ThoughtWorks Arts

Ellen Pearlman

Ellen Pearlman

Ellen Pearlman

Artist & Curator

ThoughtWorks Arts Program Director

Dr. Ellen Pearlman is a new media artist, critic, curator and writer who created Noor: A Brain Opera, the world’s first immersive interactive brain opera in a 360 degree theater. Ellen has a PhD from the School of Creative Media, Hong Kong City University, where her thesis was awarded Highest Honors Internationally by Leonardo LABS Abstracts. She is on the faculty of Parsons/New School University, and a Senior Researcher, Assistant Professor at RISEBA University in Riga, Latvia. A Fulbright World Learning Specialist in Art, New Media and Technology she is also an EU Vertigo STARTS Horizon 2020 Laureate, a Zero1 American Arts Incubator Fellow in Kyiv, Ukraine, and a contributing editor to Performance Arts Journal (PAJ) MIT Press.

Ellen is also President of Art-A-Hack™ and Director and Curator of the New York Volumetric Society. She co-founded the first Summer Institute in Telematic Art with Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Videotage to create an internationally linked interactive telematic performance while FUSE Digital Artist in Residence at Videotage HK. Ellen has lectured at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia as part of Cyberfest, the New York Electronic Arts Festival and collaborated on digital projects with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Media Lab, and SIGGRAPH on-line and presented at conferences in Hong Kong, Korea, Dubai, Amsterdam, the UK, Dublin, Finland. Latvia, Estonia and Turkey. She has been an Art Panel Review Board for SIGGRAPH ASIA in Yokohama, Japan, a panel judge for ISEA New Mexico Hong Kong and Columbia, and presented her work at ISEA Istanbul, New Mexico, Dubai, Vancouver, Transmediale Berlin and the Sounds, Image and Data Conference at NYU Steinhardt/Goldsmiths/Leonardo.

Ellen has taught 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 and went to Ulan Bator, Mongolia to work on presentation and curatorial practices with the Blue Sun arts group lecturing at the Mongolian Fine Arts Academy at the request 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 four-time Vermont Studio Center Special President’s Fellow, a resident at the Great River Arts Colony in Patzcuaro, Mexico, the Repino and QuartaRiata Residency of Arts & Technology in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Red Gate Artist Colony in Beijing, China, the ACO Artist Residencies in Hong Kong and Signal Culture in Oswego, NY.

A two-time finalist for the Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant, she was and editor-at-large for The Brooklyn Rai for eighteen years, a magazine of politics, art and culture which won the Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Publishing Grant. 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. 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 listed in the current edition of Who’s Who in the World. A Professor of Information Science at Columbia University’s CTA Program for 13 years Ellen was Director of Research for Basex., Inc., a boutique technology analyst firm and has authored two books on programming, one on XML for McGraw Hill, and one on SVG for Prentice Hall. She also wrote the first book on Tibetan Sacred Dance in the English language, as well as “Nothing and Everything, the Influence of Buddhism on the New York Avant Garde 1942-1962” which was a Publisher’s Weekly notable book.