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 and the Executive Editor of Media-N: Journal of the New Media Caucus (2018-present).
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. I earned my PhD from the Department of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College in 2014.
I have multiple book projects in development. I am co-editor (with Timothy Stott, Trinity College Dublin) of Nervous Systems: Art, Systems, and Politics since the 1960s (Duke University Press, 2021). Contributors include Kris Cohen, John Tyson, Francis Halsall, Dawna Schuld, Christine Filippone, Jaimey Hamilton Faris, Brianne Cohen, Cristina Albu, Amanda Boetzkes, and Luke Skrebowski, with a foreword by Judith Rodenbeck.
My book project, Imitation of Life: Ray Johnson and Mimetic Critique, is supported through an Arts Writers Grant from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation. This critical monograph examines the work of Ray Johnson (1927-1995), prolific mail 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 his practice anticipated the conditions of contemporary networked life, it remains unassimilable to major postwar movements like Pop, Fluxus, Conceptual Art, and Institutional Critique. More than simply a recuperative project, Imitation of Life reassesses 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 monograph on Johnson, I have contributed four essays to the catalogue for the forthcoming exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ray Johnson C/O, opening in January 2021. In 2018, I was named the inaugural Curatorial Research Fellow at the Ray Johnson Estate to facilitate my research and curatorial activities.
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, including Ray Johnson C/O and Bruce Conner: It’s All True (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art/Museum of Modern Art), and edited collection 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 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.