Julia Christensen

Julia Christensen will speak about her new art project, "Upgrade Available," on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Oregon State University. 

Artist and author Julia Christensen will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at Oregon State University as part of the School of Arts & Communication’s Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series.

The talk will be held in Construction & Engineering Hall at the LaSells Stewart Center, 875 SW 26th St. on the OSU main campus. A reception with the artist will be held 6 p.m. in the Myrtle Tree Alcove, outside of the auditorium. Both are free.

Christensen is associate professor of integrated media in the studio art department at Oberlin College in Ohio. She 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 artwork for an interstellar spacecraft that will travel to Proxima b, 4.2 light years away from Earth. 

Christensen is the author of “Big Box Reuse,” a book about how communities are reusing abandoned Walmart and Kmart stores in the United States. Her forthcoming book, on which her talk is based, “Upgrade Available” (Dancing Foxes), is a product of her long-term art and research project about how upgrade culture — the perceived relentless need to upgrade software and hardware to remain relevant — impacts life on a range of scales.

Christensen’s work has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Bookforum, the Village Voice, and Art in America, and she has been a guest on radio shows including National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”

Christensen will present art pieces that examine how upgrade culture affects our personal live, institutional operations and long-terms scientific research, especially space exploration.

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