Graduate Students

Arts Graduate Student Profiles

Diana Alvarez (PhD student): Diana Alvarez is Xicana singer/guitarist, poet, composer, video/sound artist, and PhD candidate in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her dissertation, Bridge Artistx: Women, and Non-binary, and Genderqueer Artists of Color at the Forefront of Innovative Arts Practice, archives the work of artists Sharon Bridgforth, Magdalena Gomez, Vick Quezada, and Nicole Young through documentary video portraiture. Portraits of these artists, along with original music, poetry, and scripts by Diana feature into her multimedia performance, Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera.alvard@rpi.edu

Maureen Anderson (PhD student): My artwork remixes textual and audiovisual media materials from the year I was born, 1977, exploring the relation between the fantastical and the historical in visiting a time when one was technically in a world of which one has no direct memories, therefore forcing one to rely on artifacts to construct new recollections of that past in the present. anderm12@rpi.edu

Angela Beallor (PhD student): My cross-historical and cross-cultural queer video-based research, centered on Sergei Tret’iakov’s unrealized and censored 1926 Soviet play 'I Want a Baby!,' is a historical exploration “pulled through time” to look at contemporary questions of the everyday (motherhood, (queer) reproduction, pregnancy, etc.) as they relate to political and cultural utopianism and the re-imagining of society. bealla@rpi.edu, http://www.angelabeallor.com/

Omer Cem Cakmak (PhD student): My practice is time-based works employing unconventional use of technology; my research is an investigation of nonlinear operations in art, acoustics, communication and perception with a systems-theoretical approach. cakmao@rpi.edu 

Kelly Fox (PhD student): My research and practice explores musical composition and distributed (inter-)action between people and semi-autonomous agents in virtual environments. foxk@rpi.edu, http://kmichaelfox.com/

Ellie Irons (PhD student): Working at the intersection of urban ecology fieldwork and socially engaged art, Irons investigates how engagement with weedy plant species can inform and contest human-centered notions of environmentalism and shared resources in the context of the Sixth Mass Extinction. ironse@rpi.edu; https://ellieirons.com/; http://nextepochseedlibrary.com/; http://www.environmentalperformanceagency.com/

Kathleen McDermott (PhD student): Kathleen McDermott combines craft and sculpture techniques with open-source electronic experiments to build video-based narratives of a strange future, a practice she refers to as "absurdist electronics." mcderk3@rpi.edu, http://kthartic.com/

Maria Michails-Posidis (PhD student): My practice-led research aims to develop methods for co-creative engagement with communities about their local environmental problems related to crude oil extraction, combustion and infrastructure. micham6@rpi.edu; http://www.treiastudios.net/

Eric Miller (PhD student): My work explores the combined use of visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation techniques for the induction of non-ordinary conscious experiences. millee15@rpi.edu, http://www.grayscalesound.com/ 

Javier Molina Cruz (PhD student): Javier Molina is an engineer, performance and media artist, researching the intersection of virtual/augmented reality, motion capture, interactive installations and live performing arts. molinj2@rpi.edu; https://www.javiermolina.net/ 

Kasalina Nabakooza (MFA student): For her 2018 MFA Thesis at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Student Curator Kasalina Maliamu Nabakooza is researching East African Art in Uganda and the art and writing of her uncle Professor George Kakooza whose monumental sculpture at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda made from copper, brass, steel and concrete embodies their maxim of creating for future generations. (Source: Makerere University, 1997) nabakk@rpi.edu; https://nabakooza.com/

Matthew O’Hare (PhD student): My intention as an artist and scholar is to honor theatre as a temporal, variable art and demonstrate its vitality to a media-rich culture through the production of non-linear work that foregrounds the extemporaneous decision-making of actors supported by adaptive, intelligent digital media -- performance that employs emerging technologies to palpably embody the creative potential of the present moment. oharem2@rpi.edu, https://vimeo.com/oharema

Senem Pirler (PhD student): I examine the use of audiovisual strategies in artistic production as a means to explore feminist queer utopian ideas and their possible realization through immersive environments. pirles@rpi.edu, http://senempirler.com/

Patrick Quinn (PhD student): I like to hack on language and explore cities. Research Interests: psychogeography, aleatory poetry, and remix studies. quinnp@rpi.edu, https://github.com/SURVANT-Cryp

Jeremy Stewart (PhD student): Jeremy Stewart is a multimedia artist and performer whose work addresses agency, autonomy and perception in technologically mediated systems through the development of interactive software systems, wearable hardware, and improvisational performance. Stewart is currently pursuing his PhD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he previously completed his MFA in Electronic Arts in 2016. stewaj5@rpi.edu, http://blindelephants.co/

Ezra Teboul (PhD student): Ezra Teboul is a musician and researcher focusing on the electric potentials of material decay in sonic works. teboue@rpi.edu; http://redthunderaudio.com/

Michelle Temple (PhD student): Michelle Temple is an artist and educator whose research investigates the intersection of Deaf Studies and Electronic Music composition. templm@rpi.edu

Carolyn Tennant (PhD student): My research examines the archive as a space for activism and cultural production. In my media art and curatorial projects, I explore how speculative strategies and parafiction can be used to expand and disrupt our understanding of documentary and experimental nonfiction. tennac@rpi.edu

Van Tran Nguyen (PhD student): My research is focused on the intersection of diaspora, memory and archives. I am interested in the duality of national identities within immigrant communities and my art practice explores methods of survival for marginalized populations using humor and storytelling. trannv@rpi.edu, http://vantrannguyen.com/ 

Matej Vakula (PhD student): My studies are focusing on the relationship between instructional art, biology, and artificial intelligence. In particular, I am exploring the role that games may play in the translational relationships between knowledge workers, laboratories, nature, and artificial intelligence. vakulm@rpi.edu, http://vakula.eu/

Andrea Williams (PhD student): Sound artist, curator, performer, soundwalks, SleepWalks, Dissertation: "SOUNDWALKING: CREATING STEWARDSHIP FOR LOCAL WATERWAYS”, willia8@rpi.edu, http://www.listeninglistening.com/