As Curator at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum in Buffalo, New York, Dr. Ryan is responsible for organizing exhibitions and facilitating acquisitions of modern and contemporary art. Since 2017, her projects have included Peer to Peer, the first US museum survey of artists engaged with blockchain technologies, and (with Paul Vanouse) Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art, winner of a 2022 Award for Excellence from AAMC. Previously, she was a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she worked on a half-dozen shows, including Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980. Before joining The Met, she held internships at MoMA PS1, the New Museum, and the ICA Boston, among other institutions. Her writing has been commissioned for catalog essays and research projects by various museums including the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Dia in New York, and Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan.
Since 2013, Dr. Ryan has worked as an art critic, writing primarily for Artforum. Her essays also have appeared in Art in America, Art Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Spike, Broadcast, Even, and Document, among other publications. Her reviews and interviews have focused on artists who work with media technologies, including Trevor Paglen, Pipilotti Rist, Stan Douglas, Caitlin Cherry, and Sasha Stiles; her articles and essays have highlighted current topics in media art, from the politics of glitch to NFTs. As a widely-known expert on digital art, she has been interviewed for articles from publications including The New York Times, the Boston Globe, The Guardian, Apollo, ARTnews, and Artnet.
Dr. Ryan's research has appeared in academic journals (such as Art Journal and Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media), as well as in anthologies from university presses. In recent years, she has given invited lectures at schools including NYU, RISD, the University of Toronto, and the University of St. Andrews. She also has presented her work at conferences from Los Angeles to Karlsruhe. In 2020, she joined the Editorial Board of Media-N, the Journal of the New Media Caucus. Her current book project, “McLuhan’s Bulbs: Light Art and the Dawn of New Media,” examines the light art of the 1960s as a fulcrum between the discourses of “medium" and “media” in postwar art. Her research generally foregrounds the relationship between technology and the body, informed by her own experience of disability.
Educator and Public Speaker
An experienced educator, Dr. Ryan has taught courses at Columbia University, NYU, the Pratt Institute, The Museum of Modern Art, and the University at Buffalo. She draws on her experience as an educator to co-host the popular podcast Art History Happy Hour (which ran from 2014-2016 under the name "State of the Arts"). As a professional public speaker, she has offered accessible, entertaining lectures on art to tens of thousands of people over the internet and in more than fifty cities internationally. For private bookings for virtual and in-person corporate and social events, please use the Contact page.