Dr El Putnam

Media Studies

Assistant Professor

Iontas Building


I am Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the Department of Media Studies at Maynooth University, where I teach digital media practice and theory classes on the BA Media Studies and BA Media and Cultural Studies programmes. Prior to coming to Maynooth in 2022, I worked at University of Galway as programme director of the MA in Digital Media and TU Dublin. I hold a PhD from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visuals Arts in Visual Arts: Aesthetics, Art Theory, and Philosophy. In addition, I am a practicing artist who regularly exhibits nationally and internationally.

I also supervise PhD projects, with a focus on practice-based research in Digital Art and Media. I welcome correspondence on potential projects in relevant areas of my research, which can be found on my research profile.

Research Interests

Dr. Putnam's research interests include digital studies, philosophy of technology, and aesthetics with a focus on performed engagements with technologies and embodied experience.  She focuses on digital media from a visual arts and performance studies perspective, intersecting with maternal philosophy, gender studies, and critical race theory. In terms of practice, she engages with creative coding and generative media, digital performance,  wearables and physical computing,  video, and sound.

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
Under the Feet of Shadows Co-PI Ireland has become a predominant site for data centres in Europe. There have been increased analyses and critiques regarding this rapidly growing industry within Ireland, especially as the negative impact of data centre growth on the Irish electricity grid and material resources are becoming apparent. While data industries present their own speculative fictions for economic and technological development that are posed to shape the Irish landscape and write its future, this paper poses the question: what other speculative fictions exist for data industries in Ireland? Under the feet of shadows is a multimedia art project created by the author in collaboration with Irish novelist Mike McCormack that merges science fiction with folklore, real with imagined mythologies, and histories of technology in Ireland, involving critical and reflexive engagement with technics, proposing new means of imagining technological progress and development within the Irish rural context. The conceptual framework for the project focuses on how humans, technologies, and the landscape are inherently relational and co-constitutive, bringing together Gilbert Simondon’s and Yuk Hui’s philosophies of technology with media materialism and aesthetics that highlight material agency and entanglements of affective embodiment. Using arts-based research methods as speculative inquiry, the artwork tells a fictional origin myth of a yet-to-be built data centre in Killala, Ireland. Within Under the feet of shadows, there are attempts to identify an Irish cosmotechnics that is awkward, ambivalent, and wrought with frictions. This shift in emphasis to material engagements with the local rural landscape reframes entanglements of economics, politics, and technology in a manner that is rooted to the ground. 01/12/2022


Year Publication
2024 Putnam, E (2024) Livestreaming: An Aesthetics and Ethics of Technical Encounter. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. [Link]
2022 Putnam, E (2022) The Maternal, Digital Subjectivity, and the Aesthetics of Interruption. New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic. [Link]

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2024 Putnam, E.L. (2024) 'MotherHack: Creative coding as an artist-mother'. Gender, Work and Organization, . [Link] [DOI]
2024 Putnam, E.L. (2024) 'On (not) becoming machine: countering algorithmic thinking through digital performance art'. Frontiers In Communication, 9 . [Link] [DOI]
2023 Putnam, E; Healy, P; Hall, A; Rosenbaum, S; Toomey, E; Deliv, C; Devane, D (2023) 'Development of a video-based evidence synthesis knowledge translation resource: Drawing on a user-centred design approach'. Digital Health, 9 . [Link] [DOI]
2023 Putnam, E (2023) 'The Question Concerning Technology in Ireland?: Art, Decoloniality and Speculations of an Irish Cosmotechnics'. Arts, 12 (3). [Link] [DOI]
2023 Putnam, E.L. (2023) 'Pseudorandom: generative animation as performance in Emergent (2020–2022)'. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 19 . [Link] [DOI]
2021 McGarrigle C.; Putnam E.L. (2021) 'Affiliated issue with 2020 College Art Association Annual Conference, ‘flesh and circuit: rethinking performance and technology’ (Chicago, IL, USA)'. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 17 (2):189-195. [DOI]
2020 Putnam E.L. (2020) 'Entangled Gestures and Technical Objects: Illuminating embodiment and digital experience through diffraction in performance'. Performance Research, 25 (5):49-55. [DOI]
2017 Putnam E.L. (2017) 'Not Just ‘A Life Within the Home’: Maternal labour, art work and performance action in the Irish intimate public sphere'. Performance Research, 22 (4):61-70. [DOI]
2015 Putnam, EL (2015) '’Bring a Camera with You:’ The Posthumous Collaboration of Ahmed Basiony and Shady El Noshokaty'. 7 . [Link]

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2025 Putnam, E (2025) 'The Body Politic: Performance Art as Resistance and Transformation in Ireland' In: Routledge Companion to Performance Art. New York City, NY, USA : Routledge.
2025 Putnam, E (2025) '“Thin as Gold Leaf”: Gender, Embodiment, and Digital Technologies in Irish Art' In: Routledge Companion to Irish Art. New York City, NY, USA : Routledge.
2023 Putnam, E (2023) 'Leaking Milk and Beating Hearts: Technological Immanence and the Maternal Body' In: Feminist Philosophy and Emerging Technologies. New York : Routledge.
2021 Putnam, EL (2021) 'Pregnant Pause: Technological Disruption and the Neganthropic Aesthetics of Landscape in Ireland’s Borderland' In: Aesthetics, Digital Studies and Bernard Stiegler. New York and London : Bloomsbury. [Link]
2021 Putnam, EL (2021) 'Context Collapse' In: Mothers, Mothering, and COVID-19: Dispatches from a Pandemic. Bradford, Ontario : Demeter Press.
2021 Putnam E. (2021) 'Locative Reverb: Artistic Practice, Sound Technology, and the Grammatization of the Listener in the City' In: Technology and the City: Towards a Philosophy of Urban Technologies. Cham, Switzerland : Springer International Publishing. [DOI]
2021 Putnam, EL (2021) 'Strange Mothers: The Maternal and Contemporary Media Art in Ireland' In: Digital Art in Ireland. New York and London : Anthem Press.
2020 Putnam, EL (2020) 'Impossible Totalities: Political Performance as Palimpsest' In: Responding to Site: The Performance Work of Marilyn Arsem. Bristol, UK : Intellect.
2018 Putnam, E. (2018) 'Performing Pregnant: An Aesthetic Investigation of Pregnancy' In: New Feminist Perspectives on Embodiment. Cham : Palgrave McMillan. [DOI]
2017 Putnam E. (2017) 'Performances of situated knowledge in the ageing female body' In: Ageing Women in Literature and Visual Culture. London : Palgrave Macmillan. [DOI]
2014 Putnam, EL (2014) 'Polyphonic Resonance: Sound Art in Ireland' In: Performance Art in Ireland: A History. Bristol, UK : Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books.

Book Review

Year Publication
2018 Putnam, EL (2018) Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War. [Book Review] [Link] [DOI]
2013 Putnam, Emily Lauren (2013) Review of Horror After 9/11: World of Fear. [Book Review] [Link]


Year Publication
2024 Putnam, E; McCormack, M (2024) Under the Feet of Shadows. Dublin: [Exhibition]
2023 Putnam, E (2023) PseudoRandom. Boston, MA, USA: [Exhibition] [Link]
2019 Putnam, E (2019) Diffraction. Galway: [Exhibition]
2019 Putnam, E; Bellafiore, M (2019) Manifest Dismantling. Boston, MA, USA: [Exhibition]
2018 Putnam, E; Patterson, B; Arsem, M (2018) Transactions. Belfast, Northern Ireland and Boston, MA, USA: [Exhibition]
2018 Putnam, E; Muthi, S (2018) Anticipation: Actualisation. Dublin: [Exhibition]
2016 Putnam, E (2016) Whisper Almost Without Sound. Boston, MA, USA: [Exhibition]
2012 Putnam, E (2012) i wish you no ill will. Boston, MA, USA: [Exhibition]
2012 Putnam, E; Kelly, A; McCarthy, D; Murphy, I; O'Shea, M; Stalling, D (2012) Strange Attractor. Boston, MA, USA: [Exhibition]
2011 Putnam, E (2011) Deferral II. Boston, MA, USA: [Exhibition]
2010 Putnam, E (2010) Hubris. Boston, MA, USA: [Exhibition]
2008 Putnam, E (2008) Aggressive Recollections. Somerville, MA, USA: [Exhibition]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2024 Putnam, E (2024) Thinking Through Motherhood: Images, Experiences and Narratives Across Time Failing Mother Ireland: Alternative Representations of Motherhood in Ireland Vilnius University, Lithuania, .
2024 Putnam, E (2024) Digital Art in Ireland Conference From Seamless to Snags: Recouping Friction through Digital Performance University College Cork, .
2023 Putnam, E (2023) College Art Association Annual Conference Emergent: Performing the Data Body Chicago, IL, USA, .
2023 Putnam, E (2023) The Synthetic City: AI, Digital Media & Urban Living Failure to Load Dublin City University, .
2022 Putnam, E (2022) College Art Association Annual Conference Interlooping: Livestreaming as Aesthetic Encounter Virtual, . [Link]
2022 Putnam, E (2022) Digital Art in Ireland Conference Pixelated Presence: the Virtual as Performance Space University College Cork, .
2021 Putnam, E (2021) College Art Association Annual Conference Context Collapse: Livestreaming as a Feminist Art Medium Virtual, . [Link]
2021 Putnam, E (2021) Technē Logos and the (Neg)anthropocene Emergent: A Critical Approach to Performance and Biometric Data Dublin, Ireland, . [Link]
2020 Putnam, E (2020) Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations Conference Locative Reverb: Artistic Practice, Sound Technology, and the Grammatization of the City Virtual, .
2020 Putnam, E; McGarrigle, C (2020) College Art Association Annual Conference Flesh and Circuit: Rethinking Performance and Technology Chicago, IL, USA, . [Link]
2019 Putnam, E (2019) Unset in Stone Symposium Packet Switching Grief 126 Gallery, Galway, .
2019 Putnam, E (2019) Futures Thinking Conference My Body is Awesome: Social Media, Transgender Pregnancy, and Spilling Over Quantification Oxford University, UK, .
2019 Putnam, E (2019) EUGEO Annual Conference Networks of Debt and Consumption: the Maternal in the Capitalocene Galway, Ireland, .
2019 Putnam, E (2019) Society for Women in Philosophy Ireland Annual Conference Milk Drunk: From Mother as Metaphor to a Feminist Aesthetics of the Maternal Dublin, Ireland, .
2019 Putnam, E (2019) College Art Association Annual Conference Strange Mothers: Towards a Digital Aesthetics of Interruption New York City, NY, USA, .
2018 Putnam, E (2018) Bodies of Data: Intersecting Medical and Digital Humanities, Irish Humanities Alliance Leaking Milk and Beating Hearts: Technological Immanence and the Maternal Body University College Dublin, .
2017 Putnam, E (2017) Porous Boundaries, Prague Quadennial Symposium Between the Troubles and Brexit: the Minor Gestures of Bbeyond as Aesthetic Ruptures Prague, Czech Republic, .
2017 Putnam, E (2017) Society for Philosophy and Technology Biennial Conference Locative Reverb: Artistic Practice, Digital Technology, and the Grammatization of the City Technische Universität, Darmstadt, Germany, .
2016 Putnam, E (2016) Society for Women in Philosophy Ireland Annual Conference Neglect of their Duties: Feminist Maternal Ethics and the Irish Intimate Public Sphere National University of Ireland Galway, .
2016 Putnam, E (2016) Conference of Irish Geographers Silent Echoes: Multisensory Traces of Grangegorman Dublin City University, .
2014 Putnam, E (2014) Performing Identities, Embodying Knowledge Dismantling No Place: the Neoliberal Performative in Tomás Saraceno Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, .
2014 Putnam, E (2014) Society for Women in Philosophy Ireland Annual Conference Reflective Trans-subjectivity: An Aesthetic Investigation of Pregnancy University College Dublin, .
2012 Putnam, E (2012) American Society for Aesthetics, Rocky Mountain Division Annual Conference The Ugly Americans: Gestures and Social Practice in the Work of Allora & Calzadilla Santa Fe, NM, USA, .
2006 Putnam, E; Bachman, S; Buszak, M; Reilly, M (2006) Women's Caucus for Art Conference Third Wave Feminists in Conversation Boston, MA, USA, .


Year Publication
2023 Putnam, E; O'Connor, L; Rodriguez, A (2023) Digital Art and Immersion. Belfast, Northern Ireland: [Discussion]
2022 Barad, K; Putnam, E (2022) Re-membering Time, For the Time Being. Dublin: [Discussion] [Link]
2021 Putnam, E; McGarrigle, C; Nolan, K; Clarke, C (2021) Digital Art in Ireland: Panel Discussion. Cork: [Discussion]
2021 Putnam, E; O'Mahoney, D; McDonald, S; O'Mahoney, N; Kinsella, A; Ní Néill, R; O'Donoghue, H; Joly, C; Kearney, R; Newman, C; Carey, D; Cronin, N; Torney, D; Lonergan, P (2021) Climate Change and the Arts: A Post-Cop26 Roundtable Discussion. National University of Ireland, Galway: [Discussion] [Link]

Invited Lectures

Year Publication
2023 Bradbury, L; Putnam, E (2023) Digital Art and/as Performance. Harvard University: [Invited Lectures]
2019 Putnam, E (2019) Haptic Gaze: Inviting Touch. Dublin: [Invited Lectures]

Invited Seminars

Year Publication
2024 Putnam, E (2024) Broken Memories: Generative Image Manipulation with p5.js. University of Galway: [Invited Seminars]
2023 Putnam, E; McCormack, M (2023) Myth and Irish techno-cosmology. Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim: [Invited Seminars]
2022 Putnam, E; McGee, D; Naji, J; Nolan, K (2022) Full Stack Feminism, Art, Intersectionality & the Digital. Dublin: [Invited Seminars]
2021 Mitchell, W; Putnam, E; Stott, T (2021) Art, Community and Resistance: W.J.T. Mitchell in Galway. National University of Ireland, Galway: [Invited Seminars] [Link]


Year Publication
2020 Putnam, E; Bradbury, L; Fitzpatrick, N; McGarrigle, C; Ni Chroinin, M (2020) Art and Digital Technology in a Time of Crisis. National University of Ireland, Galway: [Webinar]


Year Publication
2023 Putnam, E (2023) Surface Tension. Boston, MA, USA: [Artwork]
2023 Putnam, E (2023) Ordinary Time. Derry: [Artwork]
2023 Putnam, E (2023) Ghost Work. Boston, MA, USA: [Artwork]
2023 Putnam, E; Stalling, D (2023) Friction. Boston, MA, USA: [Artwork]
2023 Putnam, E (2023) Rituals for Circuits. Dún Laoghaire, Ireland: [Artwork]
2023 Putnam, E (2023) Phase Relation. Athlone, Ireland: [Artwork]
2022 Putnam, E (2022) All Kinds of Disintegration. Dublin: [Artwork]
2022 Putnam, E (2022) Emergent. Cork; Kingston, London, UK; Boston, MA, USA: [Artwork]
2021 Putnam, E; McCormack, M (2021) An Invitation. National University of Ireland, Galway: [Artwork]
2021 Putnam, E (2021) Going to Pieces. New York City, NY, USA: [Artwork]
2021 Putnam, E (2021) Android Dream. Edinburgh, Scotland, UK: [Artwork]
2021 Putnam, E (2021) Context Collapse. New York City, NY, USA: [Artwork]
2021 Putnam, E (2021) Interlooping. Virtual: [Artwork]
2019 Putnam, E (2019) Politics of Leakage. National University of Ireland, Galway: [Artwork]
2019 Putnam, E (2019) Dissolution. Miami, FL, USA: [Artwork]
2019 Putnam, E; Antosik-Parsons, K (2019) Mutualism. Dublin: [Artwork]
2019 Putnam, E (2019) Quickening. Belfast, Northern Ireland: [Artwork]
2018 Putnam, E (2018) Milk Drunk. Boston, MA, USA: [Artwork]
2018 Putnam, E (2018) Sweet Bounty. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada: [Artwork]
2018 Putnam, E (2018) Untitled (Vessel). Dublin: [Artwork]
2018 Putnam, E; Loughran, G (2018) Biopedagogy (I). Dublin: [Artwork]
2017 Putnam, E (2017) Ember. Dublin: [Artwork]
2017 Putnam, E (2017) Blood and Soil. Dublin: [Artwork]
2017 Putnam, E (2017) Residue. Tallaght, Dublin: [Artwork]
2017 Putnam, E (2017) Digital Bru(i)t. Boston, MA, USA: [Artwork]
2017 Putnam, E (2017) Digital Storge. London, UK: [Artwork]
2017 Putnam, E (2017) Stakes in the Muck. Venice, Italy: [Artwork]
2016 Putnam, E (2016) Studies in Stillness. Carlow, Ireland: [Artwork]
2016 Putnam, E; Stalling, D; O'Shea, M; McCarthy, D (2016) No Light Without Shadow / No Shadow Without Silence. Cork: [Artwork]
2015 Putnam, E (2015) Red Waltz. Cobh, Cork: [Artwork]
2015 Putnam, E (2015) Landscape. Dublin: [Artwork]
2015 Putnam, E (2015) Parting. Dublin: [Artwork]
2012 Putnam, E (2012) tinK - Pull/Stop. Boston, MA, USA: [Artwork]


Year Publication
2014 Putnam, E; Stalling, D; Kelly, A; Sammon, P; Kennedy, D; McCrum, S; McCormick (2014) Kassandra. Dublin: [Performance]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

External Collaborators

Name Role Country
Mike McCormack, University of Galway Co-PI Ireland