artist - joseph squier


a r t i s t

I earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, with a background in photography and painting. My training is in traditional studio fine art practice, and in my early career I produced and exhibited large-scale painted photo murals in galleries and museums throughout the United States.

But since 1991 I have worked at a major research university, which has had far-reaching impact on my creative practice. Specifically, it has allowed me to engage in more speculative ‘research’ into emergent artistic practices. As a result, I have spent the last several years exploring electronic media, web-based practice and audiences, virtual reality, coding and databases, and the 21st century intersection of literary and visual culture.

My work has been exhibited at venues in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America; it has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and over a dozen books, including Print Magazine and the New York Times. I have been supported by multiple agencies and foundations, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation.

The University of Illinois, where I have been based since 1991, has recognized the significance of my creative practice by awarding me designation as a University Scholar.

Below is a highly abbreviated chronological sampling of things I have created, work that I consider definitive of my interests over the past 25 years.


P R O J E C T S
Flagrant World | Hymn 45 | 2018
a self-assembling, database-driven poem, painting, song, performance. It reflects a continuing interest in new narrative forms, and the intersection of art making and code writing. The site originally housed a first, early iteration – hymn 43 [ TEDx talk: FLAGRANTWORLD].

Ninthletter  2003 – 2010
a collaboration between the School of Art+Design and the Creative Writing program, this project explores the boundary between literary and visual culture. It exists in two distinct forms: as a magazine published semi-annually and as a website that features narrative work not supported by the technology of ink and paper.

I co-founded the project, and served as the art editor for the magazine and as the content curator for the website. The magazine is distributed nationally and is carried by such illustrious independents as St. Marks Bookshop in New York’s East Village, Quimby’s in Chicago, and Green Apple Books in San Francisco.

The magazine and website have received over 20 major awards for both their design and content.
– radio interview: inaugural magazine issue, April, 2004
– collaboration with the novelist Richard Powers and a small group of students to create video vignettes of some of his books, which were published at the website: Galatea 2.2 |
The Echo Maker | The Time of Our Singing].

the place |  1994 – 2001
was one of the earliest experimental web art sites, described by the New York Times as “a web classic”. It was also featured in the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, Print magazine, and numerous books on electronic art. Now part of the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center.


A W A R D S  | H O N O R S
Ninth Letter | Council of Editors of Learned Journals, Modern Language Association, Ninth Letter selected as “Best New Literary Journal”, 2006.

Ninthletter.com | South-by-Southwest Music and Culture Festival (SXSW). Ninthletter.com was selected as a finalist in the “art category” of the SXSW Interactive Competition. The SXSW Web Awards continues to focus on digital innovators who push the boundaries of creativity in the online world, 2005.

University Scholar | one of the highest distinctions awarded to faculty based on professional accomplishment, 2000 – present.

Artist Residency Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Study Center, Como, Italy, 1998.

Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, UIUC, 1996.

Artist Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council, 1994.

Artist Fellowship, Art Matters Inc., New York City, 1990.

Visual Artist Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington D C, 1986.

Powered by SmugMug Log In