Julia Christensen

  • Eva & John Young-Hunter Professor of Integrated Media

Areas of Study


  • MFA, integrated electronic arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 2005
  • MFA, electronic music and recording media,  Mills College, Oakland, CA, 2003
  • BA, integrated arts, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 2000


Julia Christensen is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores systems of technology, consumerism, landscape, and change. Christensen has been awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts (2018), the LACMA Art + Tech Lab Fellowship (2017), the Creative Capital Fellowship (2013), Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award (2013), and an individual fellowship from the New York State Council on the Arts (2007). Christensen has had residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Fulcrum Arts, Wexner Center for the Arts Film/Video Studio, and the Experimental Television Center. Her work has exhibited internationally, at venues including Eyebeam (NYC, NY), Ronald Feldman Fine Arts (NYC, NY), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LA, CA), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (Cleveland, OH), Carnegie Museum of Fine Arts (Pittsburgh, PA), Empire Shirine Gallery (New Delhi, India), and the Pori Art Museum (Pori, Finland). 

Christensen is the author of Upgrade Available, published by Dancing Foxes Press in 2020, and of Big Box Reuse, published by the MIT Press in 2008. Her writing has been published in magazines such as Cabinet, Orion, Print, and Slate. Her work has been written about in The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Apollo Magazine, Art Newspaper, Art in America, Bomb Magazine, The Washington Post, Bookforum, The New York Review of Books, and Dwell Magazine, among many other publications. Christensen’s work has been included several books, including Younger Than Jesus Artist Directory (Phaidon/New Museum), It’s the Political Economy, Stupid (edited by Gregory Sholette and Oliver Ressler, Pluto Press), and Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes (DAP/Walker Art Center), as well as in a number of books written by architects, designers, and curators. She has appeared as a guest on numerous radio shows including “All Things Considered” (NPR), “On Point” (NPR), and “Marketplace” (CBC).

Christensen is chair and associate professor of integrated media in the studio art department at Oberlin College, where she has additionally served on the faculties of environmental studies and TIMARA (Technology in Music and Related Arts). From 2007 to 2011, she held the position of Henry Luce visiting Assistant Professor of the Emerging Arts, a joint appointment between Oberlin College and Conservatory. Before coming to Oberlin, she taught at Stanford University, Pratt Institute, California College of the Arts, and other colleges. She has been an invited speaker and critic at dozens of colleges and universities, including Georgia Tech, Yale University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the San Francisco Art Institute.

Spring 2024

Intermediate Media Installation — ARST 251


Julia Christensen Presents Art Project and Foundation

March 22, 2023

Professor of Studio Art Julia Christensen was invited to present at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University on March 23 about her non-profit, The Space Song Foundation, and her global public art project/space mission, The Tree of Life. Christensen will also present the project at the Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference at CalTech in May, on the panel, "Incoming planned missions and innovative mission concepts."

Cleveland Museum of Natural History spotlights Julia Christensen in Centennial Speaker Series

July 12, 2021

The Cleveland Museum of Naturaly History has tapped Associate Professor of Integrated Media Julia Christensen to lead an event in its new Centennial Speaker Series, part of the museum's 100-year anniversary celebration. 

“The topics and themes that we’re addressing in the Centennial Speaker Series are fundamental,” notes Allison Grazia, the museum’s manager of public engagement. “It’s health, space, nature, human history, race—things that are part of our everyday lived experiences.”

In February 2022, Christensen will discuss her collaboration with scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop a technology that will send data about the natural world into space in the form of song, with the hope of eventually connecting with extraterrestrial life. The project, which sits at the intersection of science and art, is poised to take space exploration to another level.

Julia Christensen gives virtual talk with NPR's Frances Anderton on creative ways to deal with waste

January 19, 2021

Associate Professor of Integrated Media and Chair of Studio Art Julia Christensen will participate in “No Such Place as ‘Away’— Creative Ways to Deal with Waste: NPR's Frances Anderton in Conversation with Julia Christensen" at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, January 27. Hosted by University College London / Bartlett School of Architecture, the event will stream on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/bartlettarchucl.

The average person throws away around four pounds of trash daily. Except that there is no such place as "away." Everything has to go somewhere. There is an end-of-life cost to everything. “Away” can mean storm drains, oceans, the stomachs of marine animals, a giant floating island of trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the landfill. Designers are waking up to the need to change this picture and create products and buildings that can be recycled, repurposed, biodegrade—or not exist at all. 

Frances Anderton spoke to many of them for a recent radio series called Wasted. She met scientists genetically modifying plants to capture carbon from the atmosphere; formerly-incarcerated individuals trained to recycle computers; people fighting for their right to repair their own stuff, and an artist who is creating a conceptual space rocket flying light years away, to raise consciousness about e-waste. 

Frances Anderton and Julia Christensen will share stories from the frontiers of waste.

Julia Christensen Gives Presentation on Book and Project

April 20, 2020

Associate Professor of Integrated Media Julia Christensen, a LACMA Art + Technology Lab grant recipient, will gave a multimedia presentation at on Wednesday, April 22 about her project and forthcoming book, Upgrade Available (Dancing Foxes Press, Spring 2020), which examines how “upgrade culture” fundamentally impacts our experience of time.

Julia Christensen Interviewed About Book and Exhibition

April 15, 2020

Associate Professor of Integrated Media Julia Christensen was interviewed in the Art Newspaper about her new book and solo exhibition, both titled Upgrade Available.

Julia Christensen Featured in LACMA Video and Blog

May 3, 2019

Associate Professor of Integrated Media Julia Christensen's project, Upgrade Available, with the LACMA Art + Technology Lab and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was featured in this video. Christensen's work to envision artwork for a long-term, interstellar space mission was also highlighted in the LACMA blog, Unframed.

Julia Christensen Featured for Gallery Show

February 9, 2018

Julia Christensen opened the gallery show Waiting for a Break at SPACES, a contemporary art venue in Cleveland, Ohio. The show was featured in the Plain Dealer, on WVIZ/PBS, and in a segment from Great Lakes Today.

Julia Christensen Gives Talk

February 9, 2016

Assistant Professor of Integrated Media Art Julia Christensen gave a public talk about her work Upgrade Available on February 5 at Harvestworks in New York City.

Julia Christensen Presents Upgrade Available

October 15, 2015

Assistant Professor of Integrated Media Art Julia Christensen presented on Upgrade Available, a body of work that explores our cultural relationships with obsolete electronic material, at the 2015 Creative Capital Retreat this summer. The presentation is now available to view online.

Julia Christensen Awarded MacDowell Fellowship

June 8, 2015

Assistant Professor of Integrated Media Art Julia Christensen has been awarded a MacDowell Fellowship for Fall 2015. According to Christensen, MacDowell selects just 270 fellows out of the approximate 2,800 applications it receives every year.

As a MacDowell fellow, Christensen will complete a residency at MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, the oldest and most revered artist colony in the nation. She will be working on her piece The Big Feed, which is part of her Creative Capital-supported work about our cultural relationships with discarded electronics.


Virtual Faculty Art Exhibition

April 27, 2020

Department of Art faculty periodically share their artwork in a faculty exhibition held in Richard D. Baron ’64 Art Gallery during the academic year. This time, we invite you to step inside a virtual exhibition and experience the works of some of our talented professors.

Art En Route to Proxima B

December 6, 2018

Associate Professor of Integrated Media Julia Christensen earned the 2017-2018 LACMA Art + Tech Lab Fellowship. She is expanding on her ongoing art and research project, Upgrade Available, along with NASA scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.