Ryan Wade Ruehlen (b. 1984) is an interdisciplinary person who grew up in the rural high plains of western Kansas. Many of his undertakings focus on collaborative efforts, prolonged projects and involvement with variable landscapes across the western United States. He melts feral actions and archives into blobs of light using an array of objects and recording processes. Whether working alone or collectively, relationships tend towards radical trust, technological nonchalance, exploded listening and improvisation. All this stuff called 'art' is the terrifying sludge pulled from a dark river flowing from nowhere to nowhere.
He has shown work in countless D.I.Y. spaces, basements, temporary performance zones, music venues and art spaces. More formally this include the Denver Art Museum, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, The Tank: Center For The Sonic Arts, The 2016 MediaLive Festival at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, Squeaky Wheel Media in Buffalo, NY, AS220 in Providence, RI, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA, 2014 Currents International New Media Arts Festival in Santa Fe, NM, The Paseo Media Art Festival in Taos, NM, The 2020 Borealis Festival's Radio Space in Bergen, Norway, the 2015 Biennial of the Americas-Denver, 2021-22 Co-Incidence Festival of Experimental Music as well as the 2021 High Desert Soundings festival in Joshua Tree, California. He has published multimedia textual work with Incite: Journal of Experimental Media, Materialities of Literature - Impactum Journal, & Lunamopolis Press. His recordings and performances have been featured on such networks as the BBC and NPR and has work in numerous collections including The Tate in London and The Whitney Museum / New School in New York. He has released an absurd amount of albums since the early-mid '00s -- more recently releasing on Shadowtrash Tape Group, Unsilent Desert Press, Never Anything Records, Ingrown Records, Ephem-Aural Recordings, and has a forthcoming LP with 2182 Records in process for 2022.
Ruehlen drifts between roles as a performer, organizer, sound designer, media archaeologist, educator, saxophonist / multi-instrumentalist, and co-operates Unsilent Desert Press & Shadowtrash Tape Group, two labels in Arizona & Colorado. He has received various awards including the 2017 Project Society of the Integrated Remote and In Situ Sensing Program research grant from the IRISS Grand Challenge Society and was a recipient, with the Flinching Eye Collective, of the 2014 Idea Fund Grant, a program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Ruehlen received a BFA in studio arts from Fort Hays State University in 2007, an MFA in studio arts at the University of Colorado in 2013 and a PhD in Intermedia Art, Writing, and Performance at the University of Colorado in 2019. They continue to do multi-modal research and event programming, long range and deep listening practices as well as performance tours. Ruehlen currently teaches sound technology courses at the University Of Arizona's School Of Information.
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