JULIA CHRISTENSEN is an artist and writer whose work explores systems of technology, time, change, and memory. She is President of the Space Song Foundation, an organization that designs technology for long-term space missions to transcend contemporary cycles of obsolescence. The Space Song’s primary project is The Tree of Life: a 200-year-long song produced by living trees singing a duet with spacecrafts orbiting 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 in India, Greece, France, and beyond.
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 second book, Upgrade Available (Dancing Foxes), is a product of her long-term art/research project about how “upgrade culture” impacts life and our perception of time. Upgrade Available garnered wide acclaim from such publications as Los Angeles Magazine, Brooklyn Rail, Art Newspaper, and Cultured Magazine.
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 Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, Getty Center, and the Dreamworks Animation studios.
Christensen is Professor of Integrated Media Art at in the Studio Art department at Oberlin College. She is a board member of WOBC community radio in Oberlin, and The Center for Land Use Interpretation in Los Angeles.
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.”