CFP: Digital Gender: Theory, Methodology and Practice

CALL FOR PAPERS: Digital Gender: Theory, Methodology and Practice

12-14 MARCH 2014

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Micha Cardénas, Electronic Disturbance Theater/b.a.n.g. lab, University of Southern California, USA
Annette Markham, Professor in digital Culture, Årrhus, Denmark

The rapid expansion of ICT in industry and academia has spawned a vast amount of research and practice on a variety of issues regarding the digital, from virtual identities to cyber-bullying and cyber-crime. Indeed, digital environments offer an overt space for political/institutional debate, education, cultural heritage as well as leisure, pleasure and consumption. In the same breath, they communicate gender representation, narratives, discourse, ideology, and performance; Alongside the emergence of the field of Digital Humanities, concepts of gender in digital culture have been underplayed in scholarship with very recent sporadic and rather discipline-specific exceptions (Coleman: 2012, Green and Adam: 2001, Jenkins: 2006, Kafai et al: 2011, Matrix: 2012- older scholarship and further initiatives can be found here: The argument for this is that technological innovations and ubiquitous technologies are undergoing such a fast-paced metamorphosis that any attempt to examine social profiles can reflect on current analogue environments and vice versa. There is, however, still debate whether digital communities and the use of technology are tangible and bound by traditional and communal criteria such as explicit group demarcations, governing rules, participatory culture, recognition by external authorities, political implications, and other mechanisms for monitoring behaviors and conflict resolutions.

For the proposed workshop, individual paper contributors and panelists will use a variety of traditional and innovative methodological and theoretical perspectives (gender theory, sociology, socio-cultural introspection, and virtual ethnography etc.) to explore the implications of gender in the digital realm. These perspectives will be compared to more empirical (for example technical and artistic) approaches to digital gender that can potentially accommodate or subvert current theoretical and methodological tools. While there are only partial manifestations of traditional characteristics in electronic communities, empirical evidence and practice indicates that the digital spaces have the potential to alter the way communities perceive gender as it encompasses a plethora of opinions. This workshop will address questions of theory and methodology and pair them with activist and/or artistic practice. We propose a balance between research and methodology and empirical, artistic and activist perspectives. Therefore, we aim to also include speakers that have a strong relation to activism and art to offer a more nuanced and practice-based aspect of the making of gender in digital contexts.

The workshop will flag out case-studies where current digital spaces retain or abort vestiges of traditional communities with analogue hierarchical and social linkages and class-structured relationships as well as the potentials of creating further egalitarian digital environments.

We aim to deploy (yet we are not limited) to four research themes/ groups.

1. Gender and the Social Media
2. Gender and Activism in Digital Contexts
3. Digital Gender Representation, Narratives, and Embodiment.
4. Digital Love and Sexuality.

Discussions should include (but are not limited to)
Proposed theoretical and methodological tools that can promote digital environments as a ‘virtual equalizers’ of social communities rather than exclusively escapist or voyeuristic spaces (remix, creativity, innovation, physics and big data research, data collection, analysis, generate play etc).

Introspection and analysis of the methodological tools used by digital cultural communities to perform gender and correspondence with analogue cultural communities. (The ways in which activism is actually embedded in and integrated in digital spaces, methods in different areas and uniqueness of methods, challenges and entrapments of methodology, projects and creative methodology etc.)

Methodology, practice, activism, and diversity.

The very real impact that gender representation, narrative and performance in digital culture can have in real-life urban and rural social environments.

Please email your abstracts (no more than 150 words for both 10 or 20 minute long papers to Viktor Arvidsson (<>) no later than the 15th of December 2013.

Please note that any submissions should be in word format, Times New Roman 12pt and should include:

Affiliation and position, title and length of presentation, as well as a bio of max. 100 words.

Professor Mia Una
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin
Presentation Title and Length: The Politics of Embodiment in the Digital Sphere (10 mins)
Bio: Loren ipsum dolor sin amet….

Any informal queries should be addressed to Dr. Anna Foka (<>)

Dr Anna Foka

Associate Senior Lecturer
Umeå University
SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

*please fill in all fields. Thanks!

Redshift & Portalmetal

Redshift & Portalmetal by micha cárdenas Sound by Bobby Bray Redshift and Portalmetal asks: as climate change forces us to travel to the stars and build new homes and families, how do we build on this land, where we are settlers, while working to undo colonization? The story uses space travel as a lens through which to understand the experience of migration and settlement for a trans woman of color. Redshift and Portalmetal tells the story of Roja, who's planet's environment is failing, so she has to travel to other worlds. The project takes the form of an online, interactive game, including film, performance and poetry. I designed the interaction, wrote the text, performed the movement, and coordinated the filming in Los Angeles and Toronto. The project is built with HTML5 video, CSS and Javascript, using the Scalar e-publishing platform. Play it at, and if you like it you can make a donation!    
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Redshift and Portalmetal, performance images, Oct, Nov, 2014

Redshift and Portalmetal asks: as climate change forces us to travel to the stars and build new homes and families, how do we build on this land, where we are settlers, while working to undo colonization? The story uses space travel as a lens through which to understand the experience of migration and settlement for a trans woman of color. Redshift and Portalmetal points to possibilities of post-digital, post-media, and decolonial approaches to communication.

The project takes the form of an online, interactive game, including film, performance and poetry. I designed the interaction, wrote the text, performed the movement, and coordinated the filming in Los Angeles and Toronto. The online component is still in development, and requires the Google Chrome web browser or Firefox on Android devices. The project is built with HTML5 video, CSS and Javascript, using the Scalar e-publishing platform as the content management system. Additionally, I have performed Redshift and Portalmetal live at the opening night of HTMlles 2015, a feminist new media festival in Montreal, as an opening keynote performance at the "Gender, Bodies, Technology" conference at Virginia Tech, and at Temple Contemporary gallery in Philadelphia. 

Live game playtesting as performance at the opening night of the HTMlles Feminist New Media Festival in Montreal, Quebec, November 2014. Photos by võ thiên việt. Live playtesting performance at Temple Contemporary gallery in Philadelphia, October 2014 part of my artist residency at Temple University. Photos by Dustin Fenstermacher.  
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Speculative Bodies: Trans and Queer of Color Media Praxis, Panel at SCMS 2015

I'm very happy to announce that I'll be presenting on a panel with a group of amazing scholars at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2015 annual conference in March in Montreal! Panel Title: Speculative Bodies: Trans and Queer of Color Digital Media Praxis Chair: Tara McPherson Respondent: Zach Blas Shifting, Flickering Futures: Imagining a Digital Trans of Color Praxis/Micha Cardenas The Digital as Drag/Margaret Rhee Queer Love and Media Justice: Critical Fandom as Speculative Feminist Praxis/Alexis Lothian  
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What Carries Us Through the World – Workshops and Screening in Toronto

Image: micha cárdenas, Alessandra Renzi, Frantz Jerome, Benjamin Lundberg, Lily Mengesha, Aisha Jordan, Joana Fittipaldi and Tomaz Capobanco, photos by Macarena Gomez-Barris, We Already Know and We Don’t Yet Know, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics VIII Encuentro, São Paulo, Brazil, January 2013. Courtesy of the artist. [Image shows 8 people performing a movement gesture, pointing with one arm outstretched, looking down, wearing black and grey clothes, ground wet, audience and green plants in the background]

Call for Participants

micha cárdenas With guest facilitators Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Eddie Ndopu

Presented by e-fagia and co-presented by the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University

Workshops Part 1 - Monday, August 18, 6-9pm with micha cárdenas and Eddie Ndopu Part 2 - Wednesday, September 24th, 6-9pm with micha cárdenas and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Public Screening September TBD

Registration ends: Sunday, August 10th, 2014 Please RSVP for ASL by August 1st Maximum 20 participants. Workshops will take place at IDRC at OCAD University, 49 McCaul Street.

“Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes al andar.” “Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks.” ― Gloria E. Anzaldúa

What carries us through the city? Urban environments are highly designed with layers of technology. As we move through them, we bring our own technologies that assist us in travel, from canes and wheelchairs to lipstick and hormones to objects with spiritual significance to mobile media and wearable electronics. Inspired by the work of the Gloria Anzaldúa, a gender non-conforming, sick and disabled chicana poet, this two part workshop series brings together together trans people, disabled people, people of color and allies to share our knowledge of moving though the city, in order to build trans and disabled solidarity through our shared need for safe movement. Starting with a discussion of wearable electronics in cárdenas' project Local Autonomy Networks, participants will consider all the varied kinds of technology they wear on their bodies and encounter as they move through the city. 

What Carries Us Through the World will engage participants in a two part workshop series that will culminate in a final screening. Throughout the workshops we will identify design problems that limit access or allow for violence, from physical aspects such as curb cuts to ideological aspects such as colonial borders and gendered restrooms. Using discussion, writing and performance exercises we will create short video performances that engage with issues of access, movement and liberation in Toronto. Through our shared experiences of violence and everyday resilience strategies, we will work towards a vision of the future where trans and disabled people can have freedom of movement. 

The series asks: how can we reconfigure our understanding of technology and design, to decolonize technology, to no longer think technology only in terms of digital technologies, circuit boards, LED's and microcontrollers. How can we expand our idea of technology to include lipstick, glasses, jewelry, curb cuts, door frames, respirators and face masks, immigration controls, transportation networks, ways of sharing secrets, nonverbal ways of communicating, all of the ways that we create worlds as we move through them. 

To register your participation, please send your name and contact information,  mmcarden A+ usc d0+ edu with “What Carries Us Through the World” in the subject line and we will send you a form for participant information. 

About the Artists

micha cárdenas is a performer, writer, student, educator, mixed-race latina femme who works with movement as a technology of change. micha is a Provost Fellow and PhD candidate in Media Arts + Practice (iMAP) at University of Southern California and a member of the art collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. micha’s solo and collaborative work has been seen in museums, galleries, biennials, keynotes, community and public spaces around the world.

Eddie Ndopu - Born to a South African freedom fighter mother who fled from the Apartheid regime to Namibia under self-imposed exile, Edward (Eddie) Ndopu is a dis/abled queer femme afropolitan living in Ottawa, Ontario. Named by the Mail and Guardian Newspaper as one of their Top 200 Young South Africans, he is a social critic, anti-oppression practitioner, consultant, writer, and scholar.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled Sri Lankan cis femme writer, performer, organizer and badass visionary healer. The author of the Lambda Award winning Love Cake and Consensual Genocide and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. With Cherry Galette, she co-founded Mangos With Chili, North America's performance incubator for Two Spirit, queer and trans people of color performance artists, and is a lead artist with Sins Invalid. She has taught, performed and lectured across North America, Sri Lanka and Australia and co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School.


This workshop is for trans people, sick and disabled people, 2-spirit, black / indigenous / mixed / people of color, but it is open to allies interested in working in solidarity at the intersections of disability justice, assistive technologies, transgender safety, wearable technologies and transportation in the city. The venue is wheelchair accessible and ASL interpretation will be made available upon request. Please RSVP for ASL by August 1st. Do not wear chemical scents or scented garments, to allow accessibility for presenters and participants with chemical sensitivity. [More details about scent-free accessibility here] 

About e-fagia

e-fagia is a Toronto-based organization created to produce and disseminate visual and media art projects with emphasis on contemporary Canadian and Latin American artists. Our focus is on diversity and art practices that respond to common decolonial struggles in the Americas. We provide a space for artists’ visibility in the national and international communities, while advancing theoretical inquiry through exhibitions, digital and print publications, and lectures by local and international artists, curators and scholars.

We have a trans-disciplinary approach towards the complexity of contemporary arts: we foster encounters between new media artists and people of other academic disciplines to develop aesthetic and socio-communicational projects under the net of relations enabled by new technologies. Our publications and presentations help us to expose the public to different types of contemporary artistic production. For more information visit

About  Inclusive Design Research Center at Ontario College of Art & Design

The Inclusive Design Research Center (IRDC) is a research and development centre at OCAD University where an international community of open source developers, designers, researchers, advocates, and volunteers work together to ensure that emerging information technology and practices are designed inclusively. The group promotes inclusion in a full complement of activities:

- growing design and development practices

- creating tools that others can use and contribute to

- teaching the principles and techniques of inclusive design

- advocating for inclusion in international standards

- providing services that match solutions with individuals

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Artist in Residence at Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto

I'm so honored to be an artist in residence this summer at Artscape Gibraltar Point in Toronto, Ontario. Read on for more details... ANNOUNCING THE ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE FOR THE 2014 INTERGENERATIONAL LGBT ARTIST RESIDENCY (le français suivra) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday June 12, 2014 ANNOUNCING THE ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE FOR THE 2014 INTERGENERATIONAL LGBT ARTIST RESIDENCY I’m proud to announce the continuation of the INTERGENERATIONAL LGBT ARTIST RESIDENCY, the first intergenerational artist-in-residency program for LGBTQ artists in Canada. The residency will take place with the support of the Ontario Arts Council, private donors, and the collaboration of Artscape Gibraltar Point, on the Toronto Island July 1 to 15, 2014. The INTERGENERATIONAL LGBT ARTIST RESIDENCY offers studio space and free room and board to artists for the duration of the two-week residency. Residents will also receive mentoring and studio visits from critically acclaimed artists, and curators, as well as collectors and art historians. Our partner is Artscape Gibraltar Point, an artist residency and retreat center nestled on the Toronto Island near Hanlan’s Point. Leading figures in Canadian contemporary art, artists, collectors, curators and art historians, will serve as mentors, who by providing residents with one-on-one studio visits and support will participate in the community the residency generates. The aim of this residency is to help create a vision and experience of LGBT longevity through shared practice, art career management training, and community building. Right now, there is no real vision for LGBTQ longevity. There is little to no plan for LGBT elder care. There is a dearth of medical investment around the aging trans body. Simultaneous to this, neither Canadian LGBTQ political history nor Canadian LGBTQ art history is taught or shared in any kind of organized or widespread way. Only a privileged few who get a certain kind of humanities education, might seek out LGBTQ art history, and this is more likely to be about American artists and American historical events. Typically this results in a fixation on that which alleges to be 'new', because there is no sense of trajectory or lineage. An explicitly Canadian artist residency with an intergenerational LGBTQ cohort can strengthen the vision and community we offer one another. The INTERGENERATIONAL LGBT ARTIST RESIDENCY is very pleased to announce the artists for the inaugural 2014 residency: Micha CARDENAS (Toronto, Ontario/Los Angeles, California) Derek DUNLOP (Winnipeg, Manitoba) Syrus Marcus WARE (Toronto, Ontario) Micha CARDENAS is a scholar, and artist using dance, text and interactive technology. She is working on a series of movement and poetry performances, videos and an interactive online experience. Derek DUNLOP using Queer abstraction, drawing and painting processes, he will explore three new formal approaches to making works on paper arising out of his recent work in the studio. Syrus Marcus WARE is Syrus Marcus Ware is a visual artist, community activist, youth-advocate and educator. He is working on large-scale painting themed around archives, LGBT storytelling and LGBT activism in Toronto. The jurors also chose two alternates. Thanks to a generous donor, the alternates can still participate in the 2014 INTERGENERATIONAL LGBT ARTIST RESIDENCY by sharing the studios and being a part of the residency community. This will enrich the 2014 residency experience for all of the participants. Alternates: Alec BUTLER (Toronto, Ontario) Alec is developing “My Friend Brindley” a documentary about the late local unsung hero and historic figure Brindley, their friendship, art and activism, and the forbidden subject of death and grieving. Joshua VETTIVELU (Thornhill, Ontario) will use the landscapes of Gibraltar Point and surrounding islands to develop land artworks, temporary sculpture and video. We wish to thank all those who applied! We received applications from across Canada, from Halifax to the Prairies to Quebec and even California, North Carolina and Brooklyn,. Jurors were faced with the difficult task of selecting only a few among the many excellent applications. Our 2014 cohort of Artists in Residence was juried by Elisha Lim (artist), Kelly McCray (curator) and Kathleen Pirrie Adams (curator and professor, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University). Each of these award winning artist educators brings a depth of history and experience to the process, broadening the credibility and gravitas of the project. We considered a variety of criteria in the selection process in order to put together a coherent and balanced cohort of residents. Applicants for the INTERGENERATIONAL LGBT ARTIST RESIDENCY included a broad range of ages and career points and genders. The work submitted for review was passionate, rigorous and inspired, showcasing a diverse array of mediums, and exciting practices. We hope those who were not offered a residency this year are aware of the crucial role they played in developing this project, and feel encouraged to apply again next year. The residency will bring both new creative perspectives and prestigious art professionals together at Artscape Gibraltar Point. Located in the former Toronto Island Public and Natural Science School, Artscape Gibraltar Point offers retreat space, artist studios and accommodations for artists . A short walk from Toronto’s clothing optional beaches at Hanlan’s Point, Gibraltar Point enjoys it’s own semi private beach. The beach is shielded from the road by a stand of natural brush and trees. There are designated wooden walkways through this natural area to ensure that foot traffic does not degrade it. To the descendants of the Ojibwa, now the Mississauga First Nation, the Toronto Islands are sacred land. The tranquil, idyllic setting at Artscape Gibraltar Point is world-renowned as a centre for members of the artistic and non-profit communities to think, experiment, collaborate and share ideas. On July 14, there will be a concluding public event which will both celebrate the achievement of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency and its participants, as well as honour the donors, and raise funds for the continuation and expansion of the residency in 2015. Please visit our Facebook page and our website for updates about the artists and the public events. Interested parties can also donate via Paypal, on our website. By exploring Canadian LGBT art history and artistic practice, while supporting artists and art production, we could foster communication across generational lines with this community building initiative. The INTERGENERATIONAL LGBT ARTIST RESIDENCY highlights the trajectory and longevity of LGBT art both historically and reaching into the future. We look forward to seeing you on the island!    
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We Need Trans of Color Feminism Now

The AVP statistics are out, and again trans women of color are the number one targets of violence and murder, by a wide margin. We need a trans of color feminism now, that can stop these deaths of our sisters and free those behind bars, like Jane Doe. And as I said last week at the Writing Trans Genres conference in Winnipeg, this is not a project for trans women of color to do alone, any more than feminism is for women or ending racism is just a project for black people. No, everyone needs to be contributing to, building and supporting this emerging movement of brilliant, beautiful and powerful trans women of color and developing an analysis that can account for, and end, these deaths and imprisonments. Trans of color feminism will be art, theory and activism. We need a trans of color feminism that can move beyond a simple demand for representation that would allow violence, including the violence of imprisonment and war, to continue, in exchange for media coverage, that understands that neoliberalism works by managing difference which means giving us visibility in corporate media in order to say who is an acceptable trans person and who isn't. We need a trans of color feminism that can find ways to still work for justice for all the trans women of color who don't want to be identified and just want to live their lives. We need a trans of color feminism that won't let transfeminism reproduce the ways that feminism centered whiteness. We need a trans of color feminism that can account for the historical lack of trans women in women of color feminism. We need a trans of color feminism that doesn't forget where we came from and acknowledges that the concept of transgender was invented by white western doctors and ignores the ancient histories of gender diversity as old as humanity. We need trans of color feminism now, because we want to live, we want to love and we want to thrive, and we are going to change whatever structures stand in our way.        
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Body Games: Workshop series in Toronto this summer

  I’m so excited to share my Body Games series of workshops this summer in Toronto, with Dames Making Games! The first is wearable electronics and the second is embodied non-competitive games! Here’s the workshop series description: Body Games – Our Bodies, Our Games a workshop series by micha cárdenas Does the identity and embodiment of the game designer matter? Does the identity and style of embodiment of the player matter? How can we use these parts of ourselves to design better, more compelling, more transformative games for social justice? This workshop series by micha cárdenas, presented by Dames Making Games Toronto, will look at games we can play where our bodies characteristics are central game mechanics. How can we create a capture the flag game that is anti-colonial? Or a game of Tag that will help end sexual violence? Or a game of hide-and-go-seek that would challenge trans-misogyny? Or a game that challenges ableism by relying on disabled players unique capabilities in order to win? Accessibility: The workshop space and washroom are wheelchair accessible. Do not wear scented products to this workshop. If ASL is needed, please leave a comment to send me a message and RSVP.
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E-Books of The Transreal and Trans Desire

The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities - $12.00 - by micha cárdenas, Elle Mehrmand, Zach Blas, Amy Sara Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez, Brian Holmes, James Morgan, Stelarc, Allucquére Rosanne Stone. The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities explores the use of multiple simultaneous realities as a medium in contemporary art, including mixed reality, augmented reality and alternate reality approaches. Building on the notion of "trans" from transgender, signifying the crossing of boundaries, the book proposes that transreal aesthetics cross the boundaries created by a proliferation of conceptions of reality that occurred as a result of postmodern theory and emerging technologies. Proposing three operations for dealing with multiple realities, The Transreal discusses artists and art collectives including Blast Theory, mez breeze, Reza Negarestani, Ricardo Dominguez and Zach Blas. Through these artists' work and Cárdenas' own artwork, including Becoming Dragon and collaborations with Elle Mehrmand Becoming Transreal, technésexual and virus.circus, The Transreal demonstrates that transreal aesthetics have broad implications across new media, performance art and electronic literature. The book spans a wide range of genres including theoretical analyses of artworks, poetry, source code, photos of performances and wearable electronics, and discussions with leading thinkers in new media and performance art including Stelarc, Allucquére Rosanne Stone and Ricardo Dominguez. Building on the notion of experimental affective politics that was developed in Cárdenas' first book Trans Desire/Affective Cyborgs, co-authored with Barbara Fornssler, The Transreal claims that an understanding of building and working with multiple realities is essential for artists and political actors to have agency today. Read an excerpt from the Introduction by micha cárdenas "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   Trans Desire - $10.00 - by micha cárdenas Trans Desire explores the ramifications of using desire as the basis for contemporary political movements rooted in a struggle for autonomy, from the perspective of a transgender person about to begin hormone replacement therapy. It examines the affinities between psychoanalytic theories of desire, queer theory and biopolitics, using the work of theorists including Avital Ronell, Giorgio Agamben and Judith Butler. Trans Desire proposes that radical queer porn is an example of world building that effectively resists biopower without turning to former movements' demands for rights and legislative reforms. "Micha Cárdenas takes apart the terms and implicit contract binding the project of "Master Thesis." What is it to master an object of inquiry that resists boundary control or conceptual arrest? How does one pursue a thesis when genre and gender assignments are continually destabilized? Situated between soft rant and manifesto, between autobiographeme and scholarship, between single and double authorship, Trans Desire bravely faces down the quirky habits of our bildopedic culture, reformatting the very conditions of institutional submission." - Avital Ronell "In this powerful meta-account of transgressive embodiments and desires, Cárdenas enunciates a rousing, theoretically complex and practically explicit politic of resistance which will resonate with scholar and layperson alike." - Allucquére Rosanne Stone "In Trans Desire, Micha Cárdenas offers a moving and provocative exploration of transgender desire, its limits, and its potential for biopolitical resistance. At an intersection of poetics and theory, Cárdenas embraces a queer ethico-politics devoted to radically challenging not only heteronormativity but the oppressive power of Empire more broadly." - Diane Davis "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
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Feminist Making at ASA 2014 in Los Angeles

I'm so happy to announce that I'll be presenting in this theory/practice based format at the American Studies Association 2014 meeting in Los Angeles, November 6-9! Susan Garfinkel organized this brilliant panel! Digital Humanities Caucus and ASA Women's Committee: Feminist Making I: Building Critical Contexts This panel is first in a two-part series of roundtables that takes as its focus the contemporary interest in "making"--creating products by hand in a post-consumer, technology-rich environment for reasons ranging from personal fulfillment, to community building, to social and cultural critique. Through hardware hacking, open source software, crowdsourcing, alternative game creation, and the like, digital humanists have increasingly turned to making as scholarly practice. Here we seek to explore how feminist approaches to making and maker culture might--like "fun" in the theme for this conference--work as "a category of thinking and doing" that generates "alternate ways of living against" sites of social, economic, and political, as well as technological privilege. "Feminist Making I: Building Critical Contexts" seeks to contextualize elements of the maker movement from historical, cultural-critical, feminist perspectives. Maker culture opens the “black box,” rendering features of contemporary technology visible, tangible, knowable and adaptable through handiwork. Yet, it can still fail to foreground its own origins in institutions, ideologies and practices. In hackerspaces, maker faires, and online forums, communities gather to explore circuit bending, wearable computing, open mapping, Arduino, 3D printing, and the like--proliferating the sites and practices of invention. While these technologies may be new, efforts to subvert capitalist systems of control through craft trace to the nineteenth century and before, and to a diversity of persons and groups. In this roundtable session, short talks will be followed by significant time for discussion among presenters and audience, moderated by session chair Lauren Klein. The presentations are: Susan Garfinkel, "Soft Circuits and the Gendered Objects of Making." Making is not new, though rhetoric places it in the post-computer moment of the current century. Using the example of "soft circuits" conceived to make electronics appealing to women via textiles and fashion, this talk situates the origins of making in craft, in folkloric process, and in the gendering of objects in culture. Elizabeth Losh, "A Very Proper and Discreet Girl: Ideologies of Transparency and Gendered Computing Spaces." DIY circuits built with exposed sensors and microcontrollers seem to differ radically from slick mass-produced consumer electronics. Feminist critics of technology, however, argue that transparency itself is a strongly gendered concept. This talk looks at the visual culture surrounding sixty-five years of physical computing in the Los Angeles region to consider how the relations between men, women, and machines are represented. micha cárdenas, "Post-Digital Media: Trans of Color Feminist Praxis." Within and alongside white male and white feminist digital cultures, there exist older practices focused on directing technological creativity towards the lessening of social inequality and structural oppression. One of these is a trans of color praxis that rejects the binary logic of the digital and the privileging of western ways of knowing and creating. By exploring the legacy of maker culture through the lens of feminism, participants will interrogate the assumed distinctions between theory and practice, public and private, craft and skill, logic and affect, that too often frame interpretations of making. It is at the interface of such binaries that making negotiates its alternative agency. Susan Garfinkel, Library of Congress (Session Organizer) Lauren Klein, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA) (Chair) Susan Garfinkel, Library of Congress (Panelist) Elizabeth Losh, University of California, San Diego (CA) (Panelist) micha cárdenas, University of Southern California (CA) (Panelist)
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Autonets in Living as Form (Nomadic Version), Antioch College

I will be in Living as Form (The Nomadic Version), co-organized by Creative Time and Independent Curators International (ICI), and assembled in collaboration with Antioch College. Exhibition dates:  April 18- May 16th Opening Reception   April 18  7:00-9:00pm Curated by Sara Black, Jillian Soto, and Anthony Romero Guest Artists:  MRCC Compass Group and Micha Cardenas Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) is the flexible, expanding iteration of Living as Form, an exhibition curated by Nato Thompson and presented by Creative Time in the fall of 2011 in NewYork City. Lead project support for the original Living as Form exhibition was provided by the Annenberg Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Danish Consulate, the Andrew W.Mellon Foundation, the Mondriaan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Additional support for Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) was provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; and the ICI Board of Trustees. LOCATION: Herndon Gallery
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