[-empyre-] Week 2 - Computation and the Nonhuman

micha cárdenas mmcarden at usc.edu
Sun Jun 10 03:43:28 EST 2012

p.s. Jacob Gaboury and Pinar Yoldas contributed to the intro statement for
this week...

On Sat, Jun 9, 2012 at 10:18 AM, Zach Blas <zachblas at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all, Micha and I would like to thank Amanda Philips and Margaret
> Rhee for kicking us off this month. For week 2, we're turning
> specifically to computation and the nonhuman.
> Michael Warner’s recent article “Queer and Then?” in The Chronicle of
> Higher Education considers the end of queer theory alongside the
> termination of Duke University’s Series Q. While the article assumes a
> direct link between the end of queer theory and the body of work
> published in the series, the journal simultaneously gestured to
> another future for queer theory. The same day that Warner’s piece was
> published a review entitled “Queer 2.0” applauded Jack Halberstam’s
> 2011 The Queer Art of Failure for representing “a second generation of
> queer theory” and its use of low theory and unusual archives. In the
> earliest academic writing on queer theory, Teresa deLauretis described
> the field as a “discursive horizon” and Annamarie Jagose described it
> as an “a non-identity--or even anti-identity--politics”. Yet, in their
> essays, there is still little consideration of the transgender, the
> transnational or the transistor.
> The moniker of Queer 2.0 is useful not only because Micha and I are
> invested in alternative methodologies that, like Halberstam, move
> beyond high theory, but also because the phrase highlights and
> emphasizes the technological and its inseparability from queerness.
> Today, to think queerness requires that the human and nonhuman be
> thought together, and that the human be de-centered as the primary
> locus of/for queerness. Queerness must be engaged in all its
> distributed materialities, human and beyond. This queerness constructs
> an alternative genealogy that extends to cyberfeminism, media theory,
> hacktivism, computer science, animal studies, and neuroscience. This
> turn also extends beyond Western narratives of technological progress,
> success, and development, and looks to a resistive repurposing of the
> failed objects and techniques that circulate in a global context. New
> horizons for queer theory extend beyond its original United States
> centric framing, emerging out of transnational considerations and
> experiences of queer immigrants, including second generation
> immigrants.
> This week, we're looking forward to learning more about queer
> relations and experiences with computation and the nonhuman.
> Guests this week are:
> 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. ***Jack will jump into discussion toward
> the end of the week.***
> 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
> Welcome!
> --
> zach blas
> artist & phd candidate
> literature, information science + information studies, visual studies
> duke university
> www.zachblas.info
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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micha cárdenas
PhD Student, Media Arts and Practice, University of Southern California
Provost Fellow, University of Southern California

New Directions Scholar, USC Center for Feminist Research

MFA, Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego

Author, The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities,

blog: http://transreal.org
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