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John C. Goss (born October 21, 1958, in Landstuhl, Germany) is an American artist and author and has lived most of his life in the Asia/Pacific region (Hawaii, Los Angeles, Bangkok).

Education and early career[]

He received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1984 and his BFA summa cum laude from Northern Illinois University in 1981. He also studied at the University of California, San Diego from 1981-1982. In 1989 he received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and was nominated for the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts in 1998.

His video and photographic works have been exhibited around the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the American Film Institute, Hirschorn Museum, the Berlin Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive, Walker Arts Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hong Kong Arts Centre, International Center of Photography, The National Gallery of Canada, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institut d'Estudis Nord-Americans Barcelona, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Harvard and Yale universities. Reviews of his work have appeared in October, Camera Obscura, Jump Cut, Artweek, Afterimage, and the New Art Examiner.

Special Effects Design[]

As a designer Goss created concert tour effects for Neil Diamond, George Michael, Deep Purple and Rush; theme park effects for Disney World and Disneyland; large-scale multi-media features for Caesars Palace and Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas; and special effects for international Expo pavilions (1986, 1988 and 1993).


In the late 1980s/early 1990s Goss was a member of a Los Angeles-based collective of artists who created performance components for various ACT UP demonstrations and HIV/AIDS awareness events in Los Angeles, Ohio and Chicago. The collective changed names for each event and was variously known as Bad Seed, The Altared Boys [SIC], Stiff Sheets and Fags in Flags.

In 1992 he produced a documentary and music video on AIDs/HIV educational efforts in Bangkok, Thailand.

In 1994, Goss and partners opened Southeast Asia's first gay and lesbian center, Utopia, in Bangkok. In 1995 he created the online Utopia, the Internet's first Asian gay and lesbian resource portal.

Later career[]

His photographs appeared in the landmark pop cultural book, Very Thai (2005, River Books); and he has authored ten guidebook titles about the Asian region (2005–2007).

In the summer of 2007 he worked in Hollywood as Production Designer, Art Director, and Director of Concept Design for the motion picture Red Velvet. He also did digital animation and 2nd unit direction (the alligator scene) for the film.

In 2010, Goss moved to Palm Springs, California where he opened a gallery, Swank Modern Design. Swank Modern's inaugural exhibition, The Sensual World, featured photographs by Goss shot in Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

Personal life[]

In Sep, 2013, Goss married Amarin Ratanarat, his longtime partner since 1996.


Year Title Role
1980 'Boys Will Be Beuys' (video short) Producer, Director
1980 'Language Exercise' (video short) Director
1980 'Art Attack/Making Art' (video short) Producer, Director
1980 'Glasses' (video short) Producer, Director
1980 'Fooling Myself' (video short) Producer, Director
1980 'Dixie' (video short) Producer, Director
1980 'Artbox' (video short) Producer, Director
1980 'The Naked, the Damned, and Their Children' (video short) Producer, Director
1980 'The Pilot' (film/video short) Producer, Director
1980 'Yacking Media' (film/video and sound installation) Producer, Director
1980 'Art-a-lectics' (video performance documentation) Producer, Director
1980 'Video Drawings' (b/w video short) Producer, Director
1980 'Structure <--> Meaning' (b/w video installation documentation) Producer, Director
1980 'Eclipse Piece' (b/w video installation documentation) Producer, Director
1981 'Presentiments' (film/video short) Producer, Director
1981 'Be There, Aloha' (film/video short) Producer, Director
1981 'Digital Reflections I' (digital/video short) performer/soundtrack
1981 'Digital Reflections II' (digital/video short) performer/soundtrack
1983 'Extremities' (digital/video short) Director
1983 'Celeb-ration' (video short) Producer, Director, performer
1985 'Wild Life' (video) Producer, Director
1986 'He's Like' (video) Producer, Director
1986 'Virtual Cockpits of Tomorrow' (video performance documentation) Producer, Director, performer
1986 'reMALE MOVES' (video performance documentation) Producer, Director, performer
1986 'Pink Life' (video performance documentation) Producer, Director, performer
1989 '"Out" Takes' (video performance documentation) Producer, Director
1989 'Stiff Sheets' (video performance documentation) Producer, Director
1990 'Forbidden Planet' (video performance documentation) Producer, Director, performer
1992 'Flowing Hearts: Thailand Fights AIDS' (video) Producer, Director
1992 'Bangkok (Fighting AIDS)' (video short) Producer, Director
1992 'Altered Boys' (video performance documentation) Producer, Director
1992 'Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: the Plan 9 Companion' (feature film) digital animation
1993 'Wrecked for Life: The Trip and Magic of Trocadero Transfer' (video) Producer, Director
1999 'Guinevere' (feature film) cameo
2000 'Somatography' (video) composer
2008 'Red Velvet' (feature film) Production Designer, Art Director, Director of Concept Design, digital animation, 2nd Unit Direction

Selected bibliography[]

  • 'Sacred Asia', Fah Thai, Nov-Dec, 2006, pages 74–82.
  • October, number 43, Winter, 1987
  • 'Irony and Dissembling: Queer Tactics for Experimental Documentary' by Kathleen McHugh, Between the Sheets, in the Streets: Queer, Lesbian, and Gay Documentary, 1997
  • 'The Sissy Boy, the Fat Ladies and the Dykes' by Alexander Doty, Camera Obscura, number 25-26, page 125
  • 'Wild Life: Collaborative Process and Gay Identity' by Gabriel Gomez, Jump Cut, number 37, pages 82–87
  • 'Entropy, History, Space and Speeding Cars' by Erika Suderburg, Los Angeles, Editions Autrement, Paris, 1993
  • 'Life in the Media World' by Greg Schneider, Artweek, Volume 22, number 17, May 2, 1991, page 17
  • 'Youthful Persuasions: John Goss Speaks Out' by Gabriel Gomez, Afterimage. Nov 1990, page 9
  • 'John Goss: Forbidden Planet' by Lance Carlson, High Performance, Summer 1990, page 61
  • 'Performance Art as Political Activism' by Lance Carlson, Artweek Focus, May 3, 1990, page 23
  • 'Sex and Technology' by Jacki Apple, Artweek, Mar 15, 1990, page 17
  • 'Virtual Art, Virtual Fun' by Jan Breslauer, LA Weekly, Jul 21-Jul 27, 1989, page 39
  • 'Funhouse Explores Mortal Passageways' by Zan Dubin, Los Angeles Times, Calendar, Sun, July 9, 1989
  • 'John Goss/John Greyson' by Jamitre Trott, New Art Examiner, Dec, 1987.

External links[]