CM Seminar: Poetic Operations: Trans of Color Art in Digital Media

micha cárdenas
Assistant Professor of Performance, Play & Design, and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies
UC Santa Cruz
Professor Sri Kurniawan

Join us on Zoom:

Description: In this talk, micha cárdenas will discuss her new book Poetic Operations, as well as her augmented reality artwork about climate justice and her forthcoming publication "Poetics of Trans Ecologies." In Poetic Operations, artist and theorist micha cárdenas considers contemporary digital media, artwork, and poetry in order to articulate trans of color strategies for safety and survival. Drawing on decolonial theory, women of color feminism, media theory, and queer of color critique, cárdenas develops a method she calls algorithmic analysis. Understanding algorithms as sets of instructions designed to perform specific tasks (like a recipe), she breaks them into their component parts, called operations. By focusing on these operations, cárdenas identifies how trans and gender-non-conforming artists, especially artists of color, rewrite algorithms to counter violence and develop strategies for liberation. In her analyses of Giuseppe Campuzano's holographic art, Esdras Parra's and Kai Cheng Thom's poetry, Mattie Brice's digital games, Janelle Monáe's music videos, and her own artistic practice, cárdenas shows how algorithmic analysis provides new modes of understanding the complex processes of identity and oppression and the intersection of gender, sexuality, and race.

Speaker bio: micha cárdenas, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of performance, play & design, and critical race & ethnic studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she directs the Critical Realities Studio. Her book Poetic Operations, out now from Duke University Press, proposes algorithmic analysis as a method for developing a trans of color poetics. cárdenas’s co-authored books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities (2012) and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs (2010) were published by Atropos Press. She is co-editor of the book series Queer/Trans/Digital at NYU Press, with Amanda Philips and Bo Ruberg. She is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0, and she is a first generation Colombian American.