CORVALLIS, Ore. – Artist and author Julia Christensen will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis as part of the School of Arts & Communication’s Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series.

The talk will be held in Construction & Engineering Hall at the LaSells Stewart Center, 875 SW 26th St. A reception with the artist will be held 6 p.m. in the Myrtle Tree Alcove outside of the auditorium. Both are free and open to the public.

Christensen is an associate professor of integrated media in the studio art department at Oberlin College in Ohio. She is an artist and writer whose work explores systems of technology, time, change and memory.

Her OSU talk is based on her forthcoming book, “Upgrade Available,” which is a product of her long-term art/research project about how upgrade culture – the perceived relentless need to upgrade software and hardware to remain relevant - impacts life on a range of scales. Christensen will present art pieces that examine how upgrade culture affects our personal lives, institutional operations and long-term scientific research, especially space exploration.

She is currently collaborating with scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to envision artwork for an interstellar spacecraft that will travel to Proxima b, 4.2 light years away from Earth. The piece is a successor to the Golden Record project embedded on the 1977 Voyager spacecraft.

Christensen is also the author of “Big Box Reuse,” a book about how communities are reusing abandoned Walmart and Kmart stores in the U.S. The work has won several book awards, including the American Association of Academic Press Book of the Year in trade nonfiction.

She has been awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for Fine Arts (2018), a LACMA Art + Tech Lab Fellowship (2017-2018), a Creative Capital Fellowship, MacDowell Fellowship and more.

The Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture series brings world-renowned artists and scholars to the OSU campus to interact with students in the art department so they can learn what is required of a professional artist or scholar. For more information, visit

College of Liberal Arts

About the OSU College of Liberal Arts: The College of Liberal Arts includes the fine and performing arts, humanities and social sciences, making it one of the largest and most diverse colleges at OSU. The college's research and instructional faculty members contribute to the education of all university students and provide national and international leadership, creativity and scholarship in their academic disciplines.

Story By: 

Erin Sneller 541-737-5592, [email protected]


Kerry Skarbakka, [email protected], 541-737-1256


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