[-empyre-] Welcome to Queer Media Art & Theory on empyre for the month of June!

Zach Blas zachblas at gmail.com
Sat Jun 2 07:50:07 EST 2012

June, 2012 on -empyre- soft_skinned space

Queer Media Art and Theory

Moderated by Zach Blas (US) and Micha Cárdenas (US) with Amanda
Philips (US), Margaret Rhee (US/Korea), Jacob Gaboury (US), Jack
Halberstam (US), Homay King (US), Michael O’Rourke (Ireland), Jordan
Crandall (US), Patricia Clough (US), Lauren Berlant (US), Pinar Yoldas
(Turkey/US), Ricardo Dominguez (US), Heather Davis (Canada) and more.

This month’s focus on empyre will explore queerness and its relations
to media art and theory. Featured guests will introduce their artistic
and theoretical practices to consider and reflect upon the
multiplicitous terrain of queerness and technology.

We understand queer new media--art and theory--as something more than
just new media produced by LGBTIQ peoples. Queer new media to us
encompasses queer methodologies and political commitments, a general
troubling of binaries from the technical level and beyond, a
continuous challenging of gender roles, the explorations of
possibilities for sexuality, alternative friendship and kinship
structures, and a general desire for the non-normative, strange,
subversive, and utopic. Importantly, queer new media for us is about
the continual re-making and refashioning of queerness. New media
theory has taught us for some time to pay careful attention to
materiality, in all its human and nonhuman forms. Queer new media
practices engage our material world and consider the shifting feedback
loops between the construction of queerness and material existence.
What happens to queerness when we engage it with / through new media?

These discussions emerged out of conversations between Blas and
Cárdenas based on their shared practices. Recently, we created a
mailing list, Q
[http://lists.transreal.org/listinfo.cgi/q-transreal.org], because we
saw a need for a space to hold sustained discussion about these
topics. We plan to continue the fruitful conversation started on
empyre after June on the Q list.

Moderated by:

Zach Blas (US) is an artist-theorist working at the intersections of
networked media, queerness, and the political. He is a PhD candidate
in Literature, Information Science + Information Studies, Visual
Studies at Duke University and holds an MFA in Design | Media Arts,
University of California Los Angele and is also the founding member of
Queer Technologies. Zach has exhibited and lectured around the world,
including The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Banff
Centre, Medialab Prado, South by Southwest Interactive, transmediale
festival, Arse Elektronika Festival, Upgrade! Tijuana, the Hemispheric
Institute of Performance and Politics, and Los Angeles Contemporary
Exhibitions, where he co-curated the 2011 group exhibition
Speculative. His up-coming exhibitions include the 2012 Liverpool
Biennial and Trans Technology at Rutgers University. Zach has recently
published writings inThe Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader
and has also edited Micha Cárdenas' newly published book The
Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities. In Fall 2012,
Zach will be an artist/researcher-in-residence at the b.a.n.g.lab,
UCSD, directed by Ricardo Dominguez. http://zachblas.info

Micha Cárdenas (US) is an artist/theorist who works in performance,
wearable electronics, hacktivism and critical gender studies. She is a
PhD student in Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) at University of
Southern California and a member of Electronic Disturbance Theater
2.0. Her book The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing
Realities was published by Atropos Press in 2012. Micha holds an MFA
from University of California, San Diego, an MA in Communication from
the European Graduate School and a BS in Computer Science from Florida
International University. She has exhibited and performed in
biennials, museums and galleries in places around the world including
Los Angeles, San Diego, Tijuana, New York, San Francisco, Montreal,
Colombia, Egypt, Ecuador, Spain, Switzerland and Ireland. Her work has
been written about in publications including Art21, the Associated
Press, the LA Times, CNN, BBC World, Wired and Rolling Stone Italy.
She blogs at transreal.org and tweets at @michacardenas.

Featured Guests, Biographies:

Amanda Philips (US) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English
with an emphasis in Feminist Studies at the University of California,
Santa Barbara. Her dissertation takes a vertical slice of the video
games industry to look at how difference is produced and policed on
multiple levels of the gamic system: discourse, hardware, software,
representation, and corporate practice. Her interests more broadly are
in queer, feminist, and antiracist discourses in and around
technoculture, popular media, and the digital humanities. In addition
to participating in the 2010 NEH-sponsored Humanities Gaming
Institute, Amanda has been a HASTAC Scholar since 2009 and hosted, in
conjunction with Margaret Rhee, an online HASTAC Forum on Queer and
Feminist New Media Spaces, the organization’s most-commented forum to
date. She has presented at the conferences for UCLA Queer Studies, the
American Studies Association, the Popular Culture Association, and the
Conference on College Composition and Communication, and has
participated in unconferences such as HASTAC’s Peer-to-Peer Pedagogies
Workshop, THATCamp SoCal, and the Transcriptions Research Slam. Most
recently, she has been involved with the #transformDH Collective's
efforts to encourage and highlight critical cultural studies work in
digital humanities projects.

Margaret Rhee (US/Korea) is a doctoral candidate in Ethnic Studies
with a designated emphasis in New Media Studies at the University of
California, Berkeley. She is conceptualist and co-lead of From the
Center, a feminist collective that aims to provide digital media
access and education for women inside and outside the jail setting as
authors, directors, and storytellers of their own lives. website:
http://ourstorysf.org/ She co-curated HASTAC Scholars "Queer and
Feminist New Media Spaces" with Amanda Phillips in 2010. Her interests
include posthumanism and race, Asian American cultural critique, and
queer theory.

Jacob Gaboury (US) is a doctoral candidate in the department of Media,
Culture and Communication at New York University and a staff writer
for the art and technology organization Rhizome at the New Museum of
Contemporary Art. His work is concerned with media history, art and
technology and queer technologies, and he is currently finishing A
Queer History of Computing, to be published this summer through
Rhizome in partnership with Amazon.com. His dissertation project is
titled Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics, and deals
with the early history of computer graphics and their role in the
shift toward object oriented systems and design.

Jack Halberstam (US) is Professor of English, American Studies and
Ethnicity and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California.
Halberstam works in the areas of popular, visual and queer culture
with an emphasis on subcultures. Halberstam’s first book, Skin Shows:
Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (1995), was a study of
popular gothic cultures of the 19th and 20th centuries and it
stretched from Frankenstein to contemporary horror film. Her 1998
book, Female Masculinity (1998), made a ground breaking argument about
non-male masculinity and tracked the impact of female masculinity upon
hegemonic genders. Halberstam’s last book, In a Queer Time and Place:
Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005), described and theorized
queer reconfigurations of time and space in relation to subcultural
scenes and the emergence of transgender visibility. This book devotes
several chapters to the topic of visual representation of gender
ambiguity. Halberstam was also the co-author with Del LaGrace Volcano
of a photo/essay book, The Drag King Book (1999), and with Ira
Livingston of an anthology, Posthuman Bodies (1995). Halberstam
regularly speaks on queer culture, gender studies and popular culture
and publishes blogs at bullybloggers.com. Halberstam just published a
book titled The Queer Art of Failure in August 2011 from Duke
University Press and has another book coming out next year from Beacon
Press titled Gaga Feminism.

Homay King (US) is Associate Professor in the Department of History of
Art and Director of the Program in Film Studies at Bryn Mawr College.
She is the author of Lost in Translation: Orientalism, Cinema, and the
Enigmatic Signifier (Duke UP, 2010). Her essays on film and
contemporary art have appeared in Afterall, Camera Obscura, Discourse,
Film Quarterly, and The Quarterly Review of Film and Video. She is a
member of the Camera Obscura editorial collective. Her current project
is book about the virtual.

Michael O’Rourke (Ireland) teaches in the Department of Psychotherapy
at Independent Colleges Dublin, Ireland and he has published
extensively on the intersections between queer theory and continental
philosophy. He is currently writing a book on object oriented ontology
and speculative realism. Some of his many publications can be found
here: http://independentcolleges.academia.edu/MichaelORourke

Lauren Berlant (US) is George M. Pullman Professor of English at the
University of Chicago. Her national sentimentality trilogy — The
Anatomy of National Fantasy (University of Chicago Press, 1991,
Chicago), The Queen of America Goes to Washington City (Duke
University Press, 1997, Durham), and The Female Complaint (Duke
University Press, 2008, Durham) — has now morphed into a quartet, with
Cruel Optimism (2011) addressing precarious publics and the aesthetics
of affective adjustment in the contemporary U.S. and Europe. A
co-editor of Critical Inquiry, she is also editor of Intimacy
(University of Chicago Press, 2000, Chicago); Our Monica, Ourselves:
The Clinton Affair and the National Interest (New York University
Press, 2001, New York); Compassion: the Culture and Politics of an
Emotion (Routledge, 2004, New York); and On the Case (Critical
Inquiry, 2007). She blogs at Supervalent Thought and is also a
founding member of the art/activist group Feel Tank Chicago.

Jordan Crandall (US) (http://jordancrandall.com) is a media artist,
theorist, and performer.  He is a Professor of Visual Arts at
University of California, San Diego.  He is the 2011 winner of the
Vilém Flusser Theory Award for outstanding theory and research-based
digital arts practice, given by the Transmediale in Berlin in
collaboration with the Vilém Flusser Archive of the University of
Arts, Berlin.  He is a collaborator  at Eyebeam art and technology
center in New York and the founding editor of the journal VERSION
(http://version.org). His current project UNMANNED is a work of
"philosophical theater": a blend of performance art, political
allegory, philosophical speculation, and intimate reverie that
explores the ontologies of distributed systems and the changing nature
of masculinity in the face of automated technologies of war.

Patricia Clough (US) is Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at
Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New
York. She is the co- editor with Craig Willse of Beyond Biopolitics:
Essays on the Governance of Life and Death and editor of The Affective
Turn: Theorizing the Social, both published by Duke University Press.
Her books include Autoaffection (2000), Feminist Thought (1995) and
The End(s) of Ethnography (1992, revised 1998).

Heather Davis (Canada) is a researcher and writer from Montreal. She
recently completed her Ph.D. in Communication at Concordia University
on the political potential of community-based art.  She explores and
participates in expanded art practices that bring together
researchers, activists, and community members to enact social change.
In the fall, she will begin an FQRSC postdoctoral fellowship at Duke
University to examine the shifting nature of institutional structures
under the double pressures of social practice art and neoliberalism.
She has written about the intersection of art, politics, and community
engagement for Fibreculture, Public, No More Potlucks, and .dpi

Ricardo Dominguez (US) is a co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance
Theater (EDT), a group who developed Virtual-Sit-In technologies in
1998 in solidarity with the Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico.
His recent Electronic Disturbance Theater project with Brett Stabaum,
Micha Cardenas, Dr. Amy Sara Carroll (University of Michigan), and
Elle Elle Mehrmand, the *Transborder Immigrant Tool* (a GPS cellphone
safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/U.S border was the winner of
"Transnational Communities Award" (2008), this award was funded by
*Cultural Contact*, Endowment for Culture Mexico - U.S. and handed out
by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico), also funded by CALIT2 and two
Transborder Awards from the UCSD Center for the Humanities.
*Transborder Immigrant Tool* was exhibited at 2010 California Biennial
(OCMA), Toronto Free Gallery, Canada (2011), the project was also
under investigation by the U.S. Congress in 2009/10, and was also
reviewed by Glenn Beck in 2010 as a gesture that potentially
"dissolved" the U.S. border with its poetry. Ricardo is an Associate
Professor at UCSD in the Visual Arts Department, a Hellman Fellow, and
Principal/Principle Investigator at CALIT2 (http://bang.calit2.net).
He also co-founder of *particle group*, with artists Diane Ludin, Nina
Waisman, Amy Sara Carroll, an art project about nano-toxicology
entitled *Particles of Interest: Tales of the Matter Market* that has
been presented in Berlin (2007), the San Diego Museum of Art (2008),
Oi Futuro, Brazil (2008), CAL NanoSystems Institute, UCLA (2009),
Medialab-Prado, Madrid (2009), Nanosferica, NYU (2010), SOMA,
D.F.,Mexico (2012).

Pinar Yoldas (Turkey/US) is a cross-disciplinary artist, all-in-one
designer and a neuro-enthusiast. Through her work she investigates
social and cultural systems in regards to biological and ecological
systems. Lately she has been designing mutations, tumors and
neoplasmic organs to rethink the body and its sexuality transformed by
the mostly urban habitats of techno-capitalist consumerism. Her
current project Speculative Biologies simulates the experience of a "
natural history museum of the future" showcasing Species of Excess
elegantly caged in incubators, jars, aquariums. Pinar's work has been
exhibited internationally including Bologna(Italy) , Torun(Poland),
Istanbul, Frankfurt, Providence, Portland, Berkeley, New Mexico and
Los Angeles. She has been awarded residency fellowship grants at
MacDowell Colony, UCross Foundation and VCCA. Her artwork has been
featured in Wired Magazine(online), Digicult(online) and Beatiful
Decay. Her research interests include evolutionary aesthetics,
art-neuroscience interactions and subversive gaming environments . She
is an active lab member of s-1: Speculative Sensation Lab, led by Mark
B. N. Hansen (Duke University) and UCLA ArtSci Center + Lab led by
Victoria Vesna (UCLA). She has held teaching positions in Istanbul KH
University , UCLA and Duke University and has led workshops in
physical computing, programming and interface design. Pinar has a
BArch from METU , MS from ITU , MA from Istanbul Bilgi University and
an MFA from UCLA.Currently she is a PhD student in the Art, Art
History and Visual Studies department at Duke University. Check her
latest project Speculative Biologies and more at
http://pinaryoldas.info .

zach blas
artist & phd candidate
literature, information science + information studies, visual studies
duke university

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