[-empyre-] Welcome to April on -empyre: Digital Media and the Interstices of Identity.

Soraya Murray semurray at ucsc.edu
Thu Apr 2 05:07:28 AEDT 2015


Greetings -empyre,

I will be introducing a new topic each week. The WEEK 1 theme is generally grouped around SOCIAL MEDIA / IDENTITY / INTERVENTION, and looks at the use of social media tools in both organized political identity/action and in more individuated political acts of self-representation. Welcome to our wonderful guests!   
As their work may be new to some empyreans, I would like to begin by asking each of our guests to talk a little bit about a recent project, and outline some of their intellectual investments, or individual "stake" in the week's topic. 
 
Guests for Week 1: SOCIAL MEDIA / IDENTITY / INTERVENTION
Derek Conrad Murray (US) / Dalia Othman (US) / Laila Shereen Sakr (US)
Biographies:

DEREK CONRAD MURRAY is an interdisciplinary theorist specializing in the history, theory and criticism of contemporary art, African-American/African Diaspora art and culture, Post-Black art and aesthetics, theoretical approaches to identity and representation, critical issues in art practice, and the methodologies and ethics of Art History and Visual Studies. He has contributed to leading magazines and journals of contemporary art such as American Art, Art in America, Parachute, Art Journal, Exit EXPRESS, the Documenta 12 Magazine Project, Public Art Review, Third Text and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press), where he currently serves as Associate Editor. Murray is also currently serving on the Editorial Advisory Board of Third Text.
Murray’s book Regarding Difference: Contemporary African-American Art and the Politics of Recognition will be published by Manchester University Press (UK) as a part of the series Rethinking Art’s Histories (ed. Amelia Jones and Marsha Meskimmon).
Murray is also in the process of completing a book entitled Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Rethinking African-American Identity After Civil Rights which will be published by I.B. Tauris (UK) in 2015. 
 

DALIA OTHMAN is a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and a Visiting Scholar at MIT's Center for Civic Media. At Berkman, Dalia has been researching online civic engagement in the Arab World, focusing on analyzing the Arab Blogosphere and Twitter networks in various countries within the region. She is also part of the Media Cloud project at Berkman that works on analyzing Media's impact and discourse on major news events, her most recent work included analyzing media's community discourse in relation to the 2014 Gaza War.  
She dedicates the rest of her time exploring different themes around digital storytelling and tech literacy. Dalia is currently building a resource platform that will help communities tell powerful stories online.
Prior to Berkman, Dalia was an Adjunct Professor teaching New media at both Bard College- Abu Dis and Birzeit University. She was also the Senior Manager of Community Project at Souktel Inc. - a mobile services company that designs SMS platforms for the aid of local communities across the globe.

 
LAILA SHEREEN SAKR
Laila Shereen Sakr is a digital media theorist and artist known by her moniker, VJ Um Amel, and for creating the archive media system, R-Shief. Her PhD in Media Arts + Practice from the University of Southern California will confer in May 2015. She begins her appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara in July 2015.
With a background in video production and web development, she specializes in immersive cinema, global media analytics, and digital media theory. Her doctoral project used media analytics, visualization, and immersive storytelling techniques to map how participation in virtual worlds and networked publics have influenced the formation of a virtual body politic. This research led her to design a media system for archiving and analyzing content from social networking sites using innovative computation. Today, R-Shief houses one of the most unique archives of multilingual social media content from the 2011 Arab uprisings, Occupy movements, Turkey, Gaza, and non-Middle Eastern countries like Spain and Brazil. As a VJ, she uses computational art and live cinema to document how embodied habits of communication are expressed virtually, and to understand how communities use technology to design their own narratives and worlds.
Recognized for her outstanding achievements, she has shown in solo and group exhibitions and performances at galleries and museums across the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East, and has published extensively. Starting February 2015, she publishes a monthly media-enhanced article with data visualizations on Arab media analytics for Jadaliyya. She holds an M.F.A. in Digital Arts and New Media from University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Recent reviews appear in The Wall Street Journal, Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, Voice of America, Art Territories, Digital Media and Learning, Egypt Independent, and The Creators Project.
For more info, see: http://vjumamel.com
 


___________________________
Soraya Murray, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor 
Film + Digital Media Department
University of California, Santa Cruz

___________________________
Soraya Murray, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor 
Film + Digital Media Department
University of California, Santa Cruz


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