Faculty Spotlight: Hope Tucker

One of Andover’s newest faculty additions to Phillips Academy’s Art Department is visiting artist and scholar in digital imaging, Hope Tucker.

Tucker currently teaches two art classes: ART-225C (Visual Studies Media Studio) and ART-303 (Computer Media I).

“When I was in school, I was inspired by the history of people who have used media – text, music and film – as countercultural tools for change,” said Tucker as she discussed her interest in digital art from a young age.

Recalling one of the most interesting examples of digital art, Tucker described a painted film that had delivered a narrative through images painted directly onto the film stock.

“I imagined that the future would be increasingly tied to [such] time base realized she wanted to take part in the media realm.

Since Tucker watched the painted film, live orchestration in the film has interested her and she has incorporated the style into her work.

“Right now, I’m looking for all kinds of musicians [at Andover] who might want to do some recording for some of the videos I’m working on,” said Tucker.

In addition, Tucker said, “[Apart from] teaching classes in animation, photography, and new media this year […] I’ll have a show in the Gelb Gallery and am planning a collaborative project with the PA community in the spring.”

Earlier in her career, Tucker was able to pursue her ambition in digital imaging through the projects she produced as a filmmaker.

Her most recent venture is a series of short films, called the “Obituary Project.”

Through this series, Tucker hopes to create a lasting record of different places, people and their traditions.

“I’m really interested in disappearance, [in] why something disappears when it does […] and its significance,” said Tucker. She further emphasized that film is a work of non-fiction rather than a documentary. “The term ‘documentary’ defines the genre, [while] ‘non-fiction’ broadens what you can do,” she said.

Numerous media artwork by other artists have inspired Tucker’s own projects.

The social documentaries by Studs Terkel and animations by Jan Lenica and Derek Lamb influenced her work in film while the documentary photographs of Mary Ellen Mark, Susan Meiselas, Eudora Welty and Berenice Abbott affected her work in photography.

Moreover, Robert Altman’s sound work and his overlapped narratives influenced Tucker’s use of music in her films, which has since become one of her prime focuses.

Now here at Andover for the fall term, Tucker said that what she really hopes to achieve, both within the Andover community and beyond, is to influence people to become more involved and be imaginative in media.

“The best leaders and engaged citizens are creative thinkers,” said Tucker.