Michelle Murphy

“Spread Out, Tuck and Roll” endurance performances at White Sands National Monument & Missile Range, (pictured here as a composite photograph), 2019

single channel video with sound (running time 5:05)

Michelle Murphy (they/them/theirs) is a visual and performance artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Their photography, performance, video, and writing revises exclusionary histories surrounding the “American Dream”. A big part of Murphy’s formative experience was learning photography and semiotics in and outside of Academia. A passion for Space exploration radiates throughout their work, but they are torn about supporting the military industrial complex. Murphy supported NASA directly as a professional photographer for 11 years. This is why today, their art and lectures highlight socio-political outcomes of exploration & tourism, on indigenous & colonized land. Murphy earned their MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) as a New Artist’s Society Fellow (2017), and a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Murphy has participated in several artist’s residencies including: Mana Contemporary Miami, SITELAB at SAIC, and Elsewhere (Greensboro, NC). Murphy’s work has been exhibited in NYC, Paris, Geneva Switzerland, Guatemala City, LA, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Albuquerque, Detroit, Greensboro, Oberlin, and Cleveland. 

Murphy co-founded art and culture publication MAKE8ELIEVE with Swiss Artist + Designer named Cetusss. From 2013-2015 Murphy was Director and Founder of Artist’s Residency Program and Gallery, Micro Art Space, in Cleveland Ohio which provided solo exhibitions, support, documentation, and mentorship for 18 Artists over 3 years. Murphy has lectured at SAIC, University of New Mexico, University of Chicago, Ithaca College, University of Utah, Loyola University, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College. As a Photographer for NASA (2004 to 2015), they worked on many significant projects including: Columbia Shuttle accident investigation, Astronaut training animations, unmanned rovers, solar sails, nano technology, aeronautics safety, Space Station experiments, ion engines + deep space propulsion, renewable energy, shape-memory materials, time capsules, revisionist art and displays for the “Mercury 13” Women, and (regrettably) stealth weapons.