Jacob Koestler is an artist and musician from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He earned an MFA from the Photography and Integrated Media program at Ohio University. In addition to his role as a lecturer, Koestler oversees the media lab in Oberlin’s Venturi Art Building and 4D technology throughout the Studio Art Department. Previously, he was a full-time lecturer in the Photography + Video Department at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
Koestler’s practice includes photography, film, and multimedia installation. His long-form projects often take on multiple iterations, offering different avenues to access the work through book, exhibition, theatrical screenings, and other modes of interaction. Everybody Wants Somewhere (2016-18) features photographs commissioned by the Bidwell Foundation; after its initial exhibition at the Transformer Station in Cleveland, the project expanded to a book made while Koestler was in residency at the Morgan Conservatory and was exhibited at the Print Center in Philadelphia. Koestler later produced Casual Water (2018-19) while in residency at SPACES in Cleveland; the subsequent solo exhibition yielded a feature-length video essay that has since screened at multiple galleries and music festivals. After receiving an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Art Council and funds from the Andy Warhol Foundation, Koestler collaborated on Strange Devotion (2020-21), an art book and two-person exhibition at William Busta Projects in Cleveland. Koestler’s artwork has been exhibited and published throughout the United States and internationally. He has participated in group shows including FotoFocus and Radial Survey, a photographic biennial at Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh.
Koestler is a co-founder of Blurry Pictures, a collaborative project with a focus on non-fiction filmmaking. Recent short films include Strawberry Forever (2020), which won the Audience Choice Award at the disAbility Film Festival and The Dormant Language of Love (2022), which premiered at the CAN Triennial. He was the producer, cinematographer, and editor of ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (We Will Speak), a feature-length documentary chronicling the efforts of Cherokee activists, artists, and educators fighting to save the Cherokee language. Since its premiere at the Cleveland International Film Festival in March 2023, the film has been an official selection at more than 30 festivals in three countries, winning Best Documentary Feature at Circle Cinema Film Festival and Best Oklahoma Feature at deadCenter. In addition to education and impact screenings at various native reservations, the film will screen as part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers in 2024.
Introduction to Media Art Studio / Seminar — ARST 151