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Cecyl Ruehlen (b. 1984) is an intermedia artist and woodwind player who grew up in the rural high plains of western Kansas. Many of his undertakings focus on collaborative efforts, chimeric instruments, and prolonged projects within variable landscapes across the western United States. He melts feral actions and archives into a sonic ooze using an array of objects and recording processes. Ruehlen’s abstract approach, becoming ever increasingly interested in cycles of transformation and spatiality, take root as iterative, topographical devotionals.   


He has shown work in countless D.I.Y. spaces, basements, temporary performance zones, music venues and art spaces. More formally this include the Denver Art Museum, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, The Tank: Center For The Sonic Arts, Indexical in Santa Cruz, CA, The 2016 MediaLive Festival at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Treefort Music Festival in Boise ID, Coaxial Arts In Los Angeles, Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, Squeaky Wheel Media in Buffalo, NY, Kimball Art Center in Park City, UT, OutSound in San Francisco, CA, Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT, AS220 in Providence, RI, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA, 2014 Currents International New Media Arts Festival in Santa Fe, NM, The Paseo Media Art Festival in Taos, NM, The 2020 Borealis Festival's Radio Space in Bergen, Norway, the 2015 Biennial of the Americas-Denver, 2021-22 Co-Incidence Festival of Experimental Music as well as the 2021 High Desert Soundings festival in Joshua Tree, California. He has published multimedia textual work with Incite: Journal of Experimental Media, Materialities of Literature - Impactum Journal, & Lunamopolis Press. His recordings and performances have been featured on such networks as the BBC and NPR and has work in numerous collections including The Tate in London and The Whitney Museum / New School in New York. He has released an absurd amount of albums since the early-mid '00s -- more recently releasing on Shadowtrash Tape Group, Harmonic Ooze Records, Never Anything Records, Ingrown Records, Ephem-Aural Recordings, Falt Records, and 2182 Recording Company.

His work has been described as, “Emotive and suggestive, each soundscape gestures toward the impending collapse” (Foxy Digitalis), “Constantly-evolving atmospheres that veer into pulse-quickening noise” (Bandcamp Daily), “Ruehlen’s fascination with topographical disorientation lays the groundwork for quicksilver movements in sudden formation, an inability to recognize, becoming lost in familiar environments” (Tabs Out Podcast). “Ruehlen’s gliding, infinitely malleable musicality, lends a quivering vibrancy to his performances; one that percolates with potent life-igniting propellents, and which lacks a discernible consistency of form” (Thought I Heard A Sound). His projects, “Seek to subvert traditional artistic conventions…incorporating elements of improvisation, indeterminacy and philosophical playfulness to fascinating effect” (Dallas Observer), “Positing it as a natural force unto itself” (The Wire).


Ruehlen drifts between roles as a performer, organizer, sound designer, media archaeologist, educator, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and operates Harmonic Ooze Records. He has received various awards including the 2017 Project Society of the Integrated Remote and In Situ Sensing Program research grant from the IRISS Grand Challenge Society and was a recipient, with the Flinching Eye Collective, of the 2014 Idea Fund Grant, a program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. 


Ruehlen received a BFA in studio arts from Fort Hays State University in 2007, an MFA in studio arts at the University of Colorado in 2013 and a PhD in Intermedia Art, Writing, and Performance at the University of Colorado in 2019. He teaches sound technology and multimedia art courses for the University Of Arizona's School Of Information. He lives in Tucson Arizona and participates in several musical groups, including Compersion and Ausect.





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