Esther Choi's artistic work and scholarship explore how the abstraction of nature—and, by extension, human nature—alongside beliefs about what is normal, natural, and inevitable, have shaped and been shaped by modern worldmaking practices in art, architecture, and technoscience. Operating between scholarship and practice, she was led to pursue her training as an architectural historian via the conceptual frameworks in her art practice. Her scholarly research, in turn, informs her artistic work in the mediums of photography, moving image installations, and experimental pedagogy.
As an extension of her interests, in 2020, she founded an artist-run participatory project called Office Hours rooted in intersectional justice that has cultivated the sharing of liberatory worldmaking knowledge amongst BIPOC artists, architects, and designers around the world.
Choi is the creator of the artist's book Le Corbuffet (Prestel, 2019), which uses the format of a cookbook to probe the methods and imaginaries of cultural consumption. She is coeditor (with Marrikka Trotter) of two volumes of architectural theory: Architecture At the Edge of Everything Else (MIT Press, 2010) and Architecture Is All Over (Columbia U, 2017). Choi's writing has appeared in Artforum, E-Flux Architecture, Art Papers, Journal of Architectural Education, PIN-UP, Architectural Review, and SSENSE. She has contributed to exhibition catalogues and anthologies including Hippie Modernism (Walker Art Center, 2015), Reaper: Richard Hamilton, Sigfried Giedion (JRP Ringier, 2015) and Radical Pedagogies (MIT Press, 2022).
Choi's work and projects have received coverage in 032C, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elephant, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Dwell, Architectural Digest, and more. Her photography has been commissioned by Dazed and Confused, Another Man, The New York Times Magazine, and T: The New York Times Style Magazine. She has received grants and fellowships for her work from the Getty Foundation, ACLS, Richard Rogers Fellowship, Graham Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, and The Ford Foundation, among others.
From 2022-2023, Choi will be a Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow. Choi teaches at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Born in Toronto, she lives and works in Lenapehoking territory (Brooklyn, NY.)