[-empyre-] Welcome to the February discussion: Art, Engineering, and Politics: In Memoriam, Beatriz da Costa

Renate Ferro rtf9 at cornell.edu
Sat Feb 2 04:28:14 EST 2013

Welcome to the February discussion on  –empyre- soft-skinned space:
Art, Engineering, and Politics: In Memoriam, Beatriz da Costa
Moderated by Renate Ferro (US) and Timothy Murray (US) with invited discussants
Week 1 Robert Nideffer,  Christiane Paul

Week 2 Brooke Singer ,Tad Hirsch, Antoinette LaFarge

Week 3: Paul Vanouse ,Amanda McDonald Crowley Claire Pentecost

Week 4: Natalie Jeremijenko, Kathy High

On behalf of -empyre-, we want to express our deepest sympathy to the
close friends and family of Beatriz da Costa, who passed away on
December 27th after a long and courageous battle against cancer.
Beatriz was a co-founder with Jaime Schulte and Brooke Singer of
Preemptive Media, a former collaborator of Critical Art Ensemble, and
Associate Professor of Art at the University of California, Irvine,
where she specialized in the intersections of art, science,
engineering, and politics.

As so many of you know, Beatriz was an innovator in the use of wetware
in her artistic interventions and more recently had been experimenting
with the potential of interspecies co-production in promoting the
responsible use of natural resources and environmental sustainability.
 She also was a leader in our broad field of adapting emergent
technologies to address the politics and configurations of social
justice. ( we will write more specifically about her bio here)

Beatriz was always one of the first to respond to our e-mails about
monthly -empyre- themes, and was a brilliant interlocutor on -empyre-.
  At exhibitions, conferences, and when visiting Cornell, we always
marveled at her warm generosity with students and members of the
public who requested further discussion about her projects.  Yes, she
was the epitome of an artist experimenting with the flexibilities of
soft-skinned spaces.

For the month of February, we organize this special monthly discussion
in her honor. We invite her family and friends, colleagues, students,
and anyone else to participate in this month’s tribute.  Beatriz da
Costa and her work influenced a global audience of artists, engineers,
technologies, and others.  This month is for you Beatriz.
 empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au



EMPYRE GO TO: http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/

Renate Ferro is a conceptual artist working in emerging technology and
culture. Most recently her work has been featured at The Freud Museum
(London), The Dorksy Gallery (NY), The Hemispheric Institute and FOMMA
(Mexico), The Janus Pannonius Muzeum (Hungary), and The Free
University Berlin (Germany).  Her work has been published in such
journals as Diacritics, Theatre Journal, and Epoch. She is a
co-moderator for the online new media list serve -EMPYRE-soft-skinned
space. Ferro is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of
Art at Cornell University teaching digital media and theory. She also
directs the Tinker Factory, a creative research lab for Research
Design, Creativity, and Interdisciplinary Research.

Timothy Murray is Curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media
Art, Director of the Society for the Humanities, and Professor of
Comparative Literature and English at Cornell University.  Co-Managing
Moderator of the -empyre- new media listserv, he also sits on the
Executive Committee of the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology
Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC).  Among his books are Digital Baroque:
New Media Art and Cinematic Folds (Minnesota 2008); Zonas de Contacto:
el arte en CD-ROM (Centro de la imagen, 1999); Drama Trauma: Specters
of Race and Sexuality in Performance, Video, Art (Routledge, 1997);
Like a Film: Ideological Fantasy on Screen, Camera, and Canvas
(Routledge, 1993); His curatorial projects include CTHEORY MULTIMEDIA
and Contact Zones: The Art of the CD-Rom.Technology.

Week 1
Robert F. Nideffer holds an MFA in Computer Arts, and a Ph.D. in
Sociology, and is a Full Professor in Studio Art and Informatics at UC
Irvine. His work has been shown at a variety of venues including Museo
Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; the Whitney
Biennial; and the Museum of Modern Art New York, NY.

Robert was Beatriz's colleague and partner.

Christiane Paul is Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney
Museum of American Art and Associate Prof. at the School of Media
Studies at The New School. She has written extensively on new media
arts and lectured internationally on art and technology. Her recent
books are Context Providers – Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts
(Intellect, 2011), co-edited with Margot Lovejoy and Victoria Vesna;
New Media in the White Cube and Beyond (UC Press, 2008); and Digital
Art (Thames and Hudson 2003; expanded new edition 2008). As Adjunct
Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art, she
curated several exhibitions—including Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools,
Profiling (2007), Data Dynamics (2001) and the net art selection for
the 2002 Whitney Biennial—as well as artport, the Whitney Museum’s
website devoted to Internet art. Other recent curatorial work includes
The Public Private (Kellen Gallery, The New School, Feb. 7 - April 17,
2013), Eduardo Kac: Biotopes, Lagoglyphs and Transgenic Works (Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil, 2010); Biennale Quadrilaterale (Rijeka, Croatia,
2009-10); Feedforward - The Angel of History (co-curated with Steve
Dietz; Laboral Center for Art and Industrial Creation, Gijon, Spain,
Oct. 2009); INDAF Digital Art Festival (Incheon, Korea, Aug. 2009);
and Scalable Relations (Beall Center for Art and Technology, Irvine,
CA; as well as galleries at UCSD, UCLA and UCSB, 2008-09). Dr. Paul
has previously taught in the MFA computer arts department at the
School of Visual Arts in New York (1999-2008); the Digital+Media
Department of the Rhode Island School of Design (2005-08); the San
Francisco Art Institute and the Center of New Media at the University
of California at Berkeley (2008).

Week 2
Brooke Singer  When Brooke was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon
University in the late1990s she met Beatriz who was on an exchange
program from France. They became good friends. In 2002 they began to
collaborate with Jamie Schulte on a project called Swipe and later
co-founded the collective Preemptive Media. Brooke Singer engages
techno-science as an artist, educator, non-specialist and
collaborator. Her work lives "on" and "off" line in the form of
websites, workshops, photographs, maps, installations and performances
that often involves public participation in pursuit of social change.
Recent awards and commissions include a Madrid Council’s Department of
the Arts commission, Turbulence.org commission, New York State Council
on the Arts (NYSCA) Individual Artist award, a Headlands Center for
Arts residency and a fellowship at Eyebeam Art + Technology. She is
currently Associate Professor of New Media at Purchase College, State
University of New York, and co-founder of the art, technology and
activist group Preemptive Media.
I respected Beatriz deeply as an inspiring colleague interested in
similar areas to mine. She befriended me when she moved to NYC and we
met more often while she lived there to compare notes and discuss her
work. I would consider Beatriz a friend, a colleague, an inspiration,
a collaborator and a mentor. I miss her deeply.

Antoinette LaFarge is an artist-writer who is interested in deception,
actuality, and enactment. Her areas of activity include mixed-reality
performance, interactive installation, avatar improvisation, and
fictive art. Recent projects include Galileo in America (2012),  WISP
(World-Integrated Social Proxy) (2010), Hangmen Also Die (2010), World
of World (2009), and Playing the Rapture (2008-09). She has been
working between digital and analog media for over a decade, and in the
1990s she founded one of the first net-based performance troupes, the
Plaintext Players. She co-curated two early exhibitions on computer
games and art: “SHIFT-CTRL” in 2000 and “ALT+CTRL” in 2003, both at UC
Irvine, where she is Professor of Digital Media in the Art department.
Her projects website is www.forger.com, and her blog is
I have known Beatriz since she came to UC Irvine in 2003, and as
colleagues in new media we worked closely together on curriculum and
related issues. Our practices are different enough that we never
collaborated on an art project together, though we had discussed the
possibility. Our friendship grew after she moved to Long Beach, where
I also live, and we could meet up for dinner or a yoga class or an
impromptu beach walk.

Tad Hirsch is Assistant Professor of Interaction Design at the
University of Washington, where his research interests lie at the
intersection of design, urban space, and collective action. He directs
the Public Practice Studio, a multidisciplinary, public-interest
design group, and was a founding member of the Institute for Applied
Autonomy, an internationally-renowned art/technology/activism

 Week 3
 Paul Vanouse has been working in emerging media forms since 1990.
Interdisciplinarity and impassioned amateurism guide his art practice.
His electronic cinema, biological experiments, and interactive
installations have been exhibited in over 20 countries and widely
across the US. Venues have included: Walker Art Center, Albright-Knox
Museum, Carnegie Museum, Andy Warhol Museum, New Museum, Museo
Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Louvre in Paris, Haus Der
Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie in
Karlsrhue, Centre de Cultura Contemporania in Barcelona, and TePapa
Museum in Wellington, New Zealand.
Recent large-scale solo exhibitions include: Schering Foundation in
Berlin (2011), Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana (2011), Muffathalle in
Munich (2012), and Beall Center, Irvine CA (forthcoming in 2013). This
work has been discussed in journals including: Art Journal, Art
Papers, Flash Art International, Leonardo, New Scientist, New Art
Examiner, New York Times and numerous academic books on art and
Vanouse is a Professor of Visual Studies at the University at Buffalo,
NY. He has been a Senior Artist at Banff Center, Alberta, Canada
(2011), Foreign Expert at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, China (2006)
Honorary Research Fellow at SymbioticA, University of Western
Australia (2005), Visiting Scholar at the Center for Research and
Computing in the Arts, UC San Diego (1997), and Research Fellow at the
Studio for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University (1997-2003).
He holds a BFA from the University at Buffalo (1990) and an MFA from
Carnegie Mellon University (1996).

Amanda McDonald Crowley is a cultural worker, curator, and facilitator
who creates media and contemporary art programs that encourage
cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and exchange. Recent
curatorial efforts include Our Haus, the 10th Anniversary exhibition
for the Austrian Cultural Forum, NY. In late 2012 she did a residency
as a Bogliasco Fellow, working on curatorial research at the
intersection between art, food, and technology. Amanda is also
currently a Board member of the National Alliance for Media Art +
Culture (NAMAC) in the USA. She has been Director of the Australian
Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) where she made significant links
with science and industry by developing a range of residencies for
artists in settings such as science organizations, contemporary art
spaces and virtual residencies online. She was Associate Director of
the Adelaide Festival 2002 in Australia, and also co-chair of the
working group that organized the exhibition and symposium ‘conVerge:
where art and science meet’. Critical Art Ensemble were to present
their collaboration with Beatriz at that Festival. Alas, the Festival
wasn't able to support the performance. While Executive Producer at
ISEA2004 (the International Symposium for Electronic Arts 2004) held
in Tallinn,  Estonia and Helsinki, Finland, and on a cruiser ferry in
the Baltic sea, she finally met Beatriz who suggested that she
consider professional options in the USA post ISEA. Amanda told
Beatriz she would never move to the USA. 18 months later, when she
became  Executive Director of Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New
York City, Beatriz commented "never is not a very long time in your
language it seems". When Amanda first arrived at Eyebeam in late 2005,
Beatriz, with Preemptive Media, were commissioned to develop Area's
Immediate Reading. Beatriz was also a member of the last residency
program cohort Amanda oversaw at Eyebeam in 2011, where Beatriz was
researching and developing her final projects Dying for the Other and
Anti-Cancer Survival Kit.

Week 4
Kathy High is Associate Professor Of Video and New Media in the
Department of Arts, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy,
NY. She is an interdisciplinary artist, educator working with biology
and time based arts. In the last ten years she has become interested
in working with living systems, animals and art, considering
thesocial, political and ethical dilemmas of biotechnology and
surrounding industries. She has received awards from the Guggenheim
Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and National Endowment for the
Arts. Her art works, have been shown in film festivals, galleries and
museums, including Documenta 13, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern
Art, among others.
Her co-edited book The Emergence of Video Processing Tools: Television
Becoming Unglued, with Sherry Miller Hocking of the Experimental
Television Center and Mona Jimenez of the Moving Image Preservation
Program at NYU, will be published by Intellect Books (UK), 2013.  The
book presents stories of the development of early video tools and
systems designed and built by artists and technologists during the
late 1960s and 70s, and how that history of collaborations among
inventors, designers and artists has affected contemporary

Natalie Jeremijenko
Beatriz and I both worked on technological opportunities for social
and ecological change including : air quality projects using sensors
attached to pigeons and robotic dogs respectively  towards redesigning
human/animal relationship; both worked on developing alternative
biomedical institutions that recognized participatory research and
food and nutrition-based work.... and the convivial contexts for
rethinking these.
Animal behavior, gmo food, representations of cancer .... it seemed we
were automatically attracted to similar issues, and of course I could
not have been luckier in this respect. Aside from the professional
overlap I loved her as a friend .... she was incredibly dear to me.

Named one of the most influential women in technology 201, one of the
inaugural top young innovators by MIT Technology Review, and a current
Creative Capital awardee,  Natalie Jeremijenko directs the
Environmental Health Clinic, and is an Associate Professor in the
Visual Art Department, NYU, affiliated with the Computer Science
Department and Environmental Studies program.  Previously she was on
the Visual Arts faculty at UCSD, Faculty of Engineering at Yale
University, a visiting professor at Royal College of Art in London,
and a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Public Understanding of
Science at Michigan State University. Her degrees are in biochemistry,
engineering, neuroscience and History and Philosophy of Science.
Jeremijenko was included in the 2011 Venice Bieniale, the 2006 Whitney
Biennial of American Art, also in 1997,  and the Cooper Hewitt
Smithsonian Design Triennial 2006-7. In 2010 Neuberger Museum produced
a retrospective exhibition surveying recent work, entitled Connected
Environments; in addition to a solo exhibition entitled X in November,
2010 at the University of Technology Sydney. Currently on view:  Civic
Action, an exhibition of urban plans, at Socrates Sculpture Park,
Other recent exhibitions include Civic Action @  Noguchi Museum;
talk2me exhibition at MOMA, and the ongoing Cross(x)Species Adventure

Renate Ferro
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art
Cornell University
Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office #420
Ithaca, NY  14853
Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>
URL:  http://www.renateferro.net
Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net

Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space

More information about the empyre mailing list