Thomas Zummer

Thomas Zummer

Collaborative Program Media & Philosophy Instructor

Thomas Zummer, is an artist and lecturer at the Tyler School of Art and a visiting professor in critical studies in the Transmedia Programme at the Hogeschool Sint Lukas, Brussels, as well as visiting professor at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee. Thomas Zummer is an internationally aclaimed independent scholar and writer, as well as being an artist and curator. As an artist he has exhibited internationally since 1976, including at Exit Art, Thread Waxing Space, and The Dia Foundation in New York City as well as at the CAPC in Bordeaux and Wigmore Hall in London. With his wife, they have had a long collaboration as well with The Wooster Group, acting in many of their performances. Most recently, Zummer was artist in residence at the haudenschildGarage in La Jolla, California. In 1995 Thomas Zummer won 5th Prize in the ACA/CODA Architectural Design Competition for the City of Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics.
Education has played an essential role in the development of Thomas Zummer as both an artist and writer. His academic career began in Michigan where his undergraduate studies at Delta College and University of Michigan. Zummer’s undergraduate studies focused on paleozoology, philosophy and cinema. In 1974 Thomas moved to Hartford, Connecticut. Thomas Zummer obtained his BFA in 1976, focusing on Aesthetics and Cinema Studies at the Hartford Art School / University of Hartford. Thomas Zummer participated as a panelist and attended seminars at the Center for 20th Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee room 1979-82. From 1980-81 Thomas was at the New School for Social Research where he was a graduate faculty and studied philosophy. In 1982 Thomas Zummer began his studies with Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida at Yale University in the Comparative Literature department. Thomas Zummer then worked as a research assistant to Michel Foucault. at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1981-86 Zummer studied with Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Umbert Eco, Paul Ricoeur and John Searle at the University of Toronto, Institute for Semiotics and Structural Studies. From 1991-92 Zummer studied Arabic Languages at The New School for Social Research.
Thomas Zummer’s art is unique in the focus on process that expands notions of mediums. It has been said that, “For Zummer it doesn’t matter whether one draws a grain of sand, a blade of grass, a motion-blur, scan lines or pixels, since in his hands the process of drawing is subjected to the same kind of scrutiny and unrelenting auto-deconstruction as the consideration of other, technically reproduced, shadows.” Thomas Zummer has curated exhibitions at CinéClub/Anthology Film Archives, Thread Waxing Space, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Katonah Museum of Art, the Palais des Beaux-arts/Brussels, and UnionDocs. CRASH: Nostalgia for the Absence of Cyberspace, an exhibit curated by Thomas Zummer in 1994, broke new grounds in the possibilities of digital exhibitions. The show was curated in collaboration with Robert Reynolds. The show dedicated a large portion of its space to the exhibition of digital and online works, and using works as and in other forms of transmission. The show has a book edited by Thomas Zummer and Robert Reynolds that was published by Thread Waxing Space.