• Initially pursued a career in computer science/web development before getting his MFA in Media Arts

  • Participated in the Arctic Circle Residency in 2009, an annual expedition bringing together artists, scientists, and educators to conduct individual and collaborative research aboard a sailing vessel traveling the Arctic Ocean

  • Work cleverly uses technology to comment on issues of identity and societal values, as in his participatory installation “Net Worth,” which ranks visitors based on their number of hits on Google 

  • Awarded a prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2020 for his upcoming project One Thousand and One Nights, an exploration of the classic Middle Eastern folk tales “with a contemporary, technological twist”


Climate Change; Democracy & Capitalism; Economic Disparity; Immigration & Migration; Post-/Anti-Colonialism & Decolonization; Power & Privilege; Science, Technology, Data & Mapping

Osman Khan explores themes of power, identity, representation, and public space in interactive and performative installations that can be at once playful and profound. Born in Pakistan and raised in New York City, Khan received his BS in engineering from Columbia University in 1995. He then worked in internet start-ups, serving as the Creative Director of Elliance, before departing for UCLA where he received his MFA in Media Arts in 2004. He is currently Associate Professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, with his studio practice based in Detroit.


Khan’s work has been shown at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA); the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MoCAD); the Shanghai Biennale; the Zero1 Festival, San Jose; Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Ars Electronica Center, Linz; Socrates Sculpture Park, NYC; Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids (as part of ArtPrize 2014); Centro Internazionale per l'Arte Contemporanea, Rome; among others. His honors include a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship, an Art Matters grant, Ars Electronica’s Prix Ars Award of Distinction and an Arctic Circle 2009 Residency. Articles about his work have appeared in numerous publications including Hyperallergic, Artforum, Art in America, I.D., LA Times, and Wall Street Journal.


In addition to his artistic practice, Khan is also Co-Director of the Indus Detroit Artist Residency + Culture Lab and co-curator of Halal Metropolis, a recent series of exhibitions and programs exploring Muslim identity in southeast Michigan.

Khan reflects on the ambiguities of identities and prejudice as well as cultural production out of the public eye. He suggests ways to move forward without historical cultural erasure.
– Lynn Crawford, Art in America

Check Artist Availability