John Ryan Brubaker in Vietnam, 2010

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Current Location: Thomas, WV

Current Studio Residencies:
* Greylight Projects – Brussels, BE
* White Room Studios – Thomas, WV


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I make photographs because I am fascinated by and concerned about the visual environment of contemporary human civilization. I am interested in the physical, and sometimes virtual, infrastructure in which we live rather than particular scenes or events. I believe that one’s immediate visual surroundings deeply affect personal emotional and psychological well-being, and I use photography as a way to both explore and explain this perspective.

In particular, I am interested in the visual effects of the urban environment in which most of the planet lives. This includes architecture and public space, as well as passageways and transit lines, advertising, public art, cultural remnants and the emerging visual landscape of digital culture.

My work is often based on explorations of unknown spaces, and the aimless wander has become an increasingly important part of my practice. The experience of being off the map or otherwise guided by one’s immediate environment itself, has been essential in my most recent projects.

I shoot mostly with vintage gear, especially 60s era rangefinders, old Polaroids and a Crown Graphic 4×5. I often work in book form, creating small runs of hand-bound artist books.

I am currently working as a research fellow at LUCA School of Arts. As of 2011 I split my time between Brussels, Belgium and Thomas, West Virginia.