Jonah King

Jonah King is an interdisciplinarity artist exploring human/nonhuman relations and speculative futures. Their multifaceted world-building projects examine how ecological intimacies influence individual and social identity.




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Jonah King

Hesse Flatow at EXPO Chicago

Fair Booth


Hesse Flatow Gallery returns to Chicago with a two-person presentation featuring paintings and works on paper by Kirsten Deirup paired with a virtual reality film and sculptural work by Jonah King, both addressing how AI technologies expand one’s perception and bodily experience of the greater ecosystem through their works.⁠ Booth 157.

Navy Pier⁠
600 E Grand Ave⁠
Chicago IL 60611⁠

Thursday, April 11 -  ⁠Sunday, April 14 

Images: Installation view, HESSE FLATOW at EXPO Chicago, 2024. Photo: Mikhail Mishin

Leisure Sports: How The West Was Won at Rockford Art Museum

Solo Museum Exhibition


From sandcastles and relic-like sculptures to an immersive three-channel video, Jonah King’s exhibition, How the West Was Won, reveals unique relationships among geologic time, colonialism, climate change, and golf. King’s exhibition purposefully shares the title of the 1962 ultra-widescreen American western film, which opens with this narration: “This land has a name today and is marked on maps. But the names and the marks and the land all had to be won. Won from nature and from primitive man”. This film and unnerving quote about westward expansion contextualizes the entire exhibition—not just in the artwork’s content but also its mediums. For instane, King’s stunning ultra-wide video projection directly references the format of the original film, but in the place of gallant cowboys trailblazing western trails there are two older white men, in casual sports attire, playing an eternal round of golf in the middle of the Mojave Desert—a foreboding foreshadow of the consequences of climate change. Like two ghosts, the golfers seem to be forever destined to haunt the barren landscape, not with rattling chains, but with swinging golf clubs.
Rockford Art Museum is proud to host New Genres Art Space presenting Jonah King: How The West Was Won. This exhibition and its related educational programming are sponsored by Lisa and Mark Lindman. Exhibition-related materials are supported in-part by a grant from Rockford Area Arts Council.

Exhibition Listing

Is There Golf in Heaven? Sarah Aziz and Adam Farcus in discussion on Jonah King’s exhibition How the West was Won - Sixty Inches from Center 

Leisure Sports: Leisure Sports - Clima Milan

Solo Gallery Exhibition


In ‘Leisure Sports,’ Jonah King presents a new body of video and sculpture work. The artist developed the works in collaboration with Joseph Miller and Richard Milanesi, two California residents, avid golfers, and supporters of Donal Trump. King invited the two men to participate in an impossible game of golf across the arid Mohave desert.

A single channel looping work, “How The West Was Won,” takes its name from the title of a 1962 John Ford movie, one of two feature films shot in the extravagant super-wide format. The epic-western genre film chronicles the history of the American West from 1839-1890.

The two-channel installation “The Good News Is, He Thinks I’m God,” is derived from the participants repotire of “Dad-Jokes,” an American joke format similar to the British “shaggy dog story.” This awkward, long-form format, relies on the invincibility of an intentionally disappointing punch-line and is colloquially known as a mark implicit desperation, presented at a moment of conversation lull as a way to seem relevant or entertaining across a generation gap.

Two accompanying works “Untitled (relic)” and “Joseph Miller, Richard Milanesi, 1851”, position the participants across different positions in time. The subjects own bodies, their ancestors, and the far future. “Untitled (relic)” is engraved with a central diagram from Copernicus’s “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres,” the first recorded conception of the solar-system in Western cosmology where Earth is not depicted as the center of the universe.

The first pioneers colonizing the American West met the territorial end of the New World on the Pacific coast of California. Since then, that county has been the epicenter of further colonial projects. The decimation of American values via entertainment and tech, and most recently the first private ventures into outer space. California is the wealthiest state in North America, and the sixth largest economy on Earth, however, its entire infrastructure exists in direct contradiction to its environment. The last ten years of drought is said to have been the driest in 1200 years, and cities such as Los Angeles are in constant battle with water shortages and wildfires.

Taking inspiration from Descartes, The French Classical Garden style emerged to epitomize monarch and ‘man’ dominating and manipulating nature to show his authority, wealth, and power. The golf course, with its unnatural, manicured landscape is a direct descendant of that impulse. There are 1,126 full sized golf courses in California, including many owned by US President, Donald Trump.


Photo: Marco Davolio

Is There Golf in Heaven? Sarah Aziz and Adam Farcus in discussion on Jonah King’s exhibition How the West was Won - Sixty Inches from Center 

Interactive Sculpture; Experimental Digital Pipeline, Depth Scanner, Photogrammetry Scanner, Python/3.js Pipeline, Networked media, steel, LCD screens, Motor, Wood, LEDs, 120” x 120” x 120”


All My Friends Are In The Cloud is a series of video sculptures focused on intimacy and ephemerality within digital ecosystems. The project centers on aggregating an ever-expanding digital archive viewed via a pillar of video monitors. Images of people embracing gently spin and scroll upward like video clips in a social media feed. As the images ascend, they unfurl into a whirl of digital fragments. By the time each embrace reaches the top of the screen, its image has disintegrated completely.

Harvest Gyre expands this project, via an apparatus that allows members of the public to contribute their image to the archive and instantly wittness themselves unfurling on adjacent screens.

University Galleries of Ilinois State University

Creative Producer
Zach Buckley

Creative Technologists/ Fabrication
Luke Lowers , Hananosuke Takimoto, Bret Williams,   Jason Hoffman Studios

Supported by
Alice and Fannie Fell Trust
Illinois Arts Council Agency
Meyohas Gallery
Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts

Bodies of Water

Video Installation, Theatre, Participatory


Bodies of Water is a four-channel video exhibition and theatrical work created under the guise of Ira Dean, a fictional video artist who dissapeard 10 years ago on a voyage to the North Atlantic Garbage Patch. Every evening, the exhibition becomes a responsive theatrical performance led by curator Jan Kavanagh (Una Kavanagh), Ira Dean's former assistant and romantic partner...
The mystery of her disappearance has haunted Jan for the last decade. Was it an accident? A tragedy? A hoax? We join her as she searches for clues in the surviving artworks.

Developed in collaboration with Maeve Stone and Eoghan Carrick, with sound design by Frank Sweeny, Bodies of Water premiered at the Dublin Fringe Festival in September 2019.  

Co-created with Eoghan Carrick, Maeve Stone, Úna Kavanagh.
Performed by Úna Kavanagh
Video Performance - Maria Oxley Boardman, Maeve O’Mahony
Sound Design
Frank Sweeney
Costume Design
Maeve Stone
Lighting Design
Eoghan Carrick and Cillian MacNamara
Text compiled by 
Maeve Stone
Aisling Ormonde
Production Manager
Sean Dennehy
Stage Manager
Zoe Reynolds
Assistant Directors
Kevin Michael Reed, Annachiara Vispi
Set Construction
Andreas Kindler von Knobloch, Ivan Pelaez
Photography Alex Gill

Dublin Fringe 2019

Nominated for Best Audio Visual Design Dublin Fringe Festival Awards.

Supported by
The Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Corn Exchange Theatre Company, Hesse Flatow New York, Dublin City Council, The Samuel Beckett Centre and MAKE Artist Residency. Developed at FRINGE LAB.