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. From 2017-18, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and from 2015-17, 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 Network Aesthetics, 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 2018, I was named the inaugural Curatorial Research Fellow at the Ray Johnson Estate in support of my research. I am also authoring a series of catalogue essays for a forthcoming exhibition of Johnson’s work at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020.
With Dublin-based art historian Tim Stott, I am co-editing an edited volume on the legacy of systems aesthetics, Nervous Systems, forthcoming from Duke University Press. Contributors include Francis Halsall, Judith Rodenbeck, Kris Cohen, Christine Filippone, Jaimey Hamilton Faris, and Luke Skrebowski.
My next major book-length project, American Sky: Surveillance and Democracy in Postwar Media Art, analyzes the role of surveillant optics in postwar experimental film, contemporary art, and digital media.
My writing has appeared 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 have contributed to exhibition catalogues, including f0r the 2016 retrospective BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE, and edited collections, such as Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art (University of California Press, 2015), Experimental and Expanded Animation (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), and Artists’ Moving Image in Britain since 1990 (Yale University Press, forthcoming).
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.