Photographic Commissions: Visual Culture
Academic profile: The Cooper Union


Esther Choi is a multidisciplinary artist, trained in photography and architectural history, whose work explores how concepts of nature—and by extension ideas pertaining to what is “natural” and “normal”—have been shaped by the social and ecological relations of modern worldmaking practices in the West/ Global North. Her artistic practice and research draw from art and architectural history, decolonial and postcolonial theory, critical environmental studies, and feminist science and technology studies.

In addition to her photographic and time-based work, she is the creator of dialogue-based socially engaged artworks that center a global network of practitioners who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour. These include Office Hours (2020–), a knowledge sharing project that has elicited the participation of thousands of BIPOC cultural producers around the world, and Public Service (2023-), a web zine featuring notable BIPOC artists, scholars, and designers in conversations about catalyzing social change in the culture industries and beyond. Her Fluxus-inspired conceptual cookbook Le Corbuffet (Prestel, 2019), was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in Photography in 2020.

She frequently receives commissions for still life photography from cultural publications such as T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Dazed and Confused, Vice, Le Monde, AnOther Man, T: Japan, T: Australia, T: China, and The New York Times Magazine.

Choi's writing and scholarship have been published in Art Papers, Harvard Design Magazine, and e-flux, in addition to edited volumes and exhibition catalogues. She is the co-editor of Architecture at the Edge of Everything Else (MIT Press, 2010) and Architecture Is All Over (Columbia U, 2017). Her work has received recognition and support from The Ford Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada, Richard Rogers Fellowship, James Beard Foundation, Princeton University, Harvard University, The Getty Foundation, The Graham Foundation, Society of Architectural Historians, and Canadian Centre for Architecture, among others.

Choi is an Adjunct Associate Professor at The Cooper Union. She was previously a 2022 Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art and has held teaching appointments at OCAD University, University of Pennsylvania, and The New School. She holds a joint-Ph.D. in Architectural History and Interdisciplinary Humanities (Princeton University), a MDes in Architectural History (Harvard University), an MFA in Photography (Concordia University), and a BFA in Photography (Toronto Metropolitan University).