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Ryan Griffis

Associate Professor, School of Art & Design
143 Art and Design
M/C 590
Champaign, IL  61820


Ryan is currently involved in a number of collaborative research and art projects focused on the political ecology of the midwest. With Sarah Ross, he co-founded Regional Relationships, a platform for visual art and writing that finds connections across cultural and geographical borders, and challenges common distinctions between urban and rural spaces. He also works with Compass Collaborators, a collective of writers, artists, scholars and activists, on publications, exhibitions, and public events in what they call the Midwest Radical Culture Corridor.

Under the name Temporary Travel Office, Ryan has created work and publications that attempt to use tourism as an opportunity for critical public encounters. These encounters include public tours of urban parking lots, speculative proposals for parks and hotels and a series of experimental guidebooks. These works have been presented in various institutional forums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Bureau for Open Culture (Columbus College of Art & Design), AREA Chicago, The MAK Center, The Center for Land Use Interpretation and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.

His writing has appeared in publications such as New Art Examiner, RePublic, ArtUS, Artlink, Rhizome and Furtherfield. He has curated exhibitions for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,, and George Mason University on themes that include the politics of genetic technologies, energy consumption and artistic forays into agriculture.

For the last few years, Ryan has been coordinating Art In These Times, an art venue on Chicago's west side, hosted by In These Times Magazine. It features 2-3 exhibitions per year by artists and organizations working for social justice in the city and at large.

Ryan was born and raised in Florida.


show listEducation

MFA, Studio Art, East Carolina University (Greenville, NC) 1999

BFA, Painting/Drawing, University of North Florida (Jacksonville, FL) 1996

show listResearch Interests

New Media, Collaborative and Collective Art Practices, Experimental Geography, Tourism and Mobility Studies, Performance Studies, Science and Technology Studies

Themes: Environmental Justice, Politics of Space/Place

show listCreative Works

show listCourses Taught

Interactivity, Image Practice, Time Arts, Art & Tourism, Graduate Seminar, Graduate Studios, Intermediate Studios