Ekene Ijeoma

Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
  • Poetic Justice

Ekene Ijeoma is an artist, Assistant Professor in Media Arts and Sciences, and the founding director of the Poetic Justice group. Ijeoma researches social inequality across multiple fields including social science to develop artworks in sound, video, multimedia, sculpture and installation. Working from data studies and life experiences, and using both computational design and conceptual art strategies, he reframes social issues through artworks that embody and empower overlooked truths within systems of oppression.

In 2018, Ijeoma presented Pan African AIDS as part of Germ City at the Museum of the City of New York. The commissioned series of sculptures explores the hypervisibility of the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the hidden one in Black America by morphing the image of Africa into America at the rate of HIV infections in Black America. In 2017, Day for Night Festival commissioned Deconstructed Anthems, an ongoing series of sound-reactive installations and music performances that explore the inequality in the American Dream by repeating and removing notes from the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the rate of mass incarceration in America. The work was later presented at the Kennedy Center and the Arts Club of Chicago.

His work has been commissioned and presented by museums, galleries and other cultural institutions including Contemporary Art Museum of Houston (Beyond CAMH, ‘20), The Kennedy Center (Heartfelt, ‘19; Arts Summit, D.C, ‘17), Museum of the City of New York (Who We Are, ‘19; Germ City, ‘18), Arts Club of Chicago (Deconstructed Anthems, ‘19), Fondation EDF (123 Data, ‘18), Pratt Manhattan Gallery (You are Here ‘17), Neuberger Museum of Art (Landed, ‘16), Annenberg Space for Photography (New Americas, ‘16), Museum of Modern Art (Design and Violence, ‘15), Design Museum London (Designs of the Year, 15), Istanbul Design Biennial (‘15), and Storefront for Art and Architecture (Measure, ‘15).

Ijeoma’s practice has also been supported by grants, fellowships and residencies including Creative Capital (‘19), Map Fund (‘19), Wave Farm (Media Arts Assistance Fund, ‘18), The Kennedy Center (Citizen Artist, ‘17), Santa Fe Art Institute (Equal Justice, ‘17), California College of the Arts (Vibrant Cities, ‘17), Urban Design Forum (Forefront, ‘17), New York Foundation for the Arts (Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design ‘16), New Museum (Ideas City Detroit, ‘16). 

He’s been featured in What Can Design Do’s 31 Designers Fighting for a Better World, GOOD's GOOD 100 "tackling pressing global issues,” Adweek's Creative 100 "visual artist whose imagination and intellect will inspire you," and GDUSA's People to Watch "who embody the spirit of the creative community." 

Ijeoma graduated with a BS in Information Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MA in Interaction Design from Domus Academy. He has lectured and critiqued at schools including Yale, Harvard Law School, Columbia, New York University, School of Visual Arts, and The New School.