Joel Tauber (born in 1972; Boston, Massachusetts, USA) comes from a long line of rabbis, including the Gaon Rabbi Yehuda Aszód (1796-1866) of Hungary. Joel spent 12 years studying Jewish philosophy and religion in Hebrew and ancient Aramaic at the Maimonides School in Boston, where he was valedictorian. Afterwards, Joel went to Yale (Connecticut) to prepare to become a doctor, but changed course when he took a sculpture class with the critic, art historian, and conceptual artist Ronald Jones; who told him about how art has the potential to generate discourse and facilitate change. These conversations with Ron, as well as with his other artistic mentors - including Mike Kelley and Stephen Prina at ArtCenter College of Design (California), where he went to graduate school; and his readings of Jewish mystics like Rabbi Yehuda Aszód who talked about the Kabbalistic mandate of Tikkun Olam (doing whatever we can to repair the world); have led Joel on a series of art projects that take a multitude of forms - including video installations, films, written stories, photographs, and public art - and that spark discourse about ethics, environmentalism, and mysticism.
Tauber’s work has been shown in solo art exhibitions at a number of locations, including Galerie Adamski in Berlin as well as Aachen, Germany; KOENIG2 by_robbygreif in Vienna, Austria; the University Art Museum at California State University Long Beach; the Helen Lindhurst Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Southern California; the Rocky Mountain School of Photography (Montana); the Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University (North Carolina); the Aiken County Historical Museum (South Carolina); and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects (California). He has been included in numerous group art exhibitions including the 2004 and 2008 California Biennials at the Orange County Museum of Art; “The Gravity in Art” at the De Appel Centre For Contemporary Art in Amsterdam (Netherlands); "Cluster Balloons: From Lawn Chairs to Cosmic Rays" at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque (New Mexico); and “Still Things Fall From the Sky” at the California Museum of Photography. Film Festivals include the Atlanta Film Festival (Georgia), the Sedona International Film Festival (Arizona), the San Francisco Documentary Festival (California), and the Downtown Film Festival – Los Angeles, where his movie, “Sick-Amour”, was awarded “Best Green Film.” Tauber won the 2007 Contemporary Collectors of Orange County Fellowship (California), the 2007-2008 CalArts / Alpert Ucross Residency Prize for Visual Arts (USA), and a 2015 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts in conjunction with a residency from The Grand Central Art Center (California). His project “Sick-Amour” was shortlisted for a 2011 International Green Award (England). Tauber’s work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including National Public Radio (USA), KCRW Radio (California), ORF Radio: Ö1 (Austria), WFDD Radio (North Carolina), Deutsche Welle / Deutschlandfunk radio (Germany), NBC local news (Los Angeles), the Ovation Network (USA), Swedish Television, ArtReview Magazine (England), The Design Magazine (Los Angeles), ArtWeek, artUS Magazine, The Pasadena Star News (California), and The Los Angeles Times.
Joel Tauber is an associate professor at Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), where he teaches filmmaking and video art.
Unique traits: "Tauber can be as poignantly eccentric as German performance jester John Bock, and as profound as Joseph Beuys." — Emma Gray, ArtReview Magazine
The Sharing Project
Film (Documentary and Short) Director A 29 minute non-fiction film, philosophical journey, personal narrative, and nature film, all intertwined together to explore the meaning of sharing.
Film (Short, Fantasy and History) Director A lonely figure rides his handcar through the desert. He hauls his precious jug of water. Ominous memories of oil pumping continually haunt him. Shot with a hand-cranked camera, 'Pumping' collapses time, as it contemplates big industry and our relationships with our finite resources. Written by Anonymous
Film (Documentary, Short and Biography) Director Celebrating the forlorn and lonely tree that Joel Tauber adopted in the middle of a giant parking lot at the Rose Bowl.
Research and Publication Grant, Wake Forest University
Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts grant via the Grand Central Art Center
Faculty Development Grant, Wake Forest University
Creative and Research Activities Development and Enrichment Initiative Fellowship, Wake Forest
Dingledine Faculty Grant for the Support of International Activities, Wake Forest University
Archie Grant for the Arts & Humanities, Wake Forest University
Project, “Sick-Amour”, shortlisted for an “International Green Award”
Movie, “Sick-Amour”, Sir Edmond Hilary Award, Mountain Film Festival, Mammoth, CA
Movie, “Sick-Amour”, Best Green Film, Downtown Film Festival – Los Angeles, CA
Alpert Ucross Residency Prize for Visual Arts
Contemporary Collectors Orange County Fellowship
Norfolk Fellowship, Yale University
Sudler Fellowship, Yale University
Dorot Fellowship, Yale University
Academy Honor Student, American Academy of Achievement
Valedictorian, Maimonides School