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Natalie Jeremijenko

Natalie Jeremijenko
Born 1966
Nationality Australian
Education Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of Queensland, and Griffith University, Queensland
Website /natalie-jeremijenko.netenvironmentalhealthclinic

Natalie Jeremijenko (born 1966) is an artist and engineer whose background includes studies in biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering. She is an active member of the movement, and her work primarily explores the interface between society, the environment and technology. She has alternatively described her work as "X Design" (short for experimental design) and herself as a "thingker".[1] She is currently an Associate Professor at New York University in the Visual Art Department, and has affiliated faculty appointments in the school's Computer Science and Environmental Studies.

xDesign Environmental Health Clinic's mobile office


  • Early life 1
  • Education 2
  • Transition to art installations 3
  • Notable works 4
    • D4PA: Designed 4 Political Action 4.1
    • Live Wire (Dangling String), 1995 4.2
    • OOZ 4.3
    • HowStuffIsMade 4.4
    • Feral Robots 4.5
    • BIT Plane, 1997 4.6
    • Biotech Hobbyist magazine 4.7
    • Bat Billboard, 2008 4.8
    • The Art Of The Eco-mindshift, Oct 2009 4.9
  • Chronology of selected works 5
  • Awards 6
  • Personal life 7
  • See also 8
  • Further reading 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early life

She grew up in Mackay, Queensland, the second of ten children to a physician and a schoolteacher. Her parents were champions of domestic technology, and Jeremijenko claims that her mother was the first woman in Australia to own a microwave.[2]


She holds a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Queensland, and holds other qualifications across the sciences and the arts. She also carried out coursework for two other PhD's: one in Australia on Neuroscience[2] and another at Stanford University.[2]

Year Degree University Details
1992 BFA (with Honors) Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Digital Information: "Explorations in Scientific Representation Exploiting Surround Sensory Input (Virtual Reality)"[3][4]
1993 BS (Conferred) Griffith University, Queensland, Australia Neuroscience and Biochemistry[3][4]
2008 PhD University of Queensland Information Environments, School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering[2][4]

Transition to art installations

In 1988, Jeremijenko co-founded the Livid rock festival in Brisbane.[5] She credits her involvement in helping her move towards public art as she created installations that would appeal to the young crowd.[2]

Notable works

D4PA: Designed 4 Political Action

A catalogue of devices and strategies for political engagement and direct action developed by the Bureau of Inverse Technology and others.[6] Described by Wired Magazine as "the DARPA of dissent".[7]

Live Wire (Dangling String), 1995

In 1995,[8] as an artist-in-residence at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, California under the guidance of Mark Weiser, she created an art installation made up of LED cables that lit up relative to the amount of internet traffic. The work is now seen as one of the first examples of ambient or "calm" technology.[9][10]


Various technological interfaces to facilitate interaction with natural systems as opposed to virtual systems. These interfaces encourage interactive relationships with non-humans and are intended to accumulate the actions of participants into productive local environmental knowledge and the remediation of urban territories.


How Stuff is Made (HSIM) is a visual encyclopaedia documenting the manufacturing processes, environmental costs and labour conditions involved in the production of contemporary products.[11] This is a wiki-based collectively produced academic project to change the information available on and about the production.

Feral Robots

An open source robotics project providing resources and support for upgrading the raison d'etre of commercially available robotic dog toys; and facilitating mediagenic Feral Robotic Dog Pack Release events. Because the dogs follow concentration gradients of the contaminants they are equipped to sniff, their release renders information legible to diverse participants, provides the opportunity for evidence-driven discussion, and facilitates public participation in environmental monitoring and remediation.[12]

BIT Plane, 1997

The BIT plane is a radio-controlled model aircraft, designed by the Bureau of Inverse Technology and equipped with a micro-video camera and transmitter.[13] Its name could be a possible reference to bit plane, meaning a set of digital discrete signals. In 1997 it was launched on a series of sorties over the Silicon Valley to capture an aerial rendering.

Guided by the live control-view video feed from the plane, the pilot on the ground could steer the unit deep into the heartlands of the Information Age. Most of the corporate research parks in Silicon Valley are no-camera zones and require US citizen status or special clearance for entry. The bit plane (with an undisclosed citizenship) flew covertly through this rarified information-space, buzzing over the largest concentration of venture capital in the world, to return with several hours of aerial footage.

Biotech Hobbyist magazine

(1st issue) An online magazine with kits and resources to bring biotech to the garage, bedroom, and everyman, to raise the standards of evidence and capacity for public involvement in the political decisions on the biotechnological future.[14]

Bat Billboard, 2008

Created in 2008, this project's goal was to dispel misinformation, as well as educate people on bats, their habitat, and activities. The billboard was an interactive home for bats that would display written messages based on the sonar messages the bats were sending. This work was showcased at MoMA's 2011 exhibit "Talk to Me".[15]

The Art Of The Eco-mindshift, Oct 2009

During October 2009, Jeremijenko participated in a TED Talk which was filmed on October 2009. Here she discussed her various projects and what she was currently working on with the Environmental Health Clinic. In the TED Talk she also discusses what her plans are to improve the environment in industrious areas like New York City. [16]

Chronology of selected works

Year Title Type Details
2010 xAirport Installation
2004 Clear Skies: FaceMasks
1999 Tree Logic Installation
1998 Onetree Installation
Bitplane film
CIRCA: The Ratio Virus
1997 ALifeTree
Suicide Box Film
1⁄2 Life Ratio
1996 The Corporate Imagination Film
Voice Box Installation
Crossover Date
1995 Live Wire Installation
Despondency Index
1993 The Bureau of Inverse Technology Film


Personal life

She is divorced. She was previously married to the sociologist Dalton Conley[20] with whom she had two children: E and Yo.[21][22] Jeremijenko also has a daughter, Jamba, from a previous relationship.[2]

See also

Further reading

  • Perini, Julie (2010). "Art as Intervention: A Guide to Today's Radical Art Practices". In Team Colors Collective. Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States. AK Press.  


  1. ^ More Intelligent Life, M.G (20 September 2010). "The Q&A: Natalie Jeremijenko, thingker". The Economist. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kevin, Berger (January 2006). "The artist as mad scientist". Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Natalie Jeremijenko". Core77. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Natalie Jeremijenko". School of Visual Arts. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Walsh, Peter. "A Brief History of Livid". 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Natalie Jeremijenko". Media Artists. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Calm Technology". Berkeley. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Ubicomp". IPV6. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "How Stuff Is Made". Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  12. ^ magazine, Winter 2013Yes!"Shocking the Big City with a Little Green Grass," , p. 40.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Most Influential Women in Tech: Natalie Jeremijenko". Fast Company. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  18. ^ Poynor, Rick (9 January 2005). "The I.D. Forty: What Are Lists For?". Design Observer. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Technology Review's annual list of 35 INNOVATORS UNDER 35: Natalie Jeremijenko, 32". Technology Review. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  20. ^ "Dalton Conley: Biography". New York University. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  21. ^ Bahrampour, Tara (25 September 2003). "A Boy Named Yo, Etc.; Name Changes, Both Practical and Fanciful, Are on the Rise". New York Times. Retrieved October 2012. 
  22. ^ Conley, Dalton (1 March 2010). "Raising E and Yo...". Psychology Today magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 

External links

  • Natalie Jeremijenko's home page with info about projects
  • xDesign Environmental Health Clinic
  • 2012 outdoor work at Socrates Sculpture Park
  • Info from Yale University
  • Profile of artist with descriptions of her work
  • video interview at Connected Environments exhibit at the Neuberger Museum of Art
  • MoMA Talk To Me Exhibition Site
  • Natalie Jeremijenko TED Talk
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