Ryann Cooley is a conceptual artist and educator who works in photography, sculpture, and immersive installation to examine the relationship between the viewer and the image.
Cooley’s work responds to the intangible digital image, the steady stream of content that permeates and influences our daily existence, and the ever-growing virtual space we inhabit. With an interest in how these contemporary visual communication modes might affect our memories and emotions, he invents new ways for the viewer to physically experience and relate to the materiality of the photographic object.
Through each of his sculptural works and installation environments, he draws attention back to the photographic object while simultaneously allowing the viewer to be mindful of the subject within the image. He often does this by enhancing his photographs’ physical qualities, combining them with sensory altering elements like space, color, light, glass, and sound. This may mean creating multiple viewing points to the photograph, leading the viewer to engage the image from different angles, or using mediated forms of projection to explore what information is lost to the limitations of sensory experience itself. Ultimately, by engineering opportunities for sensorial involvement, his work finds various new ways to challenge photography’s boundaries and draw the viewer’s awareness to their own body’s physical and temporal presence in relation to the material image.