In January 2017, I began my tenure as the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Curator for Research at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas. This is a new position created as part of the Integrated Arts Research Initiative, funded by the Mellon Foundation. It aims to stimulate interdisciplinary collaborative projects that integrate ideas and approaches embodied in the arts.

My last curatorial project at the MCA Chicago

Curator and cultural critic, Maurice Berger’s NY Times Lens blog deals with my collective, John Q’s 2010 project, Memory Flash.

My curatorial projects at the MCA Chicago: Chicago Works: Andrew Yang, MCA Screen, Camille Henrot’s Grosse Fatigue, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, and Chicago Works: Chris Bradley.


The academic symposium, Convergence, for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s 150th anniversary examined how master of arts alumni’s professional practice has been influenced by being educated in an art school environment. Great to be a part of this conversation.

MacLean Ballroom.jpg

Pleased to announce the release of “Participatory Research,” the special issue of Visual Methodologies: A Postdisciplinary Journal I co-edited with Sarah Franzen. It highlights the amazing work of the Visual Scholarship Initiative at Emory University!

VM Ethics Special Issue Flyer1vv

Join me for my talk at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago sponsored by Visual and Critical Studies on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 4:30 pm, MacLean building, room 707

joey orr lecture-2

I am currently serving as the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago .


My curatorial project Exquisite Exhibit: Parlour Games from the Studio Artist Program for the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center opened in conjunction with their annual Art Party 2014.

Interview with Myke Johns on WABE.


John Q’s two-channel video installation, Take Me With You, was part of the Hearsay exhibit at the Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University, Embodied Place: Observations and Notations at Sierra Nevada College, and you+me at Crosstown Arts in Memphis. The museum also released a comprehensive catalogue of our work with commissioned essays by scholars Jonathan D. Katz and Shawn Michelle Smith. You can download it here.

Jerry Cullum’s review of the exhibit.

TMWY low resPhoto by Jill Frank, courtesy of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

Sumptuary  was a large-scale take over of the MINT Gallery. My piece, info:burn, a performance of research and the willful destruction of information, took place on March 24, April 7, and April 21, 2014 from 7:30pm to 10:30pm. Guests were invited to submit requests for information that the researcher might be legally prohibited from sharing. Information was burned as it was acquired, producing an archive of ashes.

Joey Orr infoburn

In November 1984 at the first Hacker’s Conference, Stewart Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalogue, coined the phrase: “information wants to be free.” But these stakes can be high. After downloading and making publicly available information from a subscription-only academic archive, young programmer Aaron Swartz faced a 13-count federal indictment. In January 2013, 26-year old Swartz committed suicide with some attributing his demise to the crushing threat of a potential 35 years in prison and one million dollars in fines. And this is just one instance in a flood of current events about who may access information for what purposes. In this performance of research and the willful destruction of information, guests are invited to submit their own requests for information. The researcher, who may be legally prohibited from sharing his access to information, will burn the results of his research as it is acquired and preserve the ashes over the run of the exhibition.

The Visual Scholarship Initiative at Emory University partnered with Art Papers to bring Allan Sekula to Atlanta in 2011. Listen to the interview here.

A conversation with artist and friend Judy Barber for Burnaway’s Loveseat.