I wrote about GamerGate, peer production, anonymous and Wikipedia

social text gamergate


We at Art+Feminism have been asked by a number of folks about our thoughts on the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee’s decision on the Gamergate controversy page. We started writing a short response that ended up in the Dazed Digital article on Art+Feminism, but I kept writing. The Affective Labor of Wikipedia: GamerGate, Harassment, and Peer Production is up on Social Text. The core of what I wrote: there are two separate battles over misogyny and collaboration that have merged here, and they foreground the affective labor of editing Wikipedia.

Two Educational Educational Outliers discussions at CAA conference

I’ve organized two colloquia about if, when, and how education becomes art practice. New nontraditional learning scenarios are emerging in many academic disciplines, especially in the arts, but somehow the proposition that education could be a medium for art-making provokes strong reactions. This colloquium invites several artists who are protagonists in educational experiments to explore and question the implications of education as an art practice.

Both events are free and open to the public.
If you’re not a part of CAA, you can still attend these discussions.

Image from It’s not just black and white by Gregory Sale, 2011. Photo by Jason Dillon.

DIY Educational Experiments: Artist-Run Education or Education as Art?
Thursday, February 12th at 2:30 PM
New York Hilton (1335 Ave of the Americas), Concourse G
Kianga Ford & Shane Aslan Selzer, Pablo Helguera, Liz Linden & Jennifer Kennedy, Benj Gerdes

Friday, February 13th at 6:30 PM
Center for the Humanities (365 Fifth Ave), Martin E. Segal Theatre
BFAMFAPhD, Beverly Naidus, Gregory Sale, Hallie Scott, Joanna Spitzner

Creative Appropriation at MoMA

mm moma post

I was invited to lead an artist run class at MoMA on Saturday, November 22nd. I will be walking through an artists’ perspective on appropriation art. We’ll visit a couple of favorites from the permanent collection, stop in on the Sturtevant: Double Trouble exhibition. I’ll give a talk about digital appropriation, including some of my work like the Tiananmen Square Paintings and AfterSherrieLevine.com and then I will challenge the group to make their own works with a series of propositions and provocations. By the end of the session, participants will have made their own digital readymades and appropriations. I hope they have fun, but I also hope they learn just how hard it is to make a meaningfully good copy.  If you want to join me, you can register online through MoMA’s website. Check out my post on MoMA’s blog for more on my thoughts on appropriation in the context of my own work.

A Chance Encounter

Early September in New York is full of more art openings any one person can keep track of, let alone attend. I spent last night popping between a handful of carefully chosen ones, pedaling along, courtesy of my finally working CitiBike card. As I was walking from the last opening to grab a slice I walked by a show and noticed a name I recognized out of its usual context. The opening was clearly about to end, but I popped in.

Mark Strand studied painting at Yale with Josef Albers, but I was unaware that he was still making visual work. I checked the press release: yep, the same Mark Strand. I wandered through, wondering which of the many white haired men he was.

I found him, but not because I recognized him. A woman recognized me from a show I was at earlier in the evening. She chatted me up, and in the process pointed him out to me. He was a tall thin white haired white man, wearing a rumpled white linen coat. I approached him while he held hands with his wife. I told him the story:

I asked him if he remembered visiting a small high school in Portland, Oregon in the mid 90’s. He said yes he did, and asked if I was there at the time? Yes, I told him, after his reading he came to my English class. I was a junior. We had just finished 25 page research papers on American poets. He asked us to go around the room and tell him who we had written on.

When it was my turn I told him I had written on Walt Whitman. “Whitman’s not much of a poet!” he retorted, pausing, looking at me, inviting me in to spar. I defended Whitman to the best of my abilities. I don’t really remember exactly what I said, as my memory has encoded and re-encoded the exchange. What matters is that in the version I am left with, I held my own against the former poet laureate. Last night I told him I argued for the importance of plain verse, and that Whitman’s catalogs were as great and various as America itself.

He was smiling. A kind of taught mouthed smile. I couldn’t tell if he remembered or not, and frankly why should he, but he clearly recognized himself in the story.

After I finished, he leaned in a little bit and said: “You know, you were right about Whitman. I’ve come around on him.” He smiled, showing his teeth. And his wife sweetly lead him away to the post-opening reception for which they were late.

Digital Publishing Today panel at CUNY Grad Center

Collaborative Futures, 2nd Edition
Panel: Ashley Dawson, Matthew K. Gold, Michael Mandiberg, Tavia Nyong’o

What are the radical possibilities of open access publishing? This panel will bring together a number of scholars who have published online recently to consider how university presses are either facilitating or impeding efforts by academics to explore new forms of cultural production and media activism unleashed by movements such as Occupy Wall Street. Join us to explore these questions and to develop new strategies and models for contemporary academic publication.

Mon Nov 26, 6:30pm | The Skylight Room (9100) at CUNY Graduate Center

Co-sponsored by The Digital Studies/Digital Humanities Seminar

The Social Media Reader is in reprints

The Social Media Reader in the wildThe Social Media Reader is being well received, and displayed prominently. It sold through the first print run in 4 months, and and was out of print for a few weeks(!) but is now available again.

The book launches went very well, with great presentations at MoMA/PS1 from Patrick Davison and Brad Troemel (Brad made a video of his talk) and at Powerhouse Arena with David Horvitz and Ceci Moss.

NYU Press did an interview with me about the book, which is posted in several video files on their Vimeo.

Also, it is up on Project Muse. So you can download full text PDFs if you have the proper University affiliation (ironically, CUNY doesn’t cut it, so I don’t have access.)

The Social Media Reader book launch events

For those of you in the New York area, please join me at MoMA PS1 and Powerhouse Arena for book launch events:


Sunday, March 18, 2PM

22-25 Jackson Ave.

Long Island City, NY 11101

I will be joined by Memefactory’s Patrick Davison and artist Brad Troemel to discuss social media art and a theory of Internet memes from Hamster Dance to Advice Dog. For more info, please see the event page on the MoMA PS1 site.

Powerhouse Arena

April 2nd, 7PM

37 Main Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

I will be joined by Ceci Moss and David Horvitz to discuss social media and its relationship to art on and off the web, articulating a theory of post-internet art, and creating and replicating a few memes in the process. So many memes!

The Social Media Reader

The Social Media Reader

The first collection to address contemporary internet culture from all the major thinkers in the field.

Collaborative Futures

Collaborative Futures

Collaborative Futures is a book collaboratively authored about free collaboration.

History is what the Present is made of

Middletown, Connecticut, 2011

I joined the Social Text Editorial Collective this Spring, and one of the first visible results is this interview with Matthew Frye Jacobson. Tavia Nyong’o and I interviewed Matthew about his interdisciplinary Historian’s Eye project.

Jacobson: And then I’ve been traveling around–I’ve been to something like 28 or 30 different states at this point– shooting pictures that I think capture something important about what’s going on. So now it’s a project not just about Obama, but it’s about the backlash against Obama, it’s about the Tea Party, it’s about the economic collapse, it’s about the oil spill, the wars, the anti-Muslim agitation. It still feels like a unique moment to me, historically speaking. It feels like a moment in which the country is about to deliver–at any second we could deliver up our very best or our very worst. It feels like that kind of tense moment of hope and danger. The archive is meant to build materials that capture that aspect of this moment. But then it’s also meant to be a pedagogical tool, to help teachers help their students to think historically about the present, really. To think about history as what the present is made of. To think about the present as having a deep history of its own, but also being history in the making.

The full interview is online at Social Text.