Photo/Image courtesy of Thirza Luijten.

Photo/Image courtesy of Thirza Luijten.



Artist, writer, and educator Brian Goeltzenleuchter was born in San Diego in 1976.  Brian’s work investigates the use-value of art and the role of art institutions in the shaping of the social sphere. As a result of his interest in complex and wide-reaching bodies of knowledge, Brian has collaborated with a diverse field of practitioners outside of the arts.  

Through an artistic practice that uses analog and digital technologies to mediate the senses of sight, sound, touch, and smell, Brian designs situations which explore the dynamics between individuals and the cities and institutions which shape those relationships. His current artwork considers the way in which personal and cultural narratives can be expressed through the sense of smell. He creates maps—not for way-finding, but for place-making—as a means of locating the “self” and the “other” in the city. Brian's participatory art has been critically celebrated for expanding the olfactory potential for transmedia storytelling.

Collaboration is a key element in Brian's practice. In addition to deep collaboration with art institutions and members of related subcultures, Brian actively pursues ventures that fall outside the art world. He has worked with engineers (Olfactory Memoirs, 2015), criminologists and technologists (The Art | Crime Archive, 2013), avant-pop musicians (Terre Sauvage, 2012),  poets (A Poetry Olfaction, 2015; Smelling the City, 2011), research scientists (When to throw a painting to a drowning man, 2011), virtual reality designers (Second Scape, 2007), and venture capitalists (A Shareholder’s Meeting, 2000).

Brian Goeltzenleuchter earned his MFA in 2001 at University of California San Diego. From 2002 - 2008 he was Associate Professor of Art and Director of the MFA Program at Central Washington University. He has held residencies at the Institute for Art and Olfaction, Los Angeles, Banff Centre, Canada, and Centrum Beeldende Kunst, The Netherlands.  He is Research Fellow at the Institute for Public and Urban Affairs and Faculty Fellow in the Weber Honors College, San Diego State University. He also serves on the faculty of Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine, a non-profit foundation with educational and research objectives in the field of International Translational Medicine. 

Selected projects include: Sillage, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (2016); Volatile!, The Poetry Foundation, Chicago (2015); Sillage, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2014); Adaptive Equipment, Lust Gallery, Vienna, Austria (2011); c (pronounced /k/) Wellness Centre, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Canada (2010); c Boutique, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2010); Sponge X Sponge, Colorado State University (2007); Institutional Wellbeing, Centrum Beeldende Kunst, The Netherlands (2006); Who’s not for sale, Banff Centre, Canada (2006).