Rachel Ward is a Ph.D. candidate conducting anthropological research in artists’ studios and archives in New York City. She has an M.Sc. in Social Anthropology and a G.Dip. in Visual Anthropology, focusing on documentary filmmaking, archaeology, digital art and culture.


Now pursuing her doctorate in Interactive Arts & Technology, Rachel’s work converges on Digital Anthropology and the creation of imaginative, artistic and 

experiential technologies for cultural preservation.


She has designed and built anthropological art installations, such as liliuokalani. archival experimentations, generating embodied access to the Archive via haptic-interactivity. She describes these projects in her book chapter in Digital Echoes (2018).


She has produced several documentaries, including a short about the overlap of Appalachian and punk music and Sneakerhead (2016), a portrait of an overzealous Air Jordan collector, which was featured in a 6-month exhibition in the Museum of Vancouver (MoV).


As of 2020, Rachel is collaborating with digital art(ists) in New York City and their complex archives to envision embodied multisensory access to their work in museum archives. Some of her preliminary research was recently published in the Electronic Media Review (2020).

A pseudoscience book I wrote

last week ISBN 979-8671716337 

Two websites I built this year for

dianneblell.com  and  evafaye.com

Some commissioned work from the summer

grenning gallery IGTV and the parrish museum

A small article about

my 35mm photography

curriculum vitae



Ph.D.                    Candidate [current] in Interactive Arts + Technology at Simon Fraser University

M.Sc.                 Social Anthropology at London School of Economics and Political Science

G.Dip.                  Visual Anthropology at Australian National University

B.Sc.                  Biological Sciences in the Honors College at Virginia Tech + University of Pittsburgh



2019                  National Digital Stewardship Residency [NDSR Art / NYC

2013                  Smithsonian Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology [SIMA] / DC

2019                  VoCA Voices in Contemporary Art: Artist Interviews [by invitation] / NYC

2019                  Legacy Planning and Archiving for Artists / VLA NYC



2020                  Extended Abstract: Conservators in The Wild: Collaboration with Art Studios, Galleries, And Collectors / The Electronic Media Review Volume 6

2020                  Book: DNA Polymerase Ancestors: a misguided, illustrated attempt at a unified theory of genetics, astrophysics, colorful portals, premonitions and coincidence 

2020                  Article: The archaeology, anthropology and archiving of contemporary digital art: salvage archival interpretations vs the interpretive conservation of art on Medium

2019                  Article: NDSR Art at Small Data Industries: Born-digital Artists’ Materials in the Archive and Studio / Museum Archivist, Summer/Fall 2019 Issue

2019                  National Report: Something Old, Something New: Born-digital Artists’ Materials in the Archive and Studio / Institute of Museum and Library Services [IMLS]

2019                  Article: Review of Hans Ulrich Obrist: Ways of Curating / ARLIS-NA M&T Reviews

2018                  Chapter: Strings of Knowledge: Multi-Sensory, Tactile & Digital Interactivity with Archives & Ethnography in Digital Echoes: Intangible & Performance-based Cultural Heritage

2018                  Book: The Hamptons Oceans: A Poem for Children & Adults / ISBN 9781546459811

2015                  Co-Author: Producing New Media Ethnographies / ISEA 2015 Proceedings

2010                  Co-Author: Multiple protein kinase pathways mediate amplified IL-6 release by human lung fibroblast / Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 247[2]:146-57

2007                  Co-Author: HIF1-a and COX-2 mediated synergistic release of angiogenic factors from human lung fibroblasts / Toxicologist 102[2]:2087



2019                  Media Art History [MAH] Annual Conference / Denmark

2019                  The Art of Digital Stewardship at The Maryland Institute College of Art [MiCA] / Baltimore

2019                  American Institute of Conservation [AIC] / Connecticut

2019                  New York University [NYU] Culture Mapping Conference / NYC

2019                  Art Libraries Society of North America [ARLIS-NA] / Salt Lake City

2016                  American Anthropological Association [AAA] Annual Conference / Minneapolis

2016                  Visual Research Conference [VRC] / Minneapolis

2016                  Society for Applied Anthropology [SfAA] Annual Conference [also Organizer] / Vancouver

2015                  American Anthropological Association [AAA] Annual Conference / Denver

2015                  International Symposium on Electronic Art [ISEA] / Vancouver

2015                  Society for Applied Anthropology [SfAA] Annual Conference [Received a Poster Award] / Pittsburgh

2013                  Rotary International / 10 international presentations throughout USA and Australia  

2013                  Smithsonian Institute Anthropology Department Annual Symposium / Washington DC  



2018-2019        Research Associate Small Data Industries in NYC

2016-2018        Collaborator & Archivist at Dianne Blell Studios in NYC

2017-2018        Digital Content Creator & Editor at Made by Sea in The Hamptons  

2015-2016        Lead Event Curator at Vice News Virtual Reality Exhibition in Vancouver

2014-2016        Lab Instructor for Moving Images, Post-Photography, Graphic Design, New Media, Interactive Arts

2014-2016        Research Assistant at The Making Culture Lab (MCL) in Vancouver

2015-2016        Webmaster for societyforvisualanthropology.org

2014-2015        Chair of Documentation & Archival at the Internal Symposium on Electronic Art [ISEA]

2014-2016        Videographer at Bill Reid Centre for Northwest Coast Studies in Vancouver

2007-2008        Research Specialist II at University of Pittsburgh in DNA, RNA, PCR, Western Blots, ELISAs

2012-2013        American Museum of Natural History [AMNH] in NYC

                                    Coordinator: Margaret Mead Annual Film Festival / two festivals [12 months]

                                    Anthropology Research Assistantship [8 months]

                                    Public Programs Intern [11 months]

                                    TA for Archaeoastronomy & The Anthropology of Food (K-5)


funding and awards

2019         American Inst. of Conservation Fund

2018         NDSR Art Award

2017         Social Innovation Seed Grant

2014         Multi-Year Doctoral Fellowship

2014         Provost’s Prize of Distinction

2016         SVA Travel & Research Award

2016         Professional Development Grant

2016         Graduate Fellowship [SFU]

2016         Travel & Research [SFU]

2015         Poster Award [SfAA]

2015         Travel & Research [SFU]

2014         CD Nelson Entrance Scholarship

2013         NSF Smithsonian Stipend

2012         High Distinction Award Overall [ANU]

2011         Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship

2010         Distinction Award on Dissertation [LSE]

2007         Dean’s List [2003-2007] [All Semesters]



2020         Darius Yektai & the Grenning Gallery [8 min]

2020         Dianne Blell & the Parrish Museum [2 min]

2016         Sneakerhead [6 min]

2016         Anthropologists Try VR [3 min]

2016         Pieces of Syria [4 min]

2016         Moving Stories / 3 videos [40 min]

2016         Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas [46 min]

2016         The Centennial Post [14 min]

2016         Black Eagle Canoe [61 min]

2016         First Nations Literature [36 min]

2015         digitalsqewlets.ca / 8 videos [80 min]

2015         Ukulele: interactive biography [6 min]

2014         Appalachian Punks [Director] [15 min]

2014         Conemaugh Trio [4 min]

2014         Doctor Valentinus [5 min]

2012         Achuar & iPads [Director] [5 min]

2011         The Sensory Cottage [26 min]

2011         The Devil’s Instrument [9 min]



2018         Photography / Annual [51st] Springs Invitational Art Show / The Springs, NY

2018         Book Signing / Children’s Book / East Hampton Author’s Night / East Hampton, NY  

2018         Photography / Guild Hall Museum / East Hampton, NY

2017         Photography / Cold Winter Beaches / Press

2016         Documentary Short / Sneakerhead [6 min] / exhibited 6 mos. / Museum of Vancouver [MoV]

2016         Interactive Art Installation / Liliuokalani: Archival Experimentations / Vancouver

2015         Interactive Art Installation / Ukulele: A Biography / Vancouver

2014         Photography / Society for Visual Anthropology / Washington DC



2019         The Family Center / Leadership Council / Brooklyn

2018         NGO Photographer / Sustainable Community Projects / Senegal

2017         Social Innovation Seed Project / ‘VR Field Trips’ / PS129 / Harlem

2014         Volunteer Videographer / First Nations Artist / Canada

2013         Adventures in Science [K-5] Volunteer / American Museum of Natural History / NYC

2011         Rotary Canberra Chapter / Community Service Projects / Australia

2010         Mapuche Indigenous Community Grants & Development / Patagonia / Chile

2010         Mapuche K-8 School Volunteer / Patagonia / Chile Teacher & Cultural

2009         London School of Economics [LSE] Sustainability Leader / London

2007         Institute for Child Health / University College London

2008         Carilion Clinic Hospice / Camp Treehouse West / Virginia

2006          Blacksburg Middle School / Undergraduate Mentor & Tutor [2 years] / Virginia


professional memberships

2018-19        American Institute for Conservation [AIC]

2018-19        American Association of University Women [AAUW]

2018-19        Art Libraries Society of North America [ARLIS/NA]

2018-19        Archivists Round Table of New York [ART]

2014-18        American Anthropological Association [AAA]

2014-18        Society for Visual Anthropology [SVA]

2010-12        Rotary International [RI]

2016-17        Gamma Beta Phi Honor & Service Organization

2003-07        American Medical Student Association [AMSA]

2003-07        National Society of Collegiate Scholars [NSCS]



TCPS2 Certifications in Human Ethical Conduct 

NIH Protecting Human Participants

TESL Teaching English as a Second Language

HIPAA Confidentiality Training