDEO, Walker Art Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Tribeca Film Festival, The New Museum, Asian Art Museum, ArtBrussels, The Power Plant (Toronto), National Center for Contemporary Arts Kaliningrad, Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts Bishkek, Creative Time Summit, and more.
Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, BBC, Hyperallergic, Mic.com, The Nation, Creative Time Reports, Univision, and hundreds more. She has won awards from Creative Capital, Tribeca, Sundance, Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Anonymous Was a Woman, and the Visible Project.

In 2009 she founded Studio REV-, a non-profit that co-designs public art and creative media with low-wage workers, immigrants, and women. Through the three publications and 33 exhibitions she curated, Jahn has co-written essays, edited, and published the works of thinkers such as scholar and activist Cornel West, sociologist Saskia Sassen, MacArthur Genius and social justice activist Ai-jen Poo, the Pulitzer-winning novelist Colson Whitehead, former Bogota mayor Antanas Mockus, the political scientist Chantal Mouffe, MoMA curator/former Art Forum editor Michelle Kuo, art historian Claire Bishop, philosophers such as Michel Serres, John Searle, Doris Sommer, the late Jean-Francois Lyotard, and art practitioners including Tom Finkelpearl, Pedro Reyes, Billy Kluver (Bell Labs/Experiments in Art and Technology – E.A.T.), Hank Willis Thomas, Natalie Jeremijenko, and more.

Jahn has produced 3 anthologies about art and politics.‘Pro+agonist: The Art of Opposition’ (Walker Art Center) explores the productive possibilities of ‘agonism,’ or a relationship built on mutual incitement and struggle. ‘Recipes for an Encounter’ (Western Front) examines anticipatory nature of recipes together with their promise of what will unfold, take place, be consumed. Recipes for an Encounter, has been described by Art Practical as “like Guy Debord masquerading as Julia Child, or vice versa.” ‘Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices’ (YYZ BOOKS) investigates art embedded within governments, industries, and electoral politics to produce byproducts of the system itself.

Jahn graduated with distinctions from UC Berkeley (B.A.) and received her M.S. from MIT’s Art, Culture, and Technology. After graduating, Jahn was a fellow from 2007-2010 at Hiroshi Ishii’s Tangible Media (MIT Media Lab) and a fellow at MIT Open Doc Lab from 2010-2013. Jahn regularly teaches at MIT, The New School, and at Teachers College at Columbia University.



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