Born in Stanford, California, Katchadourian grew up spending every summer on a small island in the Finnish archipelago, where she still spends part of each year. Her work exists in a wide variety of media—including photography, sculpture, video, and sound—and has been exhibited domestically and internationally at places such as PS1/MoMA, the Serpentine Gallery, New Langton Arts, Artists Space, SculptureCenter, and the Palais de Tokyo. In January 2006 the Turku Art Museum in Turku, Finland, featured a solo show of works made in Finland, and in June 2006 the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs exhibited a 10-year survey of her work and published an accompanying monograph entitled All Forms of Attraction. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego presented a solo show of recent video installation works in July 2008. In February 2010 she was the artist in residence at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in Dunedin, New Zealand, where she had a solo show entitled Seat Assignment.
Katchadourian is currently at work on a permanent public piece, commissioned by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), for a border crossing station between the United States and Canada. Over the past year, her works have been included in exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and at the Hayward Gallery, London. Katchadourian is an assistant professor at the NYU Gallatin School of Interdisciplinary Study, and she is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.