I am a historian of postwar art and visual culture specializing in experimental film and media. My research sits at the intersection of art history, film and media studies, and visual studies.
Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Art History & Visual Culture in the College of Art & Architecture at the University of Idaho. Since 2018, I have served as the Executive Editor of Media-N: Journal of the New Media Caucus.
From 2017-18, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Before that, I was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University.
At the moment, I am developing multiple book projects. Imitation of Life: Ray Johnson and Mimetic Critique, was awarded an Arts Writers Grant from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation in 2015. This project examines the work of Ray Johnson (1927-1995), a prolific artist and social networker. Known as the “father of mail art,” Johnson distributed collages and ephemera through a global postal network that was christened “The New York Correspondence School” in 1962. Though he anticipated the increasingly global and networked conditions of the postwar art world, Johnson’s work has remained unassimilable to major postwar movements like Pop, Fluxus, Conceptual Art, and Institutional Critique. More than simply a recuperative project, my book reassess Johnson’s marginal art historical status in order to chart an alternative genealogy for the networked, queer, relational, and participatory practices that have come to dominate the field of contemporary art in the two decades since his death.
In addition to my book on Ray Johnson, I am also contributing four catalogue essays to a forthcoming exhibition of his work at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ray Johnson C/O, which will open in October 2020. In 2018, I was named the inaugural Curatorial Research Fellow at the Ray Johnson Estate to support my research on the artist.
With Dublin-based art historian Tim Stott, I am the editor of Nervous Systems, a collection of essays on the legacy of systems aesthetics in art since the 1960s that is forthcoming from Duke University Press in 2021. Contributors include Kris Cohen, John Tyson, Francis Halsall, Dawna Schuld, Christine Filippone, Jaimey Hamilton Faris, Amanda Boetzkes, and Luke Skrebowski.
My next major book-length project, American Sky: Surveillance, Ecology, and Time-Based Democracy, analyzes the role of surveillant optics in postwar experimental film, contemporary art, and digital media.
I’ve published articles and reviews in journals such as Camera Obscura, Millenium Film Journal, Art Journal, MIRAJ: Moving Image Review and Art Journal, Oxford Art Journal, Radical History Review, Journal of Art & the Public Sphere, and the Journal of Black Mountain College Studies. I’ve also contributed to exhibition catalogues, such as for the 2016 museum retrospective Bruce Conner: It’s All True, and to edited collections, such as Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art, Experimental and Expanded Animation, Artists’ Moving Image in Britain since 1989, and a forthcoming German-language anthology of essays on the history of the visual and performing arts of Black Mountain College.
Additional information about my research and publications can be found on my academia.edu profile. You can contact me via email at jgosse(at)uidaho(dot)edu.