Ellen Pearlman, a New York based media artist, curator, writer and critic. She is a faculty member of Parsons/New School MFADT,  and Senior Research Assistant Professor at RISEBA University in Riga, Latvia. Ellen is the Director of ThoughtWorks Arts, a global research and innovation lab that includes the well regarded ThoughtWorks ArtsResidency. An EU Vertigo STARTS Laureate (Horizon 2020), she is a Fulbright World Learning Specialist in Art, New Media and Technology, a Zero1 American Arts Incubator/U.S. State Department cultural envoy to Kyiv, Ukraine, and a Fulbright Alumni Ties grantee. She received her Ph.D. in Digital Media from the School of Creative Media at Hong Kong City University where she was the outstanding academic achievement award grantee, and where she premiered her brain opera "Noor", a fully immersive interactive brainwave opera at ISEA Hong Kong and the Microwave International Festival, HK. Her PhD thesis, "Is There A Place In Human Consciousness Where Surveillance Cannot Go?" was awarded highest global ranking from Leonardo LABS abstracts. "AIBO", her new emotionally intelligent artificial intelligent brainwave opera premiered at the Estonian Music Academy's state of the art black box theater.


Ellen is also President of Art-A-Hack(TM), and Director and Curator of the New York Volumetric Society, as well as a contributing editor to Performance Arts Journal (PAJ) MIT Press. During her doctoral studies she was a Visiting Scholar at Parsons/New School University in New York. Previously she co-founded the first Summer Institute in Telematic Art with the University of Calgary, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Videotage HK to create an internationally linked global interactive telematic performance while FUSE Digital Artist in Residence at Videotage. Ellen has lectured at both the Hermitage Museum and ITMO University (the MIT of Russia) in St. Petersburg, Russia as part of Cyberfest. She curated and has shown work at SPRING/BREAK Independent Projects (part of Armory Week), ISEA, the Microwave Festival, The Rixc Festival, Harvestworks Electronic Arts Festival, and collaborated on digital projects with the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Media Lab. She was on the Art Panel Review Board for SIGGRAPH ASIA in Yokohama, Japan, a panel judge for ISEA New Mexico, Columbia, and Hong Kong, and presented her work at ISEA Istanbul, New Mexico, Dubai, Vancouver, Korea, Transmediale Berlin and the Sounds, Image and Data Conference at NYUSteinhardt/Goldsmiths/ Leonardo, the 3rd Global Conference on Posthuman Ethics at NYU, and at conferences in Latvia, Finland, Ireland, Estonia, and the Netherlands.


Ellen has also lectured on New Media at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), and the Communications and Animation University in Beijing, the Songzhuang Art Center, and universities in Wuhan and Tianjin, China. She participated in the first Beijing International Conference on Art Theory and Criticism at CAFA. the first Conference on Interactive Design, and the first conference on New Media Research, both at Tsinghua University. She travelled to Ulan Bator, Mongolia to work on presentation and curatorial practices with the Blue Sun arts group and lectured at the Mongolian Fine Arts Academy  at the behest of the Open Academy project, supported by the Prince Claus Fund of the Netherlands.  An Asian Cultural Council Grantee she was also awarded a Canadian Banff Mountain Culture Grant to film sacred monastic dance in nomadic Tibet. Ellen has been both a Banff Non Fiction and a Banff Digital Media Research Residency Fellow. 


Her book, "Nothing and Everything, the Influence of Buddhism on the American Avant Garde, 1942-1962" was published by North Atlantic Books as part of its Evolver imprint . She was a five-time Vermont Studio Center Special President's Fellow, a resident at the Great River Arts Colony in Patzcuaro, Mexico, the Repino Arts Colony, and QuatRiatia New Media art residency in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Red Gate Artist Colony in Beijing, China. Ellen was awarded two ACO Artist Residencies in Hong Kong and was a research resident at Signal Culture in upstate NY. She presented papers at the Taiwanese Photographer's International Symposium, and Hong Kong City University's "Extraordinary Dress Code" Conference and has been an arts contributor to Time Out Beijing in English, Yishu Magazine of Contemporary Asian Art, Art Asia Pacific, Sculpture Magazine, Hyperallergic (winner of International Art Critics Association Best Blog Award), Leonardo Magazine, Performance Art Journal (PAJ), Furtherfield.org, the International Journal of Digital Performance, the Journal of Problem Based Learning, and Acoustic Space .

A two-time finalist for the Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant, for 18 years she was an editor-at-large for  The Brooklyn Rail  which won the Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Publishing Grant, and a writer for 9 years at Hyperallergic. A Breadloaf Writer's Conference Scholar recommended by the late poet Allen Ginsberg, she attended The Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and The Iowa Writer's Workshop. Ellen studied at The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The International Center of Photography (ICP), Telematic Art at the University of Calgary, Canada, and anthropological film at Harvard University before receiving her doctorate at The School of Creative Media, Hong Kong City University under Ars Electronica Golden Nica winners Maurice Benayoun, Jeffrey Shaw, as well as Jane Prophet of Goldsmiths/Penny Stamps School, U of Michigan.. She was the photographer for Harvard Medical School as part of an American Institute of Indian Studies grant researching Tibetan Tumo or heat yogis.


Ellen has a black belt in Taijitsu (Ninja) under the auspices of Black Belt Hall of Fame Ninja Master Shidoshi Steven Hayes. She is a member of The International Association of Art Critics and listed in the current edition of Who's Who in America and Who's Who In the World, receiving the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.​ She was on faculty at Columbia University's Computer Technology and Applications Program for 13 years and has taught at Parsons/New School University, CUNY, New York, Hong Kong City University, and lectured at universities around the world. She was also Director of Research for Basex., Inc., a boutique technology analyst firm.

© 2019 by Ellen Pearlman

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