Ellen Sebring has been Research Associate and Creative Director of Visualizing Cultures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since the project’s founding in 2002. Sebring earned a Master of Science in Visual Studies degree at MIT and was a Fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies for six years. Visualizing Cultures received the National Endowment for the Humanities award in 2005 and MIT’s Class of 1960 Innovation in Education award in 2004, toured the US and Japan, was exhibited at Stephen Sondheim’s “Pacific Overtures” on Broadway, and is in the permanent collection of the US National Archives. The project has co-sponsored conferences on image-driven scholarship at Yale University (2010), Harvard University (2011) and next, at Princeton University (May 2012).
Co-founder and President of Botticelli Interactive, Inc. from 1997 to 2002, Sebring produced major interactive works, including an interactive television prototype: "StarNetwork," featuring George Takei, which received the Distinguished Award of the Multimedia GrandPrix 2000, Tokyo, and "Star Festival," a documentary awarded a Best in Show at MacWorld Expo. The company was funded by the Institute for Civil Society to create an interactive television show, "CamKidz," focused on enhancing creativity in children; and produced educational media for museums, including the “Titian Kiosk,” which was awarded the Silver Medal at the New York International Multimedia Festival.
Sebring was selected for the American Film Institute's prestigious Directing Workshop for Women to write and direct a movie in Hollywood. In 2004 she received a co-production residency at the Banff Centre, Canada for a video art collaboration with choreographer Paula Josa-Jones. TILT, a work that played with disrupting gravity under the feet of the dancers both on film and stage, was exhibited at Lincoln Center, New York, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, 2007-2009. Other awards and grants include the Artist's Foundation Fellowship for Video Art, Canon Europa prize at the World Wide Video Festival in Holland, and PBS, NEA, NEFA, Meet-the-Composer and NEFV Foundation grants. “Aviary,” a multimedia performance at MIT’s Media Lab CUBE was funded by National Endowment for the Arts and commissioned by Public Television for national broadcast. Also for Public Television, Sebring directed a documentary on "Severe Clear," a collaboration by dancer Dana Reitz and light artist James Turrell.
Sebring is currently pursuing the PhD at the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (CAiiA) at the University of Plymouth in England. Originally trained as a composer and flutist at Indiana University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music, and the Hochschule fuer Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Sebring explores the relationship of sound, image and narrative in her video artwork.