Jack Ryan constructs new realities within his work, layering information into forms that overlap and interlace. He connects congruent, and at times disparate, ways of understanding the world within his art, mining the realms of philosophy, sonic and optical theory, poetry, cognitive theory, and popular culture.
As an interdisciplinary artist, Ryan’s primary material is sound. Thinking of it as a tangible material helps me to better grasp how he works with it. He bends and molds it. He pulls sound from objects and spaces; he creates compositions. He speaks of “tuning” his work, whether adjusting sound itself or his ideas around it. He folds sound into systems, metaphors, processes, and pathways, using it as a means to explore the intangibles of human experience. These intangibles are then interpreted, manipulated, and reconfigured into physical form and again into sound.
Ryan presents these layers of information loosely, allowing the audience to move in and out of his world. Each viewer brings their own meanings to the objects and symbols. I speak to the visual formalism of his work, but Ryan dismisses that aspect. He says perhaps he hasn’t gotten away from it entirely. I say perhaps he shouldn’t aspire to that goal. His interest lies in combining sculpture, light, sound, drawings, and instruments into sensory experiences, then observing their effects.
On View: April 9- May 20, 2017
Images 1-4 photographed by Work Sighted