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Dr Phaedra Shanbaum
UCL Knowledge Lab
23-29 Emerald Street
  • Lecturer Digital Arts and Media Education
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education

I am a researcher and curator based in London, UK.  I specialize in digital media and experimental art. From 2006-2008, I co-curated and co-directed Axiom Gallery for new and experimental media in Boston, MA, USA.  I have organized exhibitions and screenings at various galleries, venues and Festivals in the US, UK and Europe including, but not limited to: Boston Cyberarts Festival, Decordova Museum, Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, Goldsmiths College, University of Surrey, Image Radio Festival.  I finished my PhD in 2017 in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London.  Before joining the Knowledge Lab team, I taught at University of Surrey, Caterbury Christ Church University and Goldsmiths College.  I am originally from Detroit, MI, USA.  

Research Summary

My research is interdisciplinary. It draws on media and cultural theory, art history and computer science.  It links theory to contemporary digital arts practices, exploring questions surrounding the ever-changing relationship between the human body and technology.  I look at various iterations of interfaces (remote controls; joysticks; human bodies; temporary implants) and their use in digital media installations raising questions around what it means to be human in the 21st Century. 

In addition to my research, I am a digital arts curator.  I have over eleven years of curatorial experience, working at commercial and non-profit galleries, Festivals and museums in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States.  My curatorial work examines the relationship between aesthetics and new technologies -- specifically how this relationship is staged from within a museum setting as well as the role the curator plays within the larger context of creative industries and academia.  It also explores links between creativity, consumers and computers, how they feedback on each other and the role the museum and gallery as an institution play in this relationship. 

Teaching Summary

I contribute to two modules on the Digital Media, Culture and Education MA:

Digital Media, Cultural Theory and Education
Bodies and Digital Media

I would welcome inquiries from prospective PhD students working on these or related topics: digital media art history; bio art; new media curation; digital art and performance; digital aesthetics; art and interactivity; aesthetics of the interface. 

Academic Background
2017   Doctor of Philosophy Goldsmiths College
2009   Master of Arts University of Manchester
2002   Bachelor of Fine Arts Michigan State University
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