Andrew Salyer

Visiting Lecturer

Member Of:
  • School of Literature, Media, and Communication
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Dr. Andrew Salyer is a Marion L. Brittain Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is an artist, writer, and curator working in photography, text, performance, sculpture, and installation. He exhibits and performs work nationally and internationally. As a scholar of art theory and practice, and an active artist, his interdisciplinary academic research, art projects, curatorial work, public programming, and teaching experience are formulated as a system that is intellectually and aesthetically curious, self-reflexive, and rigorously considered through critical visual literacy. Research interests include a critical art practice, contemporary art history and theory, curatorial studies, visual culture, performance, and critical race and gender studies – all of which attempt to reveal perceived moments of failure within common codes for language, identity, bodies, and art. He has been particularly concerned with cultivated failure as a practice and a trope in contemporary art and focused on the art/life intersection that informs much of 20th-century performance art, and ideas about performativity and gender identity. His research/artwork situates itself within a visual conversation predicated on critical conceptualism, social practice, and institutional critique, all of which tentatively counteract the performance of resolution, and seeks to stimulate and foster critical seeing, thinking, and making.

His interdisciplinary academic research is concerned with issues of social justice in visual cultures. His dissertation project, White Men Falling: Whiteness, Masculinity, and Failure in Contemporary Performance for the Camera, examines the latent and manifest ideological meanings of white male bodies performing the act of falling in mid-century to contemporary lens-based artworks. In addition to his dissertation chapters intended for an academic audience, this project also included a public exhibition that sought to engage the broader Madison community in a contemporary dialogue about race, gender, and representation. His research focused on visual cultures and performance studies methodologies, critical race studies and gender studies, and curatorial studies, and the public humanities. The practice-as-research part of this project included working with dancers, martial artists, interviewing a contemporary French philosopher, and speaking with two researchers in kinesiology (Neuromuscular Coordination Laboratory and Sensory Motor Integration Laboratory).

Other interdisciplinary research interests include social practice art in theory and practice; contemporary public sphere theory, especially how a public dis/engages, views, and constructs itself; and the philosophy of what constitutes an “inside” and “outside.”

Salyer co-founded the Borghesi-Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshop, “Art and Scholarship in Theory and Practice,” with funding from the Center for the Humanities (UW-Madison). The series of events, workshops, and conversations with visiting artists (Gregg Bordowitz, Martha Wilson, Tehching Hsieh, and Linda Montano) provided a space to collaboratively produce new conceptual and aesthetic possibilities, with a commitment to inventing experimental possibilities within the praxis of scholarly research, artistic production, and public engagement. The “Theory-Practice Collaboratory” series hosted hands-on, transdisciplinary, practice-based workshops on topics such as “Speech Acts,” “Surface Effects,” and “Queering Digitality.” This three-year workshop experience activated a dialogue about serious topics in a playful way between academics, artists, and the local community. Additionally, as a co-founder of the Madison Performance Philosophy Collective, he co-organized two experimental symposia at the downtown Madison Public Library that programmed performance art, video, installation, and participatory projects alongside lectures, workshops, and spaces for community dialogue.

  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • MFA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BFA, Herron School of Art
Awards and
  • Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: 2021 CIOS Award
  • Spring 2021 Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: Class of 1934 CIOS Honor Roll


Research Fields:
  • Digital Media
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Gender
  • Inequality and Social Justice
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Accessibility
  • Aesthetics
  • Cinema Studies
  • Community engagement
  • Digital and Mixed Media
  • Digital Communication
  • Digital Humanities
  • Drama and Theater Studies
  • Ethical Practices in Contemporary Contexts
  • Feminism
  • Future of the Liberal Arts
  • Globalization and Localization
  • Impacts and Consequences of Race/Ethnicity
  • Inequality, Inequity, and Social Justice
  • Institution-Building
  • Literary Theory
  • Literature
  • Media
  • Media Production
  • Mediatized Culture
  • Performance
  • Philosophy
  • Poetry
  • Politics
  • Post-Modernism
  • Psychoanalysis


  • ENGL-1101: English Composition I
  • ENGL-1102: English Composition II
  • LMC-2600: Introduction to Performance Studies
  • LMC-3259: Experimental Film