Born in the Central Bay Area, California in 1973 and now works and lives in Chicago, Illinois. Joseph Kohnke received his BFA with an emphasis in sculpture from San Jose State University in California, and his MFA with an emphasis in art and technology from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois. He currently supervises the materials lab and teaches a two-part fundamentals course for the Architecture Department at the Illinois Institute of Technology, while also actively producing and exhibiting art.
I am interested in conversions. The expressive shift that can occur when an inanimate object is given the characteristics of life. Potato chip bags that can breathe, wigs that are baptized, a measuring tape that can actively chirp like a hundred birds, or a singular operatic note emanating from a combination of water, crystal and rubber. I try to get the properties of everyday objects to ascend to the role of being a vehicle for a type of spiritual communication. I want to create conditions where these objects can voice issues of afterlife.