[-empyre-] Introducing Week 1: Social Media: algorithms, untruths and insurrection

Renate Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Tue Feb 2 03:32:56 AEDT 2021

Dear -empyre-
I am thrilled to welcome guests Ben Grosser and Leo Salvaggio to our discussion this week.  Ben helped immensely in inviting guests for our line-up.  Ben's work brings together the technological, the sociological and the political through code and writing.  Ben visited Cornell last winter and I am thrilled he is able to join us on -empyre- for Week 1, though you may hear from him throughout the month as his schedule permits.  Leo Salvaggio's work entwines identity and technology and he is a newcomer to -empyre-. We welcome him.  And of course, our long-time moderator and my collaborator in life and work will also join us during Week 1, Tim Murray.  Their biographies are below.  Each will be posting shortly to introduce their own ideas and work in relation to our topic Social Media: algorithms, untruths, and insurrection. 

We are all in the most challenging of times.  My hope is that this discussion is inclusive and that all of our subscribers both long time and new will feel free to post their own ideas and responses in a respectful way.  

Best to all of you and please stay safe. 
Biographies Week 1
Renate Ferro (US)
Renate Ferro is a conceptual media artist who toggles between the creative skins of old and new technologies. Ferro’s work takes on create skins whose configurations include installation, interactive net-based projects, digital time-based media, drawing, text, and performance-based work. These creative skins include participatory, collaborative, generative, and customizable characteristics impacting the networked quality of her work.  Her artistic work has been featured at the University of Virginia, Hunter College Gallery (NYC), The Freud Museum (London), The Dorksy Gallery (NYC), The Hemispheric Institute and FOMMA (Mexico), The Janus Pannonius Muzeum (Hungary), Peking University (Beijing), Johnson Art Museum (Ithaca, NY), and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).  Her image-based work has been published in Diacritics and Theatre Journal. Her writing has been published in journals such as Media-N and several anthologies.  She is the managing curator and moderator of the online international listserv, -empyre-soft-skinned space that brings together artists, theorists, and technologists. 

She has been at Cornell University since 2004 as a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Art teaching digital media and theory and is currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Tim Murray (US) 
A longtime member of the -empyre- moderation team, Tim Murray is Director of the Cornell Council for the Arts, Professor of Comparative Literature and English, and Founding Curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art in the Cornell Library. He has curated the international exhibition “Contact Zones: The Art of CD-Rom” (https://contactzones.cit.cornell.edu), and with Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, the conceptual internet art journal, “CTHEORY Multimedia” (http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu). More recently, he joined Sarah Watson and Sherry Miller Hocking on “The Experimental Television Center: A History, ETC” at Hunter College Galleries in New York City, and at Cornell, he curated “Signal to Code: 50 Years of Media Art in the Goldsen Archive” (http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/signaltocode/) as well as the 2018 and 2020 Cornell Biennials (http://cca.cornell.edu/?p=2020-biennial.
He is awaiting production of Technics Improvised: Activating Touch in Global Media Art(Minnesota, 2022).  Among his books are Medium Philosophicum: Pensar tecnológicamente el arte (Universidad de Murcia, 2021), 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), ed. Xu Bing’s Background Story and his Oeuvre (Mandarin), co-edited with Yang Shin-Yi (Life Bookstore Publishing, 2016), ed. with Irving Goh of The Prepositional Senses of Jean-Luc Nancy, 2 Vols., diacritics (2014-16), and ed., Mimesis, Masochism & Mime: The Politics of Theatricality in Contemporary French Thought (Michigan, 1997).
Ben Grosser (US)
Ben Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that examine the cultural, social, and political effects of software. Recent exhibition venues include the Barbican Centre in London, Museum Kesselhaus in Berlin, Museu das Comunicações in Lisbon, and Galerie Charlot in Paris. His works have been featured in The New Yorker, Wired, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Washington Post, El País, Libération, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Der Spiegel. The Chicago Tribune called him the “unrivaled king of ominous gibberish.” Slate referred to his work as “creative civil disobedience in the digital age.” Grosser’s artworks are regularly cited in books investigating the cultural effects of technology, including The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, The Metainterface, Critical Code Studies, and Technologies of Vision, as well as volumes centered on computational art practices such as Electronic Literature, The New Aesthetic and Art, and Digital Art. Grosser is an associate professor in the School of Art + Design, and co-founder of the Critical Technology Studies Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. https://bengrosser.com

Leo Selvaggio (US)
Leo Selvaggio is an Interdisciplinary Artist and Designer whose work examines the
entanglement of identity with technology within the context of civic action. He has exhibited in France, Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands and broadly in the US. Selvaggio’s work has been featured in Businessweek, Hyperallergic, Techcrunch, The Washington Post, CNET, The Verge, and others. His work is included in various collections including the Spy Museum and the Wende Museum in the US. Selvaggio’s writing can be found in several publications, including the “International Journal for Performance Arts'' and the recent book, “The Evolution of the
Image: Political Action and the Digital Self”. He holds a BFA from Rutgers University and an MFA from Columbia College’s Interdisciplinary Arts program. He currently serves as an Instructional Media Technologist for the Multimedia Labs at Brown University.

Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

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