Hateful Little Thing
Whitney Museum of American Art
Oct 27, 2021 - 


My project Hateful Little Thing launches today on the website of the Whitney Museum. It briefly takes over the site at sunrise and sunset (EST) every day.



The work hijacks the curatorial label that brands the Sunrise/Sunset series and pursues its own argument against its support, which never manages to complete before common sense prevails. This argument takes a different form each time.

Addressing the act of taking up “white space”—in the sense of both the white background of whitney.org and the structural whiteness of institutional power—the comments of the Hateful Little Thing highlight the complexities of hate, racism, and exclusion. The short texts allude to the erasures that take place in white space, talk back to the institution, engage its audience, and comment on the hypocrisies surrounding hatred, such as the insistence that hate has no place in society, even though it always existed.

This hateful little thing wants to impress upon everyone the latter point, which still eludes many.

Many thanks to Christiane Paul for curating the work, and to Colin Brooks for technical support.

10.27.21

On NFTs


I wrote and illustrated an article on my current relationship with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for Sequencing, a publication by Fulcrum Arts.

In particular, I tried to unravel the concept of "value" in the NFT conversation, starting from the code in the ERC-721 standard and ending in the usual capitalist realism.

But 0 is not nothing, value is not meaning, and an NFT is not an artwork.

0 is worse than nothing. 0 is a value that signifies worthlessness, unlike nothing, which signifies nothing. I would rather be nothing than a worthless something.

Unfortunately, the premise of an NFT is that there is never not something. Its intention is to seal the existence of the something that has a value. As a result, there is no longer nothing. Where there was nothing, there is now obsessing over what one’s art is worth. The absence of nothing is why the token evangelists cannot see the objection to all this added value. They believe in something.



The calculator, in case it needs to be said, displays the flattening of artistic gestures into a sum. This is performed equally by the NFT implementation and by its surrounding discourse.

Read the article.

9.16.21

IKEA and RSS


Stills from my work The Way I See It are featured in this great Yin Aiwen article on RSS and platform capitalism on so-far.



Platforms, get it?

Thanks to Jing Yi Teo for commissioning the images.

9.1.21

Talks on Montez Press Radio


I recorded a program called Talks for Montez Press Radio. It was broadcast on July 26, 2021. 

Ryan upcycles his notes from a year's worth of online talks and panels into a digressive monologue about becoming a defective model, a file, and a hateful little thing with a year's worth of complaints about gridlines, knowledge production, LinkedIn, transactional hellscapes, and not being a programmer. Bots critique his monologue.


Queue the talk on the station or listen to the archive.

7.26.21

The Forum w/ DeForrest Brown, Jr.


I joined techno hero DeForrest Brown, Jr. and a very poorly behaved Faith in a sprawling conversation hosted by The Lab. Thanks to DeForrest for the invitation!

Artist Ryan Kuo and theorist DeForrest Brown, Jr. join together in a discussion that dismantles the design, functionality and technical failures of consumer technology and racial capitalism in the massively multiplayer game of American culture. Ryan Kuo’s “easily triggered” AI voice assistant Faith (Left Gallery, 2019) will moderate as a looming archive and ledger of a speculative conversation that considers the history, logistics and sonic fiction of Detroit techno and the American industrialized labor systems that form the basis of Brown, Jr.’s forthcoming book Assembling a Black Counter Culture (Primary Information, 2021).

Here’s the recording:



6.9.21