JULIA CHRISTENSEN is an artist and writer whose work explores systems of technology, time, change, and memory. She is currently collaborating with scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to envision long-term space mission concepts that transcend contemporary cycles of technological obsolescence; these include an artwork for a future interstellar spacecraft that will travel to Proxima b, 4.2 light years away from Earth, and a 200-year operational CubeSat, which is proposed to communicate continuously with a series of trees on planet Earth.
Christensen has been awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship (Fine Arts, 2018), LACMA Art + Tech Lab Fellowship (2017-2018), Creative Capital Fellowship (Emerging Fields, 2013), MacDowell Fellowship (2015), and the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award (2015). She has been awarded artist residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Wexner Center for the Arts Film + Video Studio, Media Archaeology Lab, and the Experimental Television Center. Her work has been exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Gallery (NYC, NY), Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (Cleveland, OH), the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA), and internationally.
Christensen is the author of Big Box Reuse (MIT Press, 2008), about how communities are reusing abandoned Walmart and Kmart stores in the US. Big Box Reuse won several prestigious book awards, including the American Association of Academic Press’s Book of the Year Award in the category of trade non-fiction. Her forthcoming book, Upgrade Available (Dancing Foxes), is a product of her long-term art/research project about how “upgrade culture” impacts life on a range of time scales.
Christensen’s work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Bookforum, The New York Review of Books, Village Voice, and Art in America, and on radio shows such as All Things Considered (NPR), and On Point (NPR). She has spoken widely about her work at a range of venues, including Yale University, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, Idea Festival, and the Dreamworks Animation studios.
Christensen is Chair of the Studio Art Department and Associate Professor of Integrated Media at Oberlin College. She is a board member of SPACES, and a member of the New Agency at MOCA Cleveland.
Julia Christensen’s work has been included in the “Highbrow and Brilliant” quadrant of New York Magazine’s “Approval Matrix”; Make Zine recently said that “Christensen’s work is a stunning demonstration of the tremendous potential for creative expression using technologies we might otherwise throw away,”; The Washington Post said that “Christensen has seen the future.”