Sarah Cook

+44 (0)1382 388828
Reader, Dundee Fellow


Sarah Cook is a curator, writer and Dundee Fellow at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design where she curates the programme for LifeSpace Science Art Research Gallery and works as an associate curator with New Media Scotland and with Scotland’s only digital arts festival NEoN (North East of North).

She is editor of the book INFORMATION (Documents of Contemporary Art, Whitechapel and MIT Press, 2016) and is co-author (with Beryl Graham) of Rethinking Curating: Art After New Media (MIT Press, 2010; Chinese edition 2016). She co-edited with Sara Diamond Euphoria & Dystopia: The Banff New Media Institute Dialogues (Banff Centre Press, 2011). She is the co-founder and co-editor of CRUMB, the longstanding online resource for curators of new media art.

She lectures and publishes widely about emerging art forms and curatorial practice, teaching on courses concerning media art histories, museum studies and exhibition-making, new media art practice and contemporary art theory. Her research interests include curatorial studies and connections between contemporary media art practices and histories of art and technology.

She has been an invited speaker at museums and galleries worldwide including Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Carnegie Museum (Pittsburgh), Tate (London), VanAbbe Museum (Eindhoven) Centro Nacional de las Artes (Mexico), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Laboral (Gijon), FACT (Liverpool), Istanbul Modern (Istanbul), Fundacion Telefonica (Buenos Aires), CCA Andalucia (Seville), Photographers Gallery (London), and Argos (Brussels).

Sarah has curated and co-curated international exhibitions of contemporary art and new media art including: The Gig is Up! (2016) for V2_ in Rotterdam; Right Here, Right Now (2015) at The Lowry in Salford; Alt-w (2014) at the Royal Scottish Academy, SSA Annual Exhibition in Edinburgh; Not even the sky: Thomson & Craighead (2013) for MEWO Kunsthalle in Memmingen; Biomediations (2013) for Transitio_MX_05, the festival of electronic arts and video in Mexico City; Mirror Neurons (2012) for National Glass Centre in Sunderland; Q.E.D. (2011) for the AND Festival in Liverpool; Untethered (2008) for Eyebeam in New York; Broadcast Yourself (2008) for AV Festival 08 in Newcastle; Database Imaginary (2004) and The Art Formerly Known As New Media (2005) both for the Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre.

She holds a Masters degree from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (NY), and a PhD from the University of Sunderland (2004) where she was employed until 2013, undertaking research, supervising PhD students and developing and teaching on the MA Curating course. As part of her research funded by the AHRC, Sarah worked as adjunct curator of new media at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art until 2006, and in 2008 was the inaugural curatorial fellow at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New York. 

Research projects

DJCAD and School of Life Sciences, LifeSpace Science Art Research Gallery (20K), ongoing support to develop and realize interdisciplinary exhibition and commissions programme.


Wellcome Centre for Anti-infectives Research (CAiR), Public Engagement Programme (2017-2021)

Open Projects Fund, Creative Scotland, NEoN Digital Arts Festival, funding to support an annual five-day festival and year-round pop-up programme of commissions, workshops, exhibitions and live events across Dundee, in partnership with DJCAD, Hannah Maclure Centre at Abertay University, The Dundee Science Festival, IGNITE and others. 

Artist in Residence scheme, The Leverhulme Trust, for artist Mat Fleming (2015) (15K) to support work with the Dundee Imaging Facility on their archive of microscopy images towards the creation of new works of art, shown in the exhibition Seeing Through the See-Through, LifeSpace Science Art Research Gallery

Small Arts Award, The Wellcome Trust, for artists Thomson & Craighead (2014) (29K) to support the creation of their work ‘Stutterer’ for the opening of LifeSpace Science Art Research Gallery in the exhibition Scales of Life. (The work has subsequently toured to The Lowry (Salford), The Wellcome Genome Campus (Cambridge), Laboral (Gijon, Spain) and is in the collection of the University of Dundee.)

Research outputs


Cook, Sarah (Editor) / Information : Documents of Contemporary Art. MIT Press, 2016. 240 p. (Documents of Contemporary Art).

Tilman Baumgartel, Sarah Cook, Charlotte Frost, Caitlin Jones, In Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art. ed. / Gabrielle Jennings. Oakland : University of California Press, 2015. p. 129-145. 

Cook, Sarah; Krzemien Barkley, Aneta (Contributing member) / The Digital Arts In and Out of the Institution - Where to Now? In: A Companion to Digital Art. ed. / Christiane Paul. West Sussex : Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. p. 494-516.

Cook, Sarah / Stop, Drop, and Roll With It: Curating Participatory Media Art. In: Practicable: From Participation to Interaction in Contemporary Art. ed. / Samuel Bianchini; Erik Verhagen. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 2016. p. 377-395. 

Cook, Sarah; De Wild, Karin (Contributing member) / New Media Art and Canonization: a round robin. In: Re-envisioning the Contemporary Art Canon: Perspectives in a Global World. ed. / Ruth Iskin. Oxon : Routledge, 2017. p. 171-186.


Exhibitions curated

The Gig Is Up (How new technologies are reshaping the future of work), V2_ Institute for Unstable Media, Rotterdam, November-December 2016

All watched over by machines of loving grace, Hannah Maclure Centre, Abertay University, November 2016-March4017

Right Here Right Now, Lowry Museum, Salford, November 2015-January 2016

Alt-w / New Media Scotland Invited curator for new media art exhibition for the Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition, National Galleries, Edinburgh, December 2014.