Jess Hooks fell in love with participatory art in LA area nightlife in the early 90s. While attending Hampshire College she drew a connection between the avant-guard, medieval art & literature, monotheism, capitalism and the construction female identities. After completing post-graduate programs at FIDM & UCSC, Jess received an MFA in Dramatic Art from UC Davis. For the next 10 years she focused her efforts as a designer for contemporary dance, devised theater, nightlife and fashion – collaborating with drag queens and academics, designing for festivals and theaters, making work with some of the most respected choreographers, fashion labels, event producers and directors in contemporary art, performance, nightlife & fashion. In 2010 she joined the leadership of The FIGMENT Project – an arts non profit committed to advance social & personal transformation through creativity in the form of free participatory events.
Jess is currently participating in GEMMA, Erasmus Mundus Master´s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies at Utrecht University in Holland. Her research looks at how the historical avant-guard has operated to create spaces which challenge our current understandings of reconciliation, justice, equality, creativity …and fun. She hopes to continue her work as producer of participatory art and art spaces with a focus on issues relating to gender, sexuality and migration after the program.