During his summer sponsorship at High Concept Labs, Jake Myers plans to collaborate with several Chicagobased artists, actors, musicians, writers, and athletes to create videos under the collective name “TEAM OCTAGON.” Team Octagon will work at HCL to shoot a campy copdrama, comedic artist interviews, and a short sports documentary. All of these video projects investigate themes of masculinity, sports, heroism, and/or teamwork.
Myers intends to create narratives that are simultaneously subversive and entertaining. He uses campy spectacle as a trojan horse to communicate progressive content, which is otherwise reserved for art galleries and academia. M. Devlin of Newcity said Myers’ work “gratuitously merges art and sports, homoeroticism and hypermasculinity, and heroicism and existential suffering.” Some of Jake Myers’ inspirations are EverythingIsTerrible!, Hank Willis Thomas, Tim & Eric, Matthew Barney, Gabriel Orozco, and Odd Obsession Movies.
Jake Myers lives and works in Chicago, IL. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009, and currently teaches photo and video at Jones College Prep High School. In addition to teaching, Myers coaches boys’ volleyball and also plays whenever he has time. Before investing in cinema, he ran the Octagon Gallery with his girlfriend Lara and his dog Leland.
His exhibition history includes The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Chicago Cultural Center, The Queer Cultural Center in San Francisco, Cleveland Ingenuity Festival, Happy Collaborationists, Chicago Artists Coalition, and the MDW Art Fair. Myers was awarded the CAAP Grant, DCASE Individual Artist Stipend, MCA Chicago Educator Stipend, and a Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce Grant.