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Gunalan Nadarajan

Dean Emeritus and Professor


Portrait of Gunalan Nadarajan, wearing a dark suit


Gunalan Nadarajan, an art theorist and curator working at the intersections of art, science and technology, is Dean Emeritus and Professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. His publications include Ambulations (2000), Construction Site (edited; 2004) and Contemporary Art in Singapore (co-authored; 2007), Place Studies in Art, Media, Science and Technology: Historical Investigations on the Sites and Migration of Knowledge (co-edited; 2009), The Handbook of Visual Culture (co-edited; 2012) and over 100 book chapters, catalogue essays, academic articles and reviews. His writings have also been translated into 16 languages. He is on the editorial board of the book series, Technicities (Edinburgh University Press) and the journal, Cultural Politics (Duke University Press). He has curated many international exhibitions including Ambulations (Singapore, 1999), 180KG (Jogjakarta, 2002), media_city (Seoul, 2002), Negotiating Spaces (Auckland, 2004) and DenseLocal (Mexico City, 2009), Displacements (Beijing, 2014) and Mediating Asia (Taiwan,2022). He was contributing curator for Documenta XI (Kassel, Germany, 2002) and the Singapore Biennale (2006) and served on the jury of a number of international exhibitions and festivals, ISEA2004 (Helsinki / Talinn), transmediale 05 (Berlin), ISEA2006 (San Jose), Ars Electronica (2007) and FutureEverything Festival (Manchester, 2009). He was Artistic Co-Director of the Ogaki Biennale 2006, Japan and Artistic Director of ISEA2008 (International Symposium on Electronic Art) in Singapore. In 2004, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art.

He is active in the development of media arts internationally and has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Inter Society for Electronic Art, is on the Advisory Boards of the Archive of Digital Art (Austria), the New Media Caucus and was an advisor on creative programs of digital culture to the UNESCO and the Smithsonian Institution. Nadarajan also served on the International Advisory Board of the ArtScience Museum in Singapore (2014-2022). He co-founded and continues to work on a National Science Foundation funded Network for Science Engineering, Art and Design to develop and support a national network for collaborative research, education and creative practice between sciences, engineering, arts and design. He served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (USA) committee and co-authored the report, Branches from the Same Tree: The Integration of the Humanities and Arts in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Higher Education (2018). Nadarajan has worked on enabling conversations, initiatives and policy changes in art and design higher education in the US in various capacities including on the Board of Directors of College Art Association (2014-18), and most recently served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Schools of Art and Design (2018-2022). Nadarajan currently serves as co-convenor of the Asia-Pacific Artistic Research Network.

He has served in a variety of academic roles in teaching, academic administration and research for three decades. Prior to joining University of Michigan, he held appointments at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), the College of Arts and Architecture, Pennsylvania State University and the Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore.