Marissa Lee Benedict  (b. 1985, Palm Springs, USA) is a visual artist, writer, and independent curator/organizer. From the distillation of algal biodiesel, to the extraction of a geologic core sample with a set of gardening tools, her visual art practice draws on traditions of American Land Art and systems aesthetics to critically engage sculptural and material conditions of infrastructural space.

She has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), The Ski Club (Milwaukee, WI), Hauser & Wirth (Somerset, UK), Contemporary Art Brussels (Brussels, BE), EXPO Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL),  threewalls (Chicago, IL) and the the DePaul Art Museum (Chicago,IL). She has participated in numberous national and international residencies including Artport Tel Aviv (via the Hyde Park Art Center's Jackman Goldwasser national and internation exchange program) and the Banff Centre's Research in Culture: On Energy residency. 

For three year, Benedict has produced a series of video installations and sculptural projects in collaboration with partner David Rueter. The artist team continues to work on the subjects of technology, the environment, and social and infrastructural responses to shifts in these arenas, most recently receiving a National Endowment for the Arts "Art Works" grant through the Legacy Foundation for their project Gary Lights Open Works (part of the Heat Light Water Cultural Project). 

Benedict received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She currently lectures at the University of Oregon in Sculpture and Fiber and is a member of Ditch Projects (Springfield, OR). She has previously held positions as a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and as Program Coordinator for the Arts, Science & Culture Initiative at the University of Chicago. 




SELECT EXHIBITIONS    (*) indicates solo exhibition; (**) indicates two-person exhibition


2018      (forthcoming) Unthought Environments, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

              (forthcoming)  Transit Screening Lounge, Dimensions of Citizenship, U.S. Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice IT (in collaboration with David Rueter)

2017        *I Come Apart, Bert Green Fine Art, Chicago, IL

               The Dangerous ProfessorsTriumph, Chicago, IL

               Tone Circle, Ditch Projects @ Private Places, Portland, OR

2016      *Arid Systems, The Ski Club, Milwaukee, WI

               Petcoke: Tracing Dirty Energy, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, IL (commission; in collaboration with David Rueter)

             **Placelesness, University Galleries, Normal, IL (in collaboration with David Rueter)

2015     *Dark Fiber, EXPO Chicago, Chicago Artists Coalition, Chicago, IL (in collaboration with David Rueter)

              **A House of Dust: Marissa Lee Benedict & Phil Peters, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL

              The Works: Artists In and From Chicago, Contemporary Art Brussels, Brussels (BE)  (catalog excerpt pdf)

             *Dark Fiber, Chicago Artists' Coalition (CAC), Chicago, IL (in collaboration with David Rueter)

              Making Do, Antenna Gallery, New Orleans, LA (in collaboration with Hannah Barco)

              Soil Culture: Young Shootstraveling exhibition, UK (with CCANW)

              Future Proof, LODGE, Chicago, IL

2014     *Augur, Chicago Artists' Coalition (CAC), Chicago, IL

              The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL (catalog pdf)

             Food: A Sustainable Table, NCECA Conference 2014, Jewish Museum, Milwaukee, WI (in collaboration with Amber Ginsburg)

            dig.mine.core.erase., Harold Washington College, The President's Gallery, Chicago, IL

2013     *Marissa Lee Benedict: MULTIPLICES, threewallSOLO program, threewalls, Chicago, IL (catalog pdf)

              DIY(Visits Chicago): Photographers and Books, Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts, Chicago, IL

              Being a Woman in an All Woman Show, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL

              Form Follows Function, off a short pier: Marissa Lee Benedict, John Preus, Kevin Reiswig, HOME Gallery, Chicago, IL

              CONCEAL/REVEAL: an exhibition of time-based work, Casa Duno, Chicago, IL

              Climate of Uncertainty, DePaul Museum of Art, Chicago, IL (catalog excerpt pdf)

              The Dig: Marissa Lee Benedict, Allison Rowe and Nina Barnett, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL

2012     **Life, in some form, Marissa Lee Benedict & Brittany Ransom, Chicago Artists' Coalition (CAC), Chicago, IL

             Make Space, MDW Fair, Mana Contemporary, Chicago, IL

            Plural Zone, Leroy Neiman Center (SAIC), Chicago, IL

            21st Evanston and Vicinity Biennial, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL

            Drawing for Sculpture, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL

            Joan Mitchell Foundation 2011 MFA Grant Recipients, CUE Art Foundation, NYC (catalog excerpt pdf)

            Quartley site #9: Support, Twelve Galleries/Hatch Projects, Chicago, IL

2011     The 31st Century Museum: Laboratory @ Chicago, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL                       

             Heroic: please!, Defibrillator, Chicago, IL           

             Experience Is Never Unattached, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL

2010     Post-human // Future Tense, Columbia College, Arcade Gallery Chicago, IL

              Tropical Labs 4, ICA Gallery, LaSalle College of Art, Singapore

              A Fickle Existence, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL

              Public Light & Space: Public Art Projects for the 21st Century, Richard Gray Gallery, John Hancock Center, Chicago

2009      Learning Modern: the Chicago Building Project, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL




2017    Artport Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel (supported by the Hyde Park Art Center's Jackman Goldwasser Residency national and international exhcange program)

2016 -17   NEA Artworks Grant for "Gary Lights Open Works," Legacy Foundation & the Heat Light Water Project, Gary, IN

            Banff Research in Culture Residency: On Energy, Alberta, Canada

            Visiting Artist-in-Residence, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

2015    Jackman Goldwasser Residency, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL (co-residency with Lindsey French, Meghan Moe Beitiks, and Liz Ensz as _ture)

            CLUI Desert Research Station, Hinkley, CA (_ture)

2014-2015   BOLT Residency Mentorship (with Erik L. Peterson), Chicago Artists' Coalition (CAC), Chicago, IL

2014    Soil Culture Residency, Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, University of Exeter (UK)

            CLUI Desert Research Station, Hinkley, CA (_ture)

2013-2014    BOLT Residency, Chicago Artists' Coalition (CAC), Chicago, IL

2013    Ox-Bow Fall Residency, Ox-Bow Scholarship (Joan Mitchell Foundation), Saugatuck, MI

             8550 Ohio (Harold Arts), Chesterhill, OH

2012    ACRE Residency, Simone’s Scholarship, Steuben, WI

             Mildred’s Lane, Sister Crow’s Adept Scholarship Fund and Alchemist Shack II Fellow, Narrowsburg, NY

2011     Joan Mitchell Foundation, MFA Grant Recipient

              Vermont Studio Center, Full Fellowship, Johnson, VT

              Hatch Projects, Chicago Artists' Coalition (CAC), Chicago, IL

2010     Tropical Labs 4 (SAIC participant/representative), LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore




2016     Aper_ture: Admitting the light, MCA Live, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (_ture)

             Visiting Artist Lecture, University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

             DIY Particle Sensor Workshop, SkyARTS, hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL

             Panelist, "Big Data and the Public Good," Data and Democracy series, Illinois Humanities Council, Chicago, IL

             Form Fit Visiting Artist and Lecture, University of Illinois at Chicago, Gallery 400 Chicago, IL

             Paper presentation, Human-Non-Human Networks Symposium, SAIC, Chicago, IL

2015    Visiting Artist Lecture & Workshop, Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, FL

             Visiting Artist, MICA, Baltimore, MD

             Co-presenter, re: Active Listening (a conversation on art, ecology & activism), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

                    (at the invitation of Professor of Political Science, Jane Bennett; with Lindsey French & Meghan Moe Beitiks)

             Visiting Artist, UCLA (Grad Studio Visits & Lecture), Los Angeles, CA

2014     Roundtable participant, Excavating the Universe: Physics Interacts with the Arts, The Commons, Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS

              Roundtable participant, Institution as Signifier: Education as Art Practice, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)

              Visiting Artist Lecture, Alfred University, NY

              Visiting Artist Lecture, Research Studio, Contemporary Practices, SAIC, Chicago, IL

              Panelist, Art, Architecture and Energy: What is to be done?, 6018 North and Pivot Arts, Chicago, IL

              Visiting Artist Lecture, Harold Washington College, Chicago, IL

2013      Visiting Artist Lecture, Knowledge Lab, Sculpture Department, SAIC, Chicago, IL

               "The sequential placing of things, to make the connection from one to the other: an artist talk above, below and around Algal Biodiesel Processing Station III", Depaul University Museum of Art, Chicago, IL 

2012       Visiting Artist Lecture, Core Program, SAIC, Chicago, IL

                Artist Presenter, Jackalope Conference, Dekalb, IL




2015  INTERLOCKING SINGLE-MODE 21-STRAND FIBER OPTIC CABLE, EXPO Chicago, Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC), Booth 121, Chicago, IL

A curated screening of 21 short videos from 24 artists. Choreographed as a series of well-timed interjections, interludes, and interlocutions, the 21 videos being screened interrupted Dark Fiber (a video installation by Marissa Lee Benedict & David Rueter) on the hour, every hour, over the course of the 3-day EXPO Chicago art fair.

2015 Line of Sight, Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC), Chicago, IL
An evening screening of short films and videos solicited via an open call to artists and filmmakers in the Chicago region and beyond. Although open in its curatorial premise, the videos selected for the Line of Sight screening critically address (1) the method of the video or film’s transmission from author to gallery and (2) the media format and/or playback device by which the video is projected in the gallery. 




2016    Chicago Tribune, "What would a Soviet propagandist have done with Petcoke?," Lori Waxman

             Chicago Reader, "The petcoke problems of the southeast side hit the MoCP," Ionit Behar

             Chicago Post-Tribune, "Art project to put lights in Gary parks," Nancy Colturn Webster

2015     Artforum, "Golden Gate," Zeenat Nagree

             Visual Art Source, Marissa Lee Benedict & David Rueter, Robin Dluzen

             Water After Borders, "Water in Art," Curated by Doug Fogelson

2013     Newcity Art, After a time: A Newcity Artist Project, in collaboration with Sarah Belknap & Joseph Belknap

              Newcity Art, Visiting Artist: Marissa Lee Benedict

              Newcity Art, Breakout Artists 2013: Chicago’s Next Generation of Image Makers, Jason Foumberg

              Make Space, "Other Investigations: Amber Ginsburg & Marissa Lee Benedict on Bio-plastic and Collaboration", Jason Judd

2012     Artinfo Blog, Chicago Artists are Turning Galleries into (Art)isanal Breweries, Benjamin Sutton 

              Chicago Magazine‘Gallerybrewing’ Is Now a Thing in the Chicago Art Scene, Jason Foumberg

              HyperallergicThree Summer MFA Shows Tackle Painting and Its Discontents, Alison Meier 

2011     Make Space, "Make Space Studio Visit: Marissa Lee Benedict", Etta Sandry

              Huffington Post, “School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago 2011 MFA Sculpture Grads”, Kimberly Brooks, 6/17/11 (Feature) 

              Artlog,  Meet the Class of 2011, Pauline Eiferman

2010     Post Human// Future Tense, Catalogue/ Essays, Columbia College Press (GRAFT)

              ArtSlant Chicago, Welcome Back, Abraham Ritchie 

             Public Light & Space: Public Art Projects for the 21st Century, Catalogue Essay/ Interview/ DVD, SAIC




2016   “Arid Systems: Observations on extremophiles in an age of extra–, hyper–, super– objects,” Antennae Issue 37, Antennae Magazine 

          "Particulate Atmospheres: Dust, Data and States of Suspension," Data, Democracy and the Human Story: A Companion Reader (Volume 2), Illinois Humanities Council

2015 (editor) Dark Fiber: A Companion Guide to Interpreting Internet Infrastructure, self-published 2013

         Newcity, “After a time: A Newcity Artist Project” (September 5 2013) (in collaboration with Sarah Belknap & Joseph Belknap)

        Newcity, “Visiting Artist: Marissa Lee Benedict” (May 7 2013)




2016 - present  Instructor, Sculpture | Fiber, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

2014 - 2016 Program Coordinator, Arts, Science & Culture Initiative · University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

2014 - 2016 Lecturer, Fiber & Material Studies Department· School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

2012 - 2016 Lecturer, Sculpture Department· School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

2012 - 2013  Artist Assistant, Frances Whitehead, Chicago, IL

2013 Exhibitions Site Manager, Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago · Chicago, IL

2013 Artist Assistant (project based), Jessica Stockholder, Chicago, IL

2012 Installation Assistant, A. Laurie Palmer, Chicago, IL

2011 Installation Assistant, Wolfgang Laib, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL

2010 - 2011 Artist Assistant, Embedded Artist Program, Frances Whitehead, Chicago, IL




2009 · 2011 School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) · Master of Fine Arts, Sculpture

2003 · 2007 Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) · Bachelor of Fine Arts, Illustration/Art History

2005 · 2006 Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), European Honors Program · Rome, Italy · Independent Fine Arts Studio, Art History



In alphabetical order:

Andrew Barco

Nina Barnett

Meghan Moe Beitiks

Sarah and Joseph Belknap

Lindsey French

Amber Ginsburg

Milad Mozari

Luis Palacios (as (GRAFT))

Hannah Barco

David Rueter

Erin Washington



Juan Luis Olvera (2012-2016)

Adam Mansour (2015-2017)