Ryan Aasen


lonewolf is an ongoing, nonlinear investigation that documents access to and disconnect from the commons. How am I seen by acquaintances? How am I seen by state surveillance? How can I view myself, externally, through these social and political lenses, both metaphorical and literal? And, ultimately, how does an awareness of my external selves in turn dictate my internal actions, creating a feedback loop of actions?

As a photographer I approach this documentation with the knowledge that digital technology already autonomously catalogs my life, making easily available things I’d rather not have seen. This cataloging has affected the way I present myself in (pseudo-)public spaces as I both avoid and encourage photography based on its perceived later life. This has rendered the camera both an ally and an enemy, and my work plays with this duality as I actively implicate myself in the very moments I criticize.

Ryan Aasen is a multi-disciplinary artist and researcher who works with the intersecting histories of photography and media technology, privacy and surveillance, and queer and rural identities. He was a Northern Lights.mn Art(ists) on the Verge fellow, an MIT Transmedia Storytelling Initiative fellow, and his work has been exhibited nationally, including shows at the Walker Art Center and the Soap Factory (Minneapolis). He has an MS in Art, Culture and Technology from MIT, and a BFA in Integrated Media from St. Cloud State University.