Thessia Machado

Image of Thessia Machado
Visiting Faculty

As a visual and sound artist, Thessia Machado’s work delves into the mechanical relationships among physical things: how they work and are affected by other things – interactivity of a tangible sort. "Working with sound allows me to think of the air in which we all swim, as yet another malleable and responsive, physical material. A non-hierarchical approach to sound (isn’t it all noise?) and its organizational principles (this doesn’t sound like music!) allows for the uncovering and exposing of latent patterns and systems that hide in the unremarkable."


Machado is a visual/sound artist, instrument builder and performer whose work plumbs the materiality of sound and its effect on our shifting perceptions of space. She creates circumstances in which to mine the matter of her pieces for their innate physical properties and the sonic and visual relationships that can arise from their interactions. In improvised and composed performed works, the ensemble of things is augmented by a dynamically responsive and intentionally unpredictable human element. Electronics are almost always implicated.

Machado’s sculptures, drawings and sound installations have been broadly exhibited both in the US and Europe; most recently in a solo show at the Arts Club of Chicago in early 2019. She has performed with her handmade and modified instruments in both respectable institutions, such as the Drawing Center, The American Academy in Berlin, Issue Project Room, and in dilapidated basements and experimental spaces throughout Brooklyn and beyond. She was awarded the Berlin Prize at the American Academy in Berlin and the Artist’s Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2017. Machado has attended residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Homesession, Barcelona, Yaddo, Ipark, NARS Foundation, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. She is a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Experimental Television Center and The Bronx Museum. In the fall of 2019, Machado was a visiting faculty member at Bennington, and in the spring of 2020 she was coaxing righteous/joyous noises from the students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago when the pandemic struck. Machado returned as a visiting faculty member at Bennington in Spring 2021.