Michelle Teran

Michelle Teran (born in Canada) is an educator, artist, and researcher. She is practice-oriented Research Professor Social Practices where she heads the Social Practices research program. Along with the research line transformative pedagogy, the research program works together with the WdKA Social Practices study program focusing on research around collaboration, embodiment and making public.

Her current and ongoing research areas and interests are: socially engaged art, counter-cartographies, social movements, transmedia storytelling, feminist, eco-social and critical pedagogy. Her multidisciplinary works span film, text, bookworks, performance, installation, public readings, online works, participatory events, pedagogic experimentation, and interventions in public space. 

Michelle is member of de Zandweg allotment garden community in Rotterdam South where she grows vegetables, experiments with regenerative agriculture methods and hosts different educational activities.

Areas of Supervision

Michelle Teran is part of both the advisory and graduate committees for the Professional Doctorate (PD) pilot, an independent third cycle that builds on the BAs and MAs of arts and design education at the universities of applied sciences. She has supervised several Ph.D. projects in artistic research. She develops workshops and seminars on artistic research methods, experimental dissertations and forms of critical reflection.

She welcomes dissertation proposals (Bachelor, Master and 3rd cycle) in the areas of social activism and radical care practices, socially-engaged art, digital storytelling, critical cartography, collaborative practice, feminist practices and pedagogies, inclusion, inclusive pedagogy, commoning practice, critical ecologies, participatory governance, the commons, situated forms of learning and self-organization, she encourages and fully supports practice-led research, and artistic research approaches. 

Office Hours

On appointment




Michelle Teran received her philosophiae doctor (Ph.D.) in Artistic Research, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen. Her research project Future Guides for Cities: From Information to Homelooked at the relation between online archives and the domain of the city, examining the notion of a guide, as a person, map, and method. This research built on her award winning work Life: A User’s Manual and and Buscando al Señor Goodbar and was an inquiry into the narrative language within the overlapping of different types of mapping systems: online tracking using geo-locational data, situated storytelling, and contemporary archiving practices. During this period, she joined Microhistories, a research group based in Berlin, Skopje, Gothenburg and Stockholm, with a shared interest on the use of microhistories, or stories of the everyday told by everyday people, as a form of history writing and an artistic genre. The research gathered knowledge from artistic practice/artistic research and the field of history. One of her contributions to the research was her work Folgen, a lecture performance and city novel that drew on existing narratives of video makers found YouTube to build a multi-layered media landscape of Berlin. 

From 2013-2016, working together with Spanish activists the PAH and Stop Desahucios (Stop Evictions), she produced two films, a book translation, and performative reading which followed the Spanish housing crisis amidst the global financial crisis. Some of the work occurred with her participation in the artist-group SYNSMASKINEN, an inquiry into 7 fields of contemporary political crisis. The English version of Ada Colau and Adria  Alemany’s book Mortgaged Lives (original Spanish version Vidas Hipotecas), a translation project initiated by Michelle Teran, was published by the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest. Through the collective learning project The Neighborhood Academy (NAK) she is engaged in eco-social learning practices, a Berlin-based, self-organized open platform for urban and rural knowledge sharing, cultural practice and activism which started around the Prinzessinnengarten. Together with Marc Herbst, she is co-editor of Everything Gardens! Growing from Ruins of Modernity, one of a three-part publication (ADOCS and nGbK publishers) on how the global ecological crisis and its social repercussions raise questions regarding alternative forms of education and spaces for un/learning and co/learning. Situationer Workbook/Situationer Cookbook, a transformative pedagogy reader (Research Center WdKA and Publication Studio Rotterdam publishers) connects to emergent research around transformative pedagogy, in order to imagine other possible perspectives on learning and education. 

She has participated in conferences, performances, exhibitions and events in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, such as the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Transmediale Festival (Berlin), Ars Electronica (Linz), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taichung), Museum Folkwang (Essen), Manchester Contemporary Art Gallery, Media Façades Festival (Helsinki), Mediations Biennale (Poznan), Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Santiago), Today Art Museum (Bejing), Screen City Festival (Stavanger), Museum of Contemporary Art (Roskilde) Telemuseet (Oslo), Arco International Art Fair (Madrid), Tensta Konstall (Stockholm), Sonar Festival (Barcelona), ISEA, CCCB/MACBA (Barcelona), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), BEAP (Perth), Mois Multi Festival (Quebec City), and Mediacity (Seoul). 

Formerly she held the position of Associate Professor at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She has led seminars, workshops and master classes to both Bachelor’s and Master’s students (Fine Arts, Media Arts, Media Design, Dance, and Theatre) at different institutions throughout Europe and in the subject areas of networked performance, transmedia storytelling, surveillant architecture, urban infrastructures, psychogeography, microhistory, urban geography, and critical cartography. 

She is the winner of several awards, including the Transmediale Award (2010), the Turku2011 Digital Media & Art Grand Prix Award, Prix Ars Electronica honorary mention (2005, 2010) and the Vida 8.0 Art & Artificial Life International Competition. 

She lives and works between Berlin and Rotterdam.