SPECIAL NOTE: For those who may be wondering, Jay Besemer and Jen Besemer are the same person--me. In early 2014 I began the process of transitioning from female to male, and now use the name Jay Besemer in both personal and professional life. I also use male pronouns to describe myself, and request that others also use them in writing about my work or referring to me as its maker. I am continuing to use my old domain name as a way to preserve the continuity and history of my work, and to recognize that my own personal journey has intimately involved that work. I have no desire to erase my past or deny the reality of my previous embodiment. I wish to thank my friends, colleagues and audiences for their amazing and totally overwhelming support!
I work with words, actions and images to explore the fertile tensions between/within those media. The result of “misused” text, processes and products, my work comments on the entrenched systems of contemporary life and the unresolved contradictions they generate.
I begin each piece without preconceptions about the finished work, letting my materials inform my choices. I often use automatic or randomizing procedures that foster unexpected discoveries and create camouflaged or hybrid forms. Collaboration with other artists is also an important part of my work. Through the interaction between materials, ideas and processes, problems and themes emerge that address the complexity of human action in individual, institutional, social and ecological contexts.
This website offers an overview of my work, including a selection of visual/verbal pieces and links to work published online. "My Books" lists print books I've written/created/contributed to, along with links for ordering. The "Artist Info" page includes a chronology of important activities from 2007 to the present. "Events" identifies the most immediate of my readings, workshops etc., with location, links to registration and ticket info as needed--and a map! My blog page, "The Querist of Forms" (formerly News and Notes) includes event announcements for myself and others, plus occasional commentary and essays on my own and others' work. The "Community" page features links to the websites and blogs of friends and colleagues. "Press" offers links to things other people have written about me and my work. Check back often to see what's up!
Thanks for visiting!