Dr. micha cárdenas is an artist/theorist who creates and studies trans of color movement in digital media, where movement includes migration, performance and mobility. cárdenas is an Assistant Professor of Interactive Media Design at the University of Washington | Bothell.
cárdenas earned her Ph.D. in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. Her solo and collaborative artworks have been presented in museums, galleries and biennials including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the ZKM in Karlrushe, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the Centro Cultural del Bosque in Mexico City, the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, the Zero1 Biennial and the California Biennial. cárdenas was the recipient of the first ever James Tiptree Jr. fellowship.
Quotes about micha cárdenas
In Trans Desire, Cárdenas offers us nothing less than a practical theory of desire that creates livable, affirmative worlds that resist the violence of capitalism and heteronormativity.
– Zach Blas, E-MISFÉRICA
In this daring and poetic study [The Transreal], Micha Cárdenas guides us through the world of the transexual, the transgenerational, the transpolitical, the transborder. The transreal is both a multilayered space and an existential condition. Brilliant.
– Diana Taylor, University Professor, Performance Studies and Spanish, New York University Founding Director, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
Cárdenas offers new relational modes of modulation, conduction, and calibration that are not based on difference, reduction, or lack, adopting the structuring principles of ecologies rather than the apparatus. What emerges is a transreal geometry of intimacy: dynamic assemblies of scalar bodies, historical and transitional, distributed and consolidated in new forms of material agency, affective amplification, and erotic transgression… The transreal becomes not only a tool for analysis but also a political practice: a call for the transformation of reality itself, in all its sensory resonances, by way of incorporating the turbulent forces at its core.
– Jordan Crandall, Associate Professor, Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego
Micha Cárdenas and her playmates are ontological guerrillas who know that blowing up the dominant order of power/knowledge is only the first step towards real revolution. The crucial next step is materializing virtual possibilities immanent in our current situation. Read the book, and make a little transreality yourself.
– Susan Stryker, transgender theorist, filmmaker, and academic Director, Institute for LGBT Studies, Associate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona
Micha’s extended period of immersion in SL [Second Life] enhances RL [Real Life] and actualizes SL as an alternate operational system, one that allows us to perform beyond the boundaries of our skin and beyond the local space that we inhabit.
Dr. micha cárdenas is an artist/theorist who creates and studies trans of color movement in digital media, where movement includes migration, performance and mobility. cárdenas is Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences University of Washington | Bothell. cárdenas earned her PhD in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0.Her solo and collaborative artworks have been presented in museums, galleries and biennials including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the ZKM in Karlrushe, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the Centro Cultural del Bosque in Mexico City, the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, the Zero1 Biennial and the California Biennial. Her co-authored book The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities was published by Atropos Press in 2012. She was the recipient of the first ever James Tiptree Jr. fellowship.
For the past 10 years, micha cárdenas has used digital technologies in performance to call into question commonly held notions about identity such as race, gender, nationality, ability, and the ways these notions operate to create safety or violence. In 2015 micha was a visiting scholar in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, and a MacArthur Foundation HASTAC Scholar. In 2013 micha was a fellow at the Post Media Lab at Leuphana University in Germany, a New Directions Scholar at the USC Center for Feminist Research and a HASTAC Scholar. She 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 blogs at michacardenas.org and tweets at @michacardenas.
Her solo and collaborative work has been presented in spaces including HTMlles in Montreal, the Living as Form Nomadic Edition in Yellow Springs, Ohio, the Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum in Azarita, Egypt, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in São Paulo, Brazil, and Artscape Gibraltar Point in Toronto.
cárdenas has presented keynote talks at the 2013 Dark Side of the Digital conference, the 2014 Digital Gender workshop at Umeå University in Sweden, Temple University’s Beyond the Page series, the Center for 21st Century Studies C21 at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the 2013 Differential Mobilities conference at Concordia University in Montreal, the 2012 Allied Media Conference, and an opening keynote performance at the 2014 Gender, Bodies, Technology Conference at Virginia Tech.
Her two co-authored books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs were published by Atropos Press. Her writing has been published in the journals AI & Society, Transgender Studies Quarterly, Ada Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Media-N, and the conference proceedings of Mobile HCI, SPIE Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality and SPIE Three-Dimensional Imaging, Interaction, and Measurement. Her writing has been published in the anthologies Critical Digital Studies Reader, Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader, Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Troubling the Line: Trans & Genderqueer Poetry & Poetics, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, Arse Elektronika 2008 & 2009.
Previously, cárdenas was the Interim Associate Director of Art and Technology in the Culture, Art and Technology program of Sixth College at UCSD. She has been a Lecturer in the Visual Arts department and Critical Gender Studies programs at UCSD and an Artist/Researcher at CRCA and the b.a.n.g. lab at Calit2. She taught “Electronic Technologies for Art” in the UCSD Visual Arts Department in 2009 and 2010. In addition, they taught “Gender and Sexuality in Art” in the Critical Gender Studies Program at UCSD. micha holds an MFA from the University of California San Diego, an MA in Media and Communications with distinction from the European Graduate School and a BS in Computer Science from Florida International University.
cárdenas’ artwork and collective projects have appeared in publications including Art21, Associated Press, BBC World, CNN, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone Italy, Wired, Vice Magazine, Shameless Magazine, Missy Magazine, .dpi magazine, the Networked Performance blog, the San Diego Reader, San Diego City Beat, San Diego Union Tribune, Art as Authority, Dr. Dobbs Journal, Secondlife.com, New World Notes and Brooklyn is Watching. Micha’s writing has been featured in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, No More Potlucks, the Inflexions journal, Digimag, NewMediaFix.net, Augmentology.com and in the San Diego Reader.
cárdenas was the recipient of a 2008 Open Classroom Challenge Grant from UCIRA and taught a class entitled “Collective Art Practice, Performative and Networked Approaches to Challenging Power”. She has been a guest speaker at University of Toronto, Scripps College, Concordia University in Montreal, USC, UCLA, Duke University, Calarts, University of Texas at Dallas, McGill University in Montreal, UCSD, SDSU and other universities. She has presented papers on her projects and collaborations at numerous conferences and festivals including the Digital Arts and Culture Conference at UC Irvine, Society of Photonic Imaging Engineers “Electronic Imaging” Conference in San Jose, and the Ctheory Digital Studies Workshop in Victoria.
cárdenas has collaborated with Ricardo Dominguez, Brett Stalbaum, Amy Sara Carroll and Elle Mehrmand on the Transborder Immigrant Tool.
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