BIOGRAPHY

Born in Chicago, Illinois, 1978
currently lives and works in Denver and Boulder, Colorado

Joel Swanson lives and works in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. His work chiefly explores the glitches and failings of linguistic systems. Swanson’s work ranges from digital art to sculpture to interactive installation. Thematically his work explores the structures and technologies of language, their materialities, and their modes of signification. 

Swanson is an Assistant Professor in the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he teaches courses on digital art, typography, and media theory. He received his Masters of Fine Art at the University of California, San Diego with a focus in Computing and the Arts. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally at institutions such as the Broad Museum in Lansing, The Power Plant in Toronto, the North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art. Most notably, Swanson has had a recent solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. 

Joel Swanson is represented by David B. Smith Gallery.

EDUCATION

2005
M.F.A. Computing in the Arts, University of California, San Diego
Thesis: Confessions: A Fictional Overhaul of Saint Augustine

2002
B.F.A. Digital Art, University of Colorado at Boulder
Summa Cum Laude

SOLO/TWO PERSON SHOWS

2016
Corruption, Media Live Festival University of Colorado Art Museum / Boulder, CO (two-person exhibition with Steven Frost)

2015
Polysemic MOA: Museum of Outdoor Arts / Englewood, CO
A.K.A. David B. Smith Gallery / Denver, CO

2014
XYZ, David B. Smith / Denver, CO
Joel Swanson: Left to Right, Top to Bottom, Museum of Contemporary Art / Denver, CO

2013
Joel Swanson: Work Inspired by the Media Archeology Lab, Counterpath / Denver, CO

2011
Formalisms / RedLine, Denver, CO

2008
Binarisms / ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado at Boulder / Boulder, CO

2004
Confessions: A Fictional Overhaul of Saint Augustine, Marcuse Gallery/ San Diego, CA
HyperX at ALTX.com / www.altx.com/hyperx

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017
Personal Structures, Venice Biennale / Venice, Italy

2016
International Digital Media and Arts Association juried exhibition/ Winona, MN (jurors included Christiane Paul of the Whitney Museum and Dene Grigar, Director of the Electronic Literature Organization)
101 Mediapoetry Festival / St. Petersburg, Russia
Art of the Maker CultureHaus and the Denver Art Museum / Denver, CO
 A Few Final Words selected works from the Mark & Polly Addison Collection / Boulder, CO (curated by Mark Addison)

2015
DecoSlut, Gildar Gallery / Denver, CO

2014
More than Friends, Ironton Studios / Denver, CO
Culture Catalyst / McNichols Building / Denver CO
Miami Projects (satellite art fair of Art Basel) / Miami, FL
Text, DAVA: Downtown Aurora Visual Arts / Aurora, CO
Recognizable Disguises, Firehouse Gallery / Longmont, CO
Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art, The Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum / East Lansing, MI

2013
Digital Graffiti Alys Beach / Pensacola, FL
Ice Breaker 4, Ice Cube Gallery / Denver, CO
Not Exactly, RedLine / Denver, CO
Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art, The Power Plant / Toronto Canada
B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Beamer) / Denver, CO

2012
One Square Foot / Denver, CO
Material Engagements, curated by Harmony Hammond, RedLine / Denver, CO
Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art, Museum of Contemporary Art / Denver, CO
Blacktop Art Festival, blacktopfestival.com / Denver, CO, 
Optic Nerve, Museum of Contemporary Art / North Miami FL
Digital Graffiti Alys Beach / Pensacola, FL
Museum of Glitch Aesthetics: glitchmuseum.com / Abandon Normal Devices Festival (collaboration with Mark Amerika, Rick Silva, and others) / Manchester, UK
Urban Encounters: SightLine / Denver, CO
Interlife Crisis, Fictilis Gallery / Seattle WA
Terminal Net.Art Austin Peay University / Clarksville, TN

2011
Au: Exchange, RedLine / Denver, CO
Design for the Other 90% Denver, CO
Frame of Mind / Denver, CO
B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Beamer) /  Denver, CO

2010
Informal Show, Redline / Denver, CO
Cross Ties Across Time / Redline / Denver, CO

2009
Binarisms / Digital Arts and Culture Conference, Electronic Literature Gallery / Irvine CA
The Last Book / Multimedia Book Performance, Schindler House / Los Angeles, CA

2008
The 86 Collective / Beta Nightclub / Denver, CO
Ruckus, Repeat, Ruckus: Visual Noise / The Lab / Belmar, CO

2007
The Last Book  (collaboration with Steve Fagin, Mary Gaitskill, Leslie Thorton, and others) / Los Angeles, CA

2006     
LA Freewaves, Online Archive / Los Angeles, CA
Synesthesia, Empyre / http://.empyre.com
Confessions, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art / Orange County, CA

2005
Supersonic, L.A. Design Center / Los Angeles, CA
Now Happening, University Gallery / San Diego, CA

2004
FILE, Electronic Language International Festival / Sao Paulo, Brazil
Digital N@arrative, Hammer Museum / Los Angeles, CA

2003
AIM (Art in Motion) /Sussquahannah Art Museum Philadelphia, PA
9th Floor, Graduate Relocation Project / Los Angeles, CA
Life By Design Conference Exhibition, University of California Irvine / Irvine, CA
Emerging Artists Digital Art Show, The Dairy Center / Boulder, CO

2002
AIM (Art in Motion Festival) / University of Southern California / Los Angeles, CA
Full Frontal, University of Colorado Art Museum / Boulder, CO
Korean Web Art Festival, in conjunction with Mark Amerika, Seoul, Korea

COMMISSIONS

2016
28 piece commission, Hotel Born / Denver, CO
Porte Cochère Design, Hotel Born / Denver, CO
Sincerely, Halcyon Hotel / Cherry Creek, CO    
Ligature / Twitter offices

2012
Terminal Net.Art Commission: http://terminalapsu.org

CoLLECTIONS

Mark and Polly Addison Collection
University of Colorado Boulder Art Museum
Museum of Outdoor Arts, Englewood Colorado

RESIDENCIES, SCHOLARSHIPS, & AWARDS

2015
Nominated for Louise Tiffany Comfort Award: louiscomforttiffanyfoundation.org / New York, NY
Museum of Outdoor Arts Commission for new work: $15,000 award / Englewood, CO

2014    
Best of Westword Award: “Best Show Combining Thinking and Seeing” Denver 2014 - Joel Swanson: Left to Right, Top to Bottom / Denver, CO

2013  
Material Engagements, winner of “Best Member Art Show” Award by Westword / Denver, CO
Graduate Committee on the Arts and Humanities Grant for project, Logic Only Works in Two Dimensions
Nominated for YES MA’AM COLORADO ARTIST GRANT:  yesmaamprojects.com / Denver, CO
Invited Guest Judge, Digital Graffiti / Alys Beach, FL
Digital Graffiti invited Residency / Alys Beach, FL
Media Archeology Lab Artist in Residence / University of Colorado at Boulder / Boulder, CO

2012    
“Most Experimental” winner at Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach / Pensacola, FL
Urban Encounter: Sightline, Video Art Commission / Denver, CO

2011    
Digital Humanities Research Seminar / University of Colorado at Boulder
Research Award for invited seminar participation
Graduate Committee on the Arts and Humanities Grant for project, Sol Lewitt’s Statements on Conceptual Art, Diagrammed
Terminal Award / Commission award for Internet Project, From Here

2010–2012
RedLine Artist Residency / Denver, CO

2009
Visual Science: Technology, Aesthetics, Investigation / University of Colorado at Boulder
Research Award for invited seminar participation

2006     
ATLAS Leadership Award, ATLAS Institute / University of Colorado at Boulder

2004     
Humanities Grant / University of California, San Diego
Graduate Research Grant / University of California, San Diego

2003
Graduate Fellowship / University of California, San Diego
Teaching Assistantship / University of California, San Diego

2002   
Summa Cum Laude Honor’s Thesis in Digital Art / University of Colorado at Boulder
Deans List / University of Colorado, Boulder

2001
Undergraduate Research Grant / University of Colorado, Boulder
Addison New Media Scholarship / University of Colorado, Boulder

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2016    
Kirschenbaum, Matthew G. Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 2016.

2015
New American Paintings, issue 120 (juried by Evan Garza)
Rinaldi, Ray. “Joel Swanson’s curious connections at Englewood Museum of Outdoor Arts.”  Denver Post 21 November 2015: Print.
Longway, Heather. “Museum exhibit plays with words `Polysemic’ offers delight in Englewood venue.” South Platte Independent 21 October 2015: southplatteindependent.net. Web. 14 January 2015
“Polysemic: MOA debuts solo artist gallery exhibition by Joel Swanson.” The Villager 7 October 2015: Villagerpublishing.com.Web. 14 January 2015

2014    
Paglia, Michael. “Review: Two Distinct Takes on Conceptualism Fill the David B. Smith Gallery.”  Westword 6 October 2014: Westword.com. Web. 6 October 2014
Froyd, Susan. “Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Joel Swanson” Westword 6 May 2014: Westword.com. Web. 6 May 2014
Paglia, Michael. “Joel Swanson engages in wordplay at MCA Denver.” Westword 6 March 2014: Westword.com. Web. 6 March 2014
Rinaldi, Ray. “MCA Denver’s (not too) likable showcase of Joel Swanson and Ian Fisher.” Denver Post 26 January 2014: Print.
Abrams, Nora, “Left to Right, Top to Bottom”  Catalog Essay. Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. 2014. Print.
Alderton, Stephanie. “MCA draws crowds with clouds and symbols.” The Metropolitan.  22 January 2014: metnews.org. Web. 22 January 2014
Froyd, Susan. “An ampersand is an ampersand is an ampersand in one of MCA Denver’s new exhibits.” The Westword. 20 January 2014: Westword.com. Web. 31 January 2014
Hammond, Harmony. “Material Engagements Catalog Essay.” RedLine, Denver, CO. 2014.

2013
Rinaldi, Ray. “2014 preview: Art, music and dance travel in from Buffalo, Boise and beyond” Denver Post 29 December 2013: Print.
Ascher, James P. “Bibliographical Awareness in Art: Joel Swanson’s Spacebar.” Ed. Lori Emerson. Boulder: Media Archeology Lab, 2013. mediaarcheologylab.com. Web. 3 December 2013.
Froyd, Susan. “Artist-run TANK Studios sets a new precedent in the local art scene.”  The Westword. 23 Octoboer 2013: Westword.com. Web. 23 October 2013
No-one Starts From Scratch: Type Design and the Logic of the Fork, Eric Schrijver http://i.liketightpants.net/and/no-one-starts-from-scratch-type-design-and-the-logic-of-the-fork

2012    
Paglia, Michael. “Seeing RedLine.” Westword 13 December 2012. Print.
Rinaldi, Ray Mark. “At RedLine, a showing of the local art scene’s progress and limits.” Denver Post 18 November 2012. Print.

2003    
Brunisma, Max. Deep Sites. Thames & Hudson, 2003. Print.