My commitment to creating access to, and transforming, knowledge and technology, is expressed through actively co-creating new opportunities for digital media art production and education, as both autonomous projects, and in collaboration with existing community, educational, and art/cultural organizations. Designed to produce spaces of dialogue, critical reflection, and opportunities for building transformative technology and media for social justice projects, these are often produced in processes of participatory design, created collaboratively as collective extensions of research, artistic, and social practices. Most recently, I am collectively building a new online transnational feminist platform, The Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects, which will offer quarterly “sessions” of feminist writing, art, and collective online performances, lectures, and conversations. I will be posting more on that project as it emerges! In the spring of 2014, I co-initiated MAKE (Media Art Knowledge Engaged), which worked with El Churo Comunicacion in Quito, Ecuador, Pedro Pablo Gomez Moreno at the ASAB, Universidad Distrital San Jose de las Caldas, Bogotá, Colombia, and the City Studio Program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to engage in workshops critically reflecting on digital connectivity and creating digital artworks emerging from those reflections. The results of the workshops were shared at the UNICEF conference, “Digitally Connected,” at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, April 2014, as well as at SXSW.edu, March 2015.
Academic Teaching and Research Experience
Core Faculty (Spring 2014 – present), Visiting Faculty (Fall 2013), Artist-Teacher (2010 – present)
Vermont College of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts Program in Visual Arts
Ours is the first low-residency graduate program in fine arts in the United States, founded with a commitment to liberatory pedagogy and creating access to higher education in the arts for working adults. Teaching in this low-residency program is student-centered, focused on individual advising and mentorship of the required visual culture research and writing component of our program, including a graduate thesis. I pursue conversations with students through multiple forms of online and remote communication, as well as in person meetings, throughout the year. The year is punctuated by two intensive 10-day residencies, in the winter and summer. During the residencies, I lead seminars in social theory, visual culture, research methods, as well as group critiques of students’ exhibited work. Their artistic practice spans all media, including painting, sculpture, video, new media, performance, installation, and public art/social practice, and students work with an Artist-Teacher in their locality. I have worked with students as an Artist-Teacher, in California, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Ontario, and Quebec.
Faculty Associate (2013 – 2015), Fellow (2011 – 2013)
Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet and Society
In these research positions at the Berkman Center, I began my fellowship years expanding on my recently completed dissertation and studying discourses of gender, technology, and development in technology literacy projects for women in the Global South. My research projects grew to include digital art and online video in relation to social movements; cooperation; online identity and privacy; open access and open knowledge; open video; and the imperatives of building strategies and platforms for collective research. I was the principal researcher and organizer of the following: M.A.K.E. (Media Art Knowledge Engaged) workshops and exhibition, UNICEF “Digitally Connected” symposium, 2014; “Re-envisioning Online Video” symposium, 2013; “Cyberscholars Meta-Forum: Re-mixing Research” symposium, 2012; “Histories of Now: Digital Media and Contemporary Social Movements,” symposium in conjunction with metaLAB(at)Harvard and the SMFA “Histories of Now: Six Artists from Cairo” exhibition, 2012. Working groups include Networked Cultures (founder), MIT-Harvard-Yale Cyberscholars (coordinator), Networked Storytelling, Cooperation, Occupy Research (initiated by Sasha Costanza-Chock, MIT). Berkman is an inter-disciplinary, transnational hub for researchers, activists, and artists.
Chancellor’s Fellow (2005 – 2010)
University of California-Berkeley, Department of Ethnic Studies
My graduate and doctoral research were supported by a five-year fellowship (non-teaching). In addition to coursework and research, I created new forums for research and exchange, including the Decolonial Feminisms Working Group (2008 – 2010), a transnational and cross-institutional initiative including scholars in Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador; the Visuality and Alterity Working Group (2006 – 2010), that developed an interdisciplinary conversation on theories and practices of visual experience and production in the context of multiple sites of alterity, including culture, race and gender; and led the organization of the transnational conference, visual art exhibition, and video screening series Out of TimeSpace: Critical Dialogues on Visuality and Alterity held at the University of California–Berkeley, San Francisco Art Institute and University of San Francisco (2007). I also served as Reader, Trinh T. Minh-ha’s advanced undergraduate course, “Identities Across Difference,” Department of Gender & Women’s Studies (2008).
Associate Professor and Department Chair (2002 – 2004), Director, Graduate Programs (1998 – 2002), Assistant Professor (1997 – 2002)
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Art Education
In this tenure-track, then tenured position, I created media and new technology curriculum in the art education program; co-created new graduate and undergraduate curriculum including a teacher certification option, focused on critical pedagogy, media literacy and cultural diversity. Graduate seminars taught: Cyberpedagogy; Teaching TV: Critical Media Literacy; Doing Democracy: Pedagogies of Critical Multiculturalism; Museums as Critical Curriculum; Art In Community I and II; Social Theory for Artists and Cultural Workers; Interpretation; and Thesis I and II.
Assistant Professor (1995-1997)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, School of Art and Design
Initiated, designed and taught new undergraduate and graduate curriculum in video, performance, socially engaged practices, multi-media installation, social theory, and media studies. Created infrastructure for video production and non-linear editing facilities; organized visiting artists series and student performance events; reactivated the Affirmative Action Committee, School of Art and Design, and served on La Casa Cultural Latina Advisory Committee, a university-wide initiative.
Visiting Assistant Professor (1991-1992)
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Communication Arts Department
Taught undergraduate introductory and advanced film and video production courses. Courses included theoretical/historical lectures on all genres of production and studio and field production techniques. Coordinated six Teaching Assistants; created policies and supervised equipment access for classes of up to 180 students. Equipment pool included video, Super-8 and 16mm film, and television studio.
Independent Media Experience
Founder and Collective Member (2013 – present)
The Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects
The Institute of (Im)possible Subjects is a collective of transnational artists, scholars, and activists who are creating an online platform of art and writing along with other exhibition and publication projects. The projects of the Institute posit open-ended and open access spaces for interdisciplinary and undisciplined thought about contemporary culture, transnational feminisms, and post-colonial/de-colonial thinking and doing. Ultimately, the Institute constructs an alternative knowledge commons, framed by women’s voices and experiences globally. The first online “session,” launching in January 2015 and lasting for three months, is focused on artworks and writing that pose alternatives to regimes of intellectual property.
Collective Member (1994 – 2007), Co-founder and Co-Director (1994 – 1997)
In 1994, co-founded Video Machete, a Chicago-based international, intergenerational media arts collective that was committed to participatory communication and economic and cultural equity through community-based art and media production and distribution programs. Co-Director responsibilities included overall organizational management; fundraising, including grant writing, reporting and project evaluation; strategic planning; staff hiring and supervision; and curriculum development. Collective member responsibilities included developing community advisory boards for projects, grantwriting and reporting, teaching, and collaborative video production, including the Young Women’s Media Project/MAGIK(Media Activism for Girls in the Know) and the Chicago Latino Oral History project.
Co-founder and Co-Director (1996 – 2000)
The Women’s International Information Project
Co-founded with Salome Chasnoff. Organized programs, wrote grants and strategic plan, and co-facilitated grassroots media education program for transnational feminist NGOs. Our work in this organization formed the basis for another organization, Beyond Media Education (2000 – 2013), developed and run by Chasnoff. In popular education contexts that we created, we co-produced numerous research-videos in collaboration with formerly incarcerated women, young women studying the politics of gender and women’s health, including What We Leave Behind, 1998, and If You Love Yourself, Take Care of Yourself, video, 15 min., 1999. We also supported media and information technology work in international women’s organizations in Mexico, Palestine, and the Dominican Republic.
Program Director (1993 – 1995) and Board of Directors (1995 – 1999)
Women in the Director’s Chair
As Program Director, implemented all programs of this independent not-for-profit organization, including the three-day annual international festival and the national year round touring program for museums, colleges and universities, community-based organizations, and women’s prisons. As member of the Board of Directors, co-directed organization, including fiscal oversight; staff supervision; public presentations; and initiated a youth media literacy initiative in schools and the juvenile detention center in Chicago. With WIDC, co-directed (Mis)Treating Prisoners: Healthcare in Prison, video, 30 min., 1994, a documentary commissioned and distributed by Deep Dish TV.
NGOs and Foundations Experience
Global Commons Foundation, Co-Chair, Board of Directors (2007 – 2010)
GCF, a San Francisco-based transnational foundation, was co-founded by Katharine Wallerstein and the Raqs Media Collective, with the mission of supporting individuals, organizations and collectives in creative and communicative practices for just and sustainable futures. Our work included the co-organizing of the World Social Forum – Bay Area events in January 2008; Teach-In on the Iraq War, University of California-Berkeley, 2008; and other public events and symposia.
North American Media Justice Delegation to the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), Tunis, Tunisia, National Steering Committee (2005)
Co-organized by media organizations Video Machete (Chicago, IL), Third World Majority (Oakland, CA), and Fourth World Rising (Minneapolis, MN), this delegation consisted of 30 activists of color from around the U.S. and was supported through individual organizations and the Ford Foundation. At the WSIS we organized a two-day symposium as part of the Parallel Events Forum; engaged in popular education training on global internet politics; researched questions on community based telecentres and policy issues related to internet governance; and participated in the Civil Society Caucus.
The Crossroads Fund, Board of Directors (1999-2004)
The Fund, a member of the progressive Funding Exchange network, supports grassroots organizing in the Chicago area. Participated in fiscal oversight; staff hiring and supervision; grantmaking decisions; site visits and evaluation of applicant organizations; planning grantmaking policies; strategic planning and evaluation; and fundraising.
The Public Square, Chicago, IL, Member of Founding Advisory Board (2002-2004)
The Public Square was a Chicago-based not for profit cultural organization co-founded by Barbara Ransby and Lisa Yun Lee that organized diverse public forums for the discussion of pressing issues of social and cultural relevance.
Youth Struggling for Survival, Chicago, IL, Founding Member, Board of Directors (1995-1997) Founded by writer and activist Luis Rodriguez and youth organizer Patricia Zamora; projects included the organization of a city-wide peace conference; youth retreats; youth media.
Escuela Popular Norteña, Valdez, NM, Founding Member and Popular Educator (1990-1996)
Co-organized popular education organization, co-founded by María Lugones and Geoff Bryce, run by national collective focused on U.S. Latina/o community organizing, including sessions at the national summer “Encuentro” program in Valdez, NM, at which artists, intellectuals, and activists met for roundtable discussions and strategizing; the production of a national newsletter; and local and national workshops on issues such as bi-lingual education, multi-culturalism in not-for-profit organizations, politics of gangs in the barrio, and community-based approaches to fighting violence against women.
Latino Midwest Video Collective, Chicago, Founding Member with Raul Ferrera-Balanquet (1992 – 1995) Activities included fundraising and the organization of public screenings.
N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago, President, Board of Directors (1989 – 1993) Chair, Video Exhibitions Committee (1988 – 1993)
Chaired monthly meetings of 15 member board; provided fiscal oversight of budget; acted as liason between Board and Executive Director; collaborated on fundraising efforts. As Chairperson of Video Committee, organized all aspects of video exhibition program, including curation of programs, publicity, etc.