Roopa Vasudevan (b. 1984, Cleveland OH) is a South Asian-American new media artist, computer programmer and researcher. Her work examines social and technological defaults; interrogates rules, conventions and protocols that we often ignore or take for granted; and centers humanity and community in explorations of technology’s impacts on society. Bridging Web technologies with tactile and sensory forms, she uses digital systems and tools that are prevalent in everyday life in poetic, unexpected or reflective ways—surfacing social or political tensions in our taken-for-granted practices and questioning the breakneck speed of technological innovation. Through a varied creative toolkit that includes data collection practices, systems design, web development, and remix, she seeks to emphasize personal and human experiences, often on an individual or local level, in a time of Big Data and surveillance capitalism.
Vasudevan has exhibited her work internationally, and been featured by the New York Times, WHYY, Reuters, Slate, H
In 2023, Vasudevan earned her PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where her dissertation (and current book project) explores the complex and involved relationships between new media artists and the tech industry. She received an MPS from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2013, and was selected as an ITP Resident Research Fellow in academic year 2013-14. Between 2016 and 2018, she was an Assistant Arts Professor of Interactive Media Arts at NYU Shanghai.
BOOKS & BOOK CHAPTERS.
Burton, A.G., Chun, W.H.K. and Bounegru, L., Devries, M., Harris, A., Holtzclaw, H., Jucan, I.B., Juhasz, A., Kamish, D.W., Langlois, G., Proctor, J., Tomlinson, C., Vasudevan, R., and Weltevrede, E. (2023). Algorithmic authenticity. Leuphana: Meson Press.
Vasudevan, R. (2023). Translate, compile, interpret: What is lost when humans conform to technology? In Ethical intelligence (ed. M. Zarfsaz). Published by editor.
Vasudevan, R. (2021). dataDouble: A project by Roopa Vasudevan. Philadelphia: Self-published.
REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES.
Jucan, I.B., Vasudevan, R., Burton, A.G., Wu, T. & Zhang, Y. (2021). Performing “Left and Right” [article + video essay]. Theatre Journal, 73(3), E-9 – E-14 (web-only content). https://www.muse.
Vasudevan, R. (2021). Share and share unlike: Reciprocity, corporate control and the open source ethos. New Media & Society. DOI: 10.1177/14614448211038350.
Vasudevan, R. (2021). Proclamations and paraphernalia: #Bellwether, Ed
NON-REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES.
Choi, J.H. & Vasudevan, R. (2022). Seeing like a state (of surveillance). ACM Interactions, March/April 2022, 26-28. DOI: 10.1145/351169.
Vasudevan, R. (2018). Memes, merch and the media in the 2016 election. Adjacent: The ITP-IMA journal of emerging media, issue 3. https://itp.nyu.edu/
OP-EDS, ART WRITING & PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP.
Vasudevan, R. (September 2023). Passive acceptance and our (dis)consent. The Brooklyn Rail. https://brooklynrail.
Vasudevan, R. (ed.) (2023, online; print version forthcoming). WE REFUSE, WE WANT, WE COMMIT: The manifestos for creative resistance in technology (online & print; featuring contributions by Tega Brain, Sarah Rose Dahnke, Shawn Escarciga, Caitlin Foley & Misha Rabinovich, Christina Freeman, Jasmine A. Golphin, Lydia Jessup, and Lil Miss Hot Mess). https://book.
Vasudevan, R. (July 2022; print edition forthcoming). Towards a reflexive technoculture. In Critical Coding Cookbook (ed. K. Moriwaki & X. Xin). https://criticalcode.
Vasudevan, R. (May 2022). Meditations on mediation. In HARD MEDIUM SOFTWARE [catalog] (ed. T.B. Haas). Published by editor.
Vasudevan, R. (March 2022). Solidarity, reciprocity, distribution. Just Tech (Social Science Research Council). https://just-tech.
SOLO & TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS.
“HARD MEDIUM SOFTWARE”, AUTOMAT Collective, Philadelphia, PA (May; two-person exhibition with Nicolo Gentile, curated by Tessa Bachi Haas)
“Roopa Vasudevan: Machine Readable”, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA (June)
“Pop-Up Studio: Roopa Vasudevan”, Haverford College, Haverford, PA (April; open studio & exhibition)
“Roopa Vasudevan: Editor’s Notes — Open Editing Sessions”, SOHO20 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (July & August)
“Roopa Vasudevan: #Slowtrain (#慢慢火车)”, Wujin, Independent Art Spaces Beijing, Beijing, China (August)
“Roopa Vasudevan: #Bellwether”, SPACES, Cleveland OH (May – July)
“HANDS UP”, Flux Factory, Queens NY (May; a collaboration with Atif Ateeq)
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS.
“Print Screen (URL)”, The Wrong Biennale [online] (November 2023–March 2024)
*collaborative project with Walker Tufts
PWA x Empty School Group Show (title TBD), Brooklyn NY (October; organized by Public Works Administration)
“Artists Formerly Known as Prints”, Flux Factory, Governor’s Island, New York NY (August–October; organized by Sarah Dahlinger, Cayla Lockwood & Caitlin Foley)
“Print Screen (IRL)”, Part of the exhibition “Invited: Take Care of the Square Footage”, Icebox Project Space, Philadelphia PA (July-August; organized by Logan Cryer & Tim Belknap)
*collaborative project with Walker Tufts
Art & Code Showcase, Dunkunsthalle, New York NY (June; exhibition featuring work by the NEW INC Y9 Art & Code track [in partnership with Rhizome], as part of NEW INC’s DEMO 2023)
“Data Nation: Democracy in the Age of AI”, National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia PA (June 2023–March 2024)
“Sun Thinking”, Solar Protocol [online] (launched in April; hosted by Solar Protocol, an international network of solar-powered servers led by Alex Nathanson, Tega Brain & Benedetta Piantella)
“Light Lift”, Unrequited Leisure, Nashville TN (April)
“We Refuse, We Want, We Commit”, 292 Gallery/Bullet Space, New York NY (February–March [also organized exhibition with support from Christina Freeman and ABC No Rio])
“Member Pop-Up Exhibition”, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA (November–December)
“$99 Exhibition & Sale”, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA (November–December; auction)
“In Loving Memory”, Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA (October)
“Art & Code 8”, Public Works Administration, New York, NY (September–October; showcase for NEW INC Y8 Art & Code track [in partnership with Rhizome]; organized by Celine Wong Katzman)
“Selective Attention: Interventions into the Computational Gaze”, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (September 2022—May 2023 [also organized exhibit])
“Off the Wall”, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA (May; hosted by the Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association; organized by Carl(os) Roa & Graciela Vasquez)
“Refamiliarization”, Platform Artspace & Worth Ryder Gallery, Berkeley, CA (September-October; curated by Julia Irwin & Justin Berner)
“Future Ecologies”, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA (September-October; organized by Danny Orendorff)
“Take What You Can’t Get”, ABC No Rio, New York, NY (November-December; curated by Christina Freeman)
*as Strategic Transparency Collective
“Asking for a Friend: Vox Populi’s New Member Takeover”, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA (January-February)
“Soctrates Gets Flux’d”, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY (October; with Flux Factory)
Flux Factory 25th Anniversary Auction, Flux Factory, Queens, NY (June; benefit)
“Republican Speech”, Dilettante Army [online] (artwork in Summer 2019 issue; edited by Sara Clugage)
“20/20 Hindsight = 40 Years”, SPACES, Cleveland OH (April – June; curated by Christina Vassallo, James Rosenberger, Susan Channing & Christopher Lynn)
Flux Factory auction, Plaxall/LIC-A Gallery, Queens NY (December; benefit)
“The FL3TCH3R Exhibit”, The Reece Museum, Johnson City TN (October – December; juried by Anita Kunz)
“Reuptake”, Little b=Berlin, Philadelphia PA (July; curated by will owen)
“Star Spangled”, Harlan Levey Projects, Brussels, Belgium (November – December; curated by Harlan Levey)
“Fung Wah Biennial”, Flux Factory, Queens NY (March; curated by will owen, Matthias Borello & Sally Szwed)
“Test Patterns”, Flux Factory, Queens NY (December; co-curator with Matte Hewitt)
“Flux Factory Artists-in-Residence Show”, Flux Factory, Queens NY (November; also organized exhibition)
“Physico/Electro”, The Art Association of Jackson Hole, Jackson WY (July-August; curated by Thomas Macker)
“STROBE Network,” Flux Factory, Queens NY (June; curated by Lena Hawkins & Amanda Ryan)
Flux Factory auction, Art in General, New York NY (April; benefit)
“Data Visualization Lounge”, Strata + Hadoop World Conference, San Jose, CA (February)
“Art Hack Day: Deluge”, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY (January)
“Death By Art”, Death By Audio, Brooklyn NY (November; curated by Mark Kleback)
“Heavily Scripted”, Little Berlin, Philadelphia PA (October; curated by Lee Tusman)
“Office Hours”, DUMBO Arts Festival, Brooklyn NY (September)