Mary Ellen Carroll

Mary Ellen Carroll is a conceptual artist whose work occupies the disciplines of architecture/design and public policy, writing, performance, and film. Her work stands at the intersection of conceptual art, architecture, public policy, and social justice.

Mary Ellen’s PUBLIC UTILITY 2.0, is an international collaboration that retrofits unused analog TV spectrum into Super Wi-Fi sources for wireless broadband connectivity for underserved communities. In partnership with Rice University and the Wireless Network Group, PUBLIC UTILITY 2.0 has been demonstrated in New York City, New Orleans, Houston, Oaxaca and Nairobi. The installation provides wireless broadband access over these unused TV frequencies in areas that are not currently served by internet providers due to low demand and opportunity.

“There are over 60 million people in the United States that are not connected to the Internet, and there is the basic issue of access to connectivity. My work as an artist, considers this spatially, to transform the spectrum for the 21st century, both architecturally and programmatically,” says Mary Ellen.

Mary Ellen’s architectural performance, PROTOTYPE 180, was created from an unoccupied house and a three-quarter acre of land in Sharpstown, Houston. The house was constructed to periodically turn in a 180-degree rotation. The work called for improved land use that incorporates communal and cultural values.

Mary Ellen has received fellowships from American Academy in Berlin and Rockefeller Foundation, among others. Her work has been exhibited at Whitney Museum of American Art.

Photo Credit: Aubrey Edwards