Faculty Directory

micha cárdenas
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Arts Division
  • Department
    • Digital Arts and New Media
    • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Affiliations Feminist Studies Department
  • Phone
    831-459-3221
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Digital Arts Research Center, 233
    • DARC 325
  • Mail Stop Digital Arts Research Center
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Game Design, Digital Arts, Digital Humanities, Digital Media, Gender Studies, Feminist Theory

Biography, Education and Training

micha cárdenas, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Art & Design: Games + Playable Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. cárdenas is writing a new algorithm for gender, race and technology. Her book in progress, Poetic Operations, proposes algorithmic analysis as a means to develop a trans of color poetics. cárdenas’s co-authored books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities (2012) and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs (2010) were published by Atropos Press. Her artwork has been described as “a seminal milestone for artistic engagement in VR” by the Spike art journal in Berlin. She is a first generation Colombian American.

 

cárdenas is an artist/theorist who was the winner of the 2016 Creative Award from the Gender Justice League. She was the recipient of the inaugural James Tiptree Jr. fellowship in 2014, a fellowship to provide support and recognition for the new voices in science fiction who are making visible the forces that are changing our view of gender today. She has been described as one of “7 bio-artists who are transforming the fabric of life itself” by io9.com.

 

cárdenas completed her Ph.D. in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. Her solo and collaborative artworks have been presented in museums, galleries, and biennials including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2018); House of Electronic Arts Basel (2018); Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen (2018); Henry Art Gallery (2017); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2014); the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2014); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2011); Centro Cultural del Bosque, Mexico City (2015); CECUT, Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico (2009); the Zero1 Biennial, San Jose, CA (2012); and the California Biennial, Newport Beach, CA (2010). She has given keynote talks at the Allied Media Conference, the Association of Internet Researchers, the Digital Gender Conference at Umea University in Sweden, the Dark Side of the Digital Conference, and the Vera List Center at the New School in New York. She is on the advisory boards of FemTechNet and the York University Center for Feminist Research.

 

cardenas’ poetry has appeared in the anthologies Troubling the Line, The &Now Awards 3, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and Writing the Walls Down. She has published book chapters in Plants, Androids and Operators – A Post-Media Handbook, Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Queer Geographies, The Critical Digital Studies Reader and the Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader. Her articles have been published in CTheory, the Media-N Journal, the Ada Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, The Journal of Popular Music Studies, and the AI & Society Journal, as well as the magazines No More Potlucks, Mute Magazine and Make/Shift Magazine.

 

 

Selected Publications

 

Books

 

micha cárdenas, Elle Mehrmand, Amy Sara Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez, Brian Holmes, James Morgan, Allucquére Rosanne Stone, Stelarc, The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities, New York: Atropos Press, 2012.


micha cárdenas and Barbara Fornssler, Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs, New York: Atropos Press, 2010.

 

In Progress

Poetic Operations: Trans of Color Movement in Digital Media

 

Articles (in refereed Journals)


"Monstrous Children of Pregnant Androids: Latinx Futures After Orlando." Special Issue on Orlando Pulse Massacre. Gay and Lesbian Quarterly. GLQ (2018) 24 (1): 26-31.
"Imagining A Trans World", Special Issue on Ursula K. Le Guin. Ada Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology. 12. Alexis Lothian ed. http://adanewmedia.org/2017/11/issue12-cardenas/
"Dilating Destiny: Writing the Transreal Body Through Game Design." Jump Cut Journal, No. 57. Fall 2016, https://www.ejumpcut.org/currentissue/-cardenasDilatingDestiny/index.html
“Trans of Color Poetics: Stitching Bodies, Concepts, and Algorithms.” Scholar and Feminist Online Journal, 13.3. 2016. http://sfonline.barnard.edu/traversing-technologies/micha-cardenastrans-of-color-poetics-stitching-bodies-concepts-and-algorithms/
“Pregnancy: Trans Latina Reproductive Futures.” Transgender Studies Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 1-2, Pp 48-57. 2016.
“Shifting Futures: Digital Trans of Color Praxis.” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, No. 6. 2015. http://adanewmedia.org/2015/01/issue6-cardenas/
"Operation Faust y Furioso: A Trans [ ] Border Play on the Redistribution of the Sensible." with Amy Sara Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez, Elle Mehrmand and Brett Stalbaum, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Vol. 21 No 1, pp 28-42. 2015
“Local Autonomy Networks: Post-Digital Networks, Post-Corporate Communications.” Media-N Journal, CAA Conference Edition 2013, , http://median.newmediacaucus.org/caa-conferenceedition-2013/local-autonomy-networks-post-digital-networks-post-corporatecommunications/
“Introduction.” Media-N Journal, CAA Conference Edition 2013.
http://median.newmediacaucus.org/caa-conference-edition-2013/introduction/
“Imaginary Computational Systems: Queer Technologies and Transreal Aesthetics.” with Zach Blas, AI & Society, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp 559–566. 2013
“Blah, Blah, Blah: Ke$ha Feminism?” Journal of Popular Music Studies, Vol 24. No. 2, pp. 176-195. 2012.

 

Articles in edited volumes


“I Would Rather Be An Android Goddess.” In Eric Kluitenberg ed. Tactical Media Anthology. MIT Press. Forthcoming.
"Dark Shimmers: The Rhythm of Necropolitical Affect." In Johanna Burton, Reina Gossett and Eric Stanley eds. Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility. MIT Press. December 2017.
“Queer OS: A User’s Manual.” with Zach Blas, Jacob Gaboury, Jessica Marie Johnson, Margaret Rhee and Fiona Barnett. In Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein eds. Debates in the Digital Humanities Vol. 2. University of Minnesota Press. 2016.
“Movements of Safety, A Safety Movement, Safety in Movement.” In C. Apprich, A. Iles, J. Berry Slater and O. Shultz eds. Plants, Androids and Operators: A Post-Media Lab Handbook, Mute Publishing. 2014.
“Becoming Dragon: A Transversal Technology Study.” In Arthur Kroker and Marilouise Kroker eds. Critical Digital Studies Reader, 2nd Edition. University of Toronto Press. 2013.
“Becoming Dragon: A Transversal Technology Study.” In Patrick Keilty and Rebecca Dean eds. Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader. Litwin Books. 2013. (Reprint)
“Becoming Dragon: A Transversal Technology Study”, Code Drift, Essays in Critical Digital Studies. 2010. http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=639 (Reprint)
“Sustenance: A Play for All Trans[]Borders.” with Amy Sara Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez, Elle Mehrmand and Brett Stalbaum. In Laura Cull and Will Daddario eds. Manifesto Now!. University of Chicago Press. 2013.
“I am Transreal.” In S. Bear Bergman and Kate Bornstein eds. Gender Outlaws the Next Generation, pp. 116-121. Seal Press. 2010.

 

Poems in Anthologies


“What If We Got Free?” and “150” in Small Portions. 7. Sarah Baker, Laura Burgher, Tracy Gregory, and Travis Sharp eds. https://smallportionsjournal.com/category/issue-7/
"Redshift and Portalmetal." in Stephanie Boluk, Leonardo Flores, Jacob Garbe, Anastasia Salter eds. Electronic Literature Collection Vol. 3. February 2016. http://collection.eliterature.org/3/
“net.walkingtools.transformer” and “We Are the Intersections." The &Now Awards 3, Northwestern University Press. 2015. (“We Are the Intersections.” Reprinted in Laura Erickson-Schroth ed. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, Oxford University Press. 2014.)
“Redshift and Portalmetal, Excerpt.” Writing the Walls Down, pp. 105-111. Trans Genre Press. 2015.
“Micha Cárdenas.” Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, pp. 388-398. Nightboat Books. 2013.

 

Essays in Published Conference Proceedings

 
“Productive Confusions: Learning from Simulations of Pandemic Virus Outbreaks in Second Life.” SPIE Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2011 Proceedings, with Laura S. Greci, Samantha Hurst, Karen Garman, Helene Hoffman, Ricky Huang, Michael Gates, Kristen Kho, Elle Mehrmand, Todd Porteous, Alan Calvitti, Erin Higginbotha, Zia Agha M.D. 2011.
“The Transborder Immigrant Tool: Violence, Solidarity and Hope in Post-NAFTA Circuits of Bodies Electr(on)/ic." with Amy Sara Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez, Elle Mehrmand and Brett Stalbaum, Community Practices and Locative Media Workshop, Mobile HCI 2009 Proceedings. 2009.
“Becoming Dragon: a durational, mixed reality performance in Second Life.” SPIE Electronic Imaging Proceedings. 2009.

 

Art Publications


"What if We Got Free?" In Eunsong Kim and Gelare Khoshgozaran eds. Contemptorary.
http://contemptorary.org/what-if-we-got-free/
“Local Autonomy Networks: Queer and Feminist Geographies of Violence." In L. Lau, M. Arsanios, F. Zuñiga-González, M. Kryger eds. Queer Geographies: Beirut, Tijuana, Copenhagen, pp. 110-117. Museet for Samtidskunst // Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014.
“Transborder Immigrant Tool.” with Amy Sara Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez, Elle Mehrmand and Brett Stalbaum, in Sarah C. Bancroft ed. 2010 California Biennial, pp. 56-59. Orange County Museum of Art, 2011.
Sustenance, A Play for All Trans[]Borders, with Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0, Printed Matter

"San Diego / Tijuana: Free Phone.” Inflexions: A Journal for Research-Creation. No. 3. 2009.

 

 

Selected Presentations

 

Keynotes


“Poetic Operations: Towards Algorithmic Analysis”, Digital Humanities and Computer Science Colloquium, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, November 2017
"Health Beyond Gender." What Now? Symposium, Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New York, NY. 2016
“Shifting Poetics: Imagining Trans of Color Futures.” Association of Internet Researchers, Phoenix, AZ. 2015.
“Shifting, Flickering Futures: Digital Trans of Color Praxis.” Beyond the Page, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
“Redshift and Portalmetal.” Gender, Bodies and Technology Conference, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, May 2014
“From The Transreal to Decolonization.” Digital Gender: Theory, Methodology, Practice Workshop, HUMlab, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, March 2014
“Local Autonomy Networks: Post-Digtial Networks, Post-Corporate Communications.” Dark Side of the Digital Conference, Milwaukee, WI, 2013
“Local Autonomy Networks.” Differential Mobilities Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, 2013

 

Invited Talks and Workshops

 

Plenaries


2017

Closing Plenary, Crossing Boundaries Symposium, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta
"Border Interventions: The Interstices of Geopolitics, Identity and Violence", International Communication Association, San Diego, CA
"Data and Power", Allied Media Conference, Detroit, MI

2016

"Trans of Color Scholarship," Trans* Studies Conference, University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

2015

“Off the Books”, Plenary, Babel Working Group, Toronto, ON

2014

Closing Plenary, Writing Trans Genres, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB

 

Invited Talks

2017

“The Android Goddess Declaration: After Man(ifestos)”, IAS Research Colloquium, University of Washington Bothell, Bothell, WA
“Poetic Operations: Creative Strategies for Resisting Fascism in the US”, Transgender Studies Series, Gender and Women's Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
"Image X Community Featuring Dr. micha cárdenas", The Aja Project, San Diego, CA

2016

“Poetic Operations”, Performances, Lectures and Screenings in Media Art, University at Buffalo
“Trans of Color Poetics and Pedagogy”, Intersectional Approaches to Computational Studies Speaker Series, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine
"Shifting Poetics: Trans of Color Movement in Digital Media", Performance Studies Speaker Series, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

2015

“Shifting Poetics: Trans of Color Movement in Digital Media”, 5 Colleges DH Speaker Series, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
“Trans Latinx Futures”, University of Puget Sound

2014

“Local Autonomy Networks: Post-Digtial Communications”, Feminist and Queer Approaches to Technoscience Colloquium Series, iSchool, University of Toronto, March 2014

 

Selected Performances

Performances and Exhibitions

 

Biennials


2012 ZERO1 San Jose Biennial, San Jose, CA

2010 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (performance in
collaboration with Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab, curated by
Sarah Bancroft)

2009 Mérida Biennale: Arte Nuevo InteractivA '09, Museo de la Ciudad, Mérida, Mexico (exhibition in
collaboration with Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab)

 

Solo Exhibitions/Performances


2017 Este Suelo Secreto (To Be Human Once More) and Pregnancy, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
(Curated by Chris Vargas)
2014 Redshift and Portalmetal, Beyond the Page, Temple Contemporary, Philadelphia, PA (curated by
Nicole Restraino)
Redshift and Portalmetal. Gender, Bodies, Technology Conference, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg,
Virginia (opening night keynote performance)
2008 Becoming Dragon, Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, UCSD
Collaborative Solo Shows
2016 UNSTOPPABLE, INCA Institute, Seattle, WA (curated by Aeron Bergman and Alejandra
Salinas)
2014 Local Autonomy Networks: Anti-Anti Utopia, Living as Form (Nomadic Version) Antioch
University, Yellow Springs, OH (performance in collaboration with Antioch students)
2013 Local Autonomy Networks: Berlin/Lüneberg: The Safe Itinerant / The Insecurity of
Mobility // Der sichere Wanderer/ Die Gefahren von Mobilität, Berlin Hauptbahnhof,
Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, Post Media Lab, Lüneberg, Germany (performance in
collaboration with Zach Blas, NM Rosen and Tikul)
2010 Becoming Transreal, UCLA Freud Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA (performance in
collaboration with Elle Mehrmand)
technésexual, SoundSense Studio, CIEMAS, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
(performance in collaboration with Elle Mehrmand)
virus.circus.touch, Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY (performance in collaboration with Elle
Mehrmand)
Sustenance: A Play for All Trans[ ]Borders, Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco, CA

 

Group Exhibitions/Performances/Screenings


2017 “Beautiful New Worlds. Virtual Realities in Contemporary Art”, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen
GmbH, Friedrichshafen, Germany (Curated by Ina Neddermeyer)
Between Nothingness and Infinity, Navel Gallery, Los Angeles (Curated by April Baca and Allison
Littrell)
2016 Peacock Rebellion at I.D. Festival, OBERON, Cambridge Massachusetts
Hacking/Modding/Remixing as Feminist Protest, Miller Art Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University,
Morewood, Pittsburgh (Curated by Angela Washko)
Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (Curated by Chris Vargas)
Contesting/Contexting Sport, neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin, Germany (curated by
Željko Blaće et al)
Bubble and Clickbait, Alice Gallery, Seattle (curated by Susan Surface)
Cover Reveals, Alice Gallery, Seattle (curated by Julia Freeman)
Out of Sight Festival, King St Station, Seattle (curated by Julia Fryett)
What You See is What You Sweat, Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle (curated by C. Davida
Ingram, Chieko Philips, Christopher Shaw, Leilani Lewis and Zorn B. Taylor)
Trans & Genderqueer Poetry Reading, Fluxx Gallery/Studio, Tucson, AZ (curated by Trace
Peterson)
2015 voz-a-voz, YYZ Artist’s Outlet, E-Fagia, Toronto, ON (curated by Maria Coates
and Julieta María)
Fall Convergence, University of Washington | Bothell
That’s So Gay: Fall to Pieces, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON (curated by Syrus Marcus Ware)
That Used to Be Us, Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, MO (curated by Carrie Riehl)
Our Cold Bodies: Shifting Poetics in Trans Science Fiction, UCLA, Machine Dreaming
Symposium
iMappening 2015, SCA Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Boom, Bubble and Blast: Art Against the Crisis, Motorenhalle, Dresden, Germany (curated by
Cecilia Wee, Janneke Schönenbach & Olaf Arndt)
2014 HTMlles Feminist New Media Festival, Opening Night, Montreal, QC
Intergenerational LGBT Residency Open Studios, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Island
An Unbecoming Cabaret, Writing Trans Genres Conference, Pyramid Cabaret, Winnipeg, MB
2013 Wanting in Arabic Book Launch, Trish Salah, Beit Zatoun, Toronto, ON
Proyecto Ella, Mil M2, Santiago, Chile (curated by Francisco González R.)
Trans Technology, Rutgers University, New Jersey (curated by Bryce J. Renninger and
Christina Dunbar-Hester)
San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, San Francisco, CA (screening)
Transcreen: Amsterdam Transgender Film Festival, art exhibition “Lost & Found Transgender
Image Making”, Public Library of Amsterdam (screening curated by Eliza
Steinbock)
Free: Two Spirit, Queer and Trans People of Color Visions of Freedom, National Queer Arts

Festival, San Francisco, CA (curated by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha)
Mangos with Chili, Waterloo, Toronto, Canada (curated by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-
Samarasinha and Cherry Galette)
Free: Mangos With Chili, La Peña Cultural Center, Oakland, CA (curated by Leah
Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Cherry Galette)
Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics VIII Encuentro, Trasnocheo, Escola de
Teatro, São Paulo, Brazil (curated by Susana Cook)
Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics VIII Encuentro, Urban Interventions, Escola
de Teatro, São Paulo, Brazil
2012 Makeout Weird, Whistlestop, San Diego, CA
MIX 25, New York City, New York (screening)
San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, San Francisco, CA (screening)
HTMlles Feminist New Media Festival, Montreal, QC
Punk Ass Queers, Riverside, CA
Wanderlust, Highways Performance Space, April 2012 (curated by Raquel Gutierrez)
Trans-Anarchism, Highways Performance Space, April 2012 (curated by Leon Mostovoy)
Digital Humanities and Creative Activism Symposium, Institute for Multimedia Literacy in Los
Angeles and The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU
RADAR Reading Series, San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA (curated by Michelle
Tea)

 

Collaborative Performances in Group Shows


2014 Waterscapes: The Politics of Water, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (exhibition in
collaboration with Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. ab curated by Hyewon
Lee)
The Wall in Our Heads, Goethe-Institut, Washington D.C. (exhibition in collaboration with
Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. ab curated by Paul M. Farber)
Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary
Art, Scottsdale, AZ (exhibition in collaboration with Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/
b.a.n.g. lab curated by Claire Carter)
global aCtIVISm, Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany (exhibition
in collaboration with Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab curated by Peter
Weibel)
Anti-Atlas of Borders, Museé des Tapestries, Aix-en-Provenance, France (exhibition in
collaboration with Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab, curated by Isabel
Arvers)

 

Teaching Interests

Games as art and activism, algorithmic analysis, interactive narrative, science fiction, XR/VR/AR, alternate reality games, practice-based research, networked performance, trans of color poetics, queer of color critique, decolonization