bio | cv
11 February 2015

Zen Cohen uses video, photography and other digital mediums to explore ideas relating to ritual, mysticism, theater and media culture.  She received her MFA in Art Studio at the University of California at Davis and her BFA in Media Arts from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. Her work has been presented at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA, deYoung Museum, SOMarts, The Lab, The Montalvo Center, ARTSpace New Haven in CT, Vanity Projects in NY and internationally at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City and Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in the Canary Islands. Additionally, she worked as video editor for Al Jazeera America and owned a media production studio in San Francisco which produced short documentaries, music videos, photo shoots and graphic designs for artists and organizations. For more information: zencohenprojects[at]gmail[dot]com




2011    MFA in Art Studio, University of California at Davis. Davis, CA
2004    BFA in Media Arts, California College of the Arts. Oakland, CA
2000    School for Visual Arts, NY
1999    The School for Film and Television, NY
1997    The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NY



International Cervantino Festival. Guanajuato, Mexico (forthcoming)
Technotihuacan. SOMarts San Francisco, CA
The Channel of Democracy: Womanhood, Power, & Freedom in Video Art. PHOTOFAIR San Francisco,
Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Mexican (IN) Documentado. Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City
Dark Sea Cinema, live video performance. Mosswood Chapel. Oakland, CA
Juan Jaula es John Cage, screening. Montalvo Center, Santa Cruz, CA
Transgress, photography exhibit. B4bel4b Gallery. Oakland, CA
35th Floor, video performance installation. CounterPulse, San Francisco, CA
The Gatekeepers. Building Imagination Center. Turlock, CA (solo)
CODAME Festival, live performance of Transgress. Monument, San Francisco, CA
ArtSpan Open Studios, live performance/installation, Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason. San Francisco, CA
Heavy Breathing, conceptual fitness class, Body Paradox at the Palace Theater. Oakland, CA
deYoung Museum, premiere screening of Juan Jaula es John Cage. San Francisco, CA
Shapeshifters Cinema, screening and live performance. Oakland, CA (solo)
Temescal Street Cinema, screening of Go Away, Bad Dreams. Oakland, CA
Projected Persona, live performance and exhibit. SOMArts, San Francisco, CA
Tooth and Nail, video exhibition. Parsons Hall Project Space, HOLYOKE, MA
Tooth and Nail, video exhibition. Vanity Projects, New York, NY
ASKEW Film Festival, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Dancing With Fear, Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco, CA
AXIS Gallery, 8th National Juried Exhibition, Sacramento, CA
Brava Theater Center, Burqavaganza, video made for live theater play. San Francisco,
Temescal Art Center, [inter] MEDIA Divinations, live performance. Oakland, CA.
San Francisco Design Center, Dining by Design. San Francisco, CA.
ArtSpace, Crystal Palace, New Haven, CT.
SF MOMA, sfSound | Music of Changes: John Cage Centennial Festival, San Francisco, CA.
Krowswork, You Must Change Your Life, Oakland, CA.
The Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Guillermo Gomez-Peña Retrospective, eight photographic portraits of the artist, Las Palmas, Gran Canarias, Spain. (catalog)
Alameda Public Library, SSSHHHH!! temporary site-specific installation, Alameda, CA.
SOMArts, Night Light, San Francisco, CA.
Galeria de la Raza, Contaminated Femininities, performance salon, San Francisco, CA.
The Nelson Gallery, The House of Others: UC Davis MFA Thesis Show, UC Davis, CA. (catalog)
Viracocha, POW! POW! POW! Performance Art Festival, curated by Guillermo Gomez-Peña San Francisco, CA.
University Club Gallery, Great Expectations, first year MFA exhibit, UC Davis, CA.
Tangent Gallery, The TV SHOW, Sacramento, CA.
Worth Ryder Gallery, Cynosure: Work from East Bay Galleries, University of California, Berkeley, CA.
The UC Davis Main Theatre, Corpo Ilicito: The Post-Human Society 6.9, directed by Guillermo Gomez-Peña, live video performance and installation, UC Davis, CA.
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park (The Port of Oakland) The Illuminated Corridor, site-specific video installation, Oakland, CA.
Kahn’s Alley, The Illuminated Corridor/Oakland Art Murmur, outdoor video projection installation, Oakland, CA.
Gallery Nine, Night Light: an Evening of Luminous Environments, “video ocean” a site-specific video installation, San Francisco, CA.
Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) Xp1ora7ion, UC Berkeley, CA. video projection for Guillermo Galindo/Charlotte Hug performance
Varnish Fine Art, Moving Pictures, screening of “the fall” and live performance projection (solo)
San Francisco, CA.
Chapel of the Chimes, Columbarium, From the Darkness, Solace, Oakland, CA. site specific video installation
Recombinant Media Lab, NexMAP, collaborative video-performance of DIVOX with Guillermo Galindo, San Francisco, CA.
21 Grand, The Illuminated Corridor/Oakland Art Murmur, Oakland, CA.
deYoung Museum, Post-Colonial Discontinuum, San Francisco, CA. Collaborative video-performance with Guillermo Galindo and The Earplay Ensemble
Artist’s Television Access, INTOX LOUNGE: CHILDREN OF KALI, live video for a Guillermo Gomez-Peña performance, San Francisco, CA.
The Luggage Store, Tres, collaborative video-performance with Guillermo Galindo, San Francisco, CA.
Roxie Cinema, The San Francisco Video Fest – Participating artist
21 Grand, Tres, in collaboration with Guillermo Galindo, Oakland, CA.
SomARTS, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Participating artist–collaborative video performance with Guillermo Galindo, San Francisco, CA.
21 Grand, T-10 Video Festival, Oakland, CA. Participating artist, screening of single channel video 1984: age :6
Nahl Hall/CCA, An evening of Film, Video and Performance (solo exhibit), Oakland, CA.
Macchie Studio, La Bella Vista, participating artist, Amelia, Italy
The Lab, Coloring Sounds, Participating artist, San Francisco, CA.
Liminal Gallery, Water, participating artist, Oakland, CA.
Fine Arts Cinema, CCA Media Arts Department Juried Exhibition, screening of single channel video Tzimtzum, Berkeley, CA.
Nahl Hall, CCA Media Arts Department Juried Exhibition, Oakland, CA.
The Fringe Theater Festival, The Last Supper: A Scratch & Sniff Photo, performer. NY,NY.


2018    Theatre and Cartographies of Power: Repositioning the Latina/o Americas. Southern Illinois University Press
(series of photographs and book cover)
2018    Guillermo Gómez-Peña: Mexican (IN) Documentado (exhibition catalog
2013    Guillermo Gómez-Peña: Homo fronterizus [1492-2020] Cabildo de Gran Canaria (exhibition catalog)


2017    California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, CA
2016    Living Room Light Exchange/Open Engagement. San Francisco, CA
2016    Building Imagination Center, Turlock, CA
2016 Montalvo Center, Santa Cruz, CA
2015    deYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA
2012 ArtSpace, New Haven, CT
2011    Nelson Art Gallery, UC Davis, CA


2013    Individual Artist Commission Grant in Media Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission
2011    Nelson Art Friends Award, UC Davis
2010    Freemond P Gadberry Award, UC Davis
2009    Freemond P Gadberry Award, UC Davis
2004    Osman and Jordana Jackson Award, CCA
2000    Osman and Jordana Jackson Award, CCA


2018    Digital Collage Photoshop workshop. Army Lofts, San Francisco, CA
GIF Animation Photoshop workshop. Army Lofts, San Francisco, CA
2017    Psychomagic Actions for the Camera. Video/Performance workshop. Cal State Stanislaus
Teaching Assistant, performance workshop with Linda Mary Montano. Rosekill Farm, NY
Media Tools for Artists, Activists and Healers. Video Editing in Adobe Premiere, Army Lofts, San Francisco, CA
2011    Lecturer, Beginning Video. UC Davis
2010    Associate Instructor, Black & White Photography. UC Davis
Teaching Assistant, Experimental Documentary. Professor, Darrin Martin. UC Davis
Teaching Assistant, Digital Photography. Professor, Young-suk Suh. UC Davis
2009    Teaching Assistant, Beginning Video. Professor, Darrin Martin. UC Davis
Teaching Assistant, Black & White Photography. Professor, Matthias Geiger, UC Davis

2011- present  Zen Cohen Studio, media production studio, owner
2013-2014       Al Jazeera America, video editor
2010-2011       UC Davis Art Studio Visiting Artist Lecture Series, chair

2009    Hypnagogia: between sleeping and waking, curator. A group exhibition. The Climate Theater, San Francisco, CA.
2008    Chance Operations, curator. The Climate Theater, San Francisco, CA.
2008    The Body, the Mirror, the Gaze, curator. A group show of experimental film and video works. The Climate Theater
2007-2009 Night Vision: experimental cinema series, founder and curator. A monthly experimental film & video series that invited both emerging and established film/video artists to screen and talk about their work to a live audience. The Climate Theater, San Francisco, CA.