roopa vasudevan > media artist & scholar

📖 extended bio.

Roopa Vasudevan (b. 1984, Cleveland OH) is a South Asian-American media artist, computer programmer and researcher, currently based in Western Massachusetts (traditional and unceded Nipmuc, Pocumtuc, and Nonotuck land).

Roopa’s 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.

Roopa has exhibited her work internationally, and been featured by the New York Times, WHYY , Reuters, Slate, Hyperallergic, Jezebel, Complex, The FADER, PBS NewsHour, Public Radio International, and more, as well as on American, French and German television. Her work has been supported by Eyebeam (Brooklyn, NY); the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy (Philadelphia, PA); the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation (Philadelphia, PA); the Philadelphia Area Creative Collaboratives (Haverford, PA); SOHO20 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY); the Arctic Circle Residency (Svalbard); China Residencies; SPACES (Cleveland, OH); and Flux Factory (Queens, NY). From 2019 to 2023, she was a member artist at Vox Populi, a 30+ year old collectively run arts space in Philadelphia. She is a community member at NEW INC, the art and technology incubator at the New Museum (New York, NY), where she was a member of the Art & Code track (in partnership with Rhizome) in Y8 and Y9. She has contributed writing to venues such as the Brooklyn Rail, New Media and Society, Media-N: The Journal of the New Media Caucus, the Social Science Research Council’s “Just Tech” platform, and ACM Interactions, along with a range of self-published and bespoke collections.

Roopa is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 2023, she earned her PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where her dissertation (and current book project) explored 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.

👯‍♀️ collaborators & friends.

Artmaking and research is impossible without the support of an extended network of collaborators, thought partners, advisors and friends. Below are many of the people and organizations I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from over the years.

Atif Ateeq
OreOluwa Badaki
Aliya Bonar
Tega Brain
Stephanie Bursese
Anthony Burton
Center for Media at Risk
Josué Chávez
China Residencies
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Sara Clugage
Common Field
Johann Diedrick
Digital Democracies Institute
Janna Dyk
Arlene Fernández
Flux Factory
Scott Fitzgerald
Christina Freeman
Nicolo Gentile
Tessa Bachi Haas
Sarah Hallacher
Antoine Haywood
Matte Hewitt
Zach Hill
Maori Karmael Holmes
Anne Ishii
John L. Jackson, Jr.
Larissa Johnson
Jasmine Blanks Jones
Ioana Jucan
Alexandra Juhasz
Celine Wong Katzman
Carina Kaufman-Gutierrez
Harris Kornstein
Stephen Kwok
Melissa Langer
Sam Lavigne
Jessa Lingel
Fei Liu
Florence Madenga
Kyle McDonald
Dan Mikesell
Alex Nathanson
Lai Yi Ohlsen
Mimi Ọnụọha
Danny Orendorff
Will Owen
Caroline Partamian
Luisa Pereira
Marianne R. Petit
Mad Pinney
Farrah Rahaman
Gillian Russell
Clay Shirky
Kira Simon-Kennedy
Caroline Sinders
SOHO20 Gallery
Yehwan Song
Maya Suess
Lea Devon Sorrentino
J. Soto
Rachel Vera Steinberg
Woody Sullender
Jeanna Sybert
Cassie Tarakajian
Aaron Terry
Walker Tufts
Lee Tusman
Shawn Van Every
Christina Vassallo
Atenea Rosado Viurques
Vox Populi
Carrie Sijia Wang
Antonius Wiriadjaja
Tong Wu
Xin Xin
Qianqian Ye
Rosalie Yu
Barbie Zelizer

Headshot by Natalie Hijinx.