Miranda Joseph Endowed Lecture with micha cárdenas



5:30 p.m., April 14, 2022

Please join us for this year's virtual Miranda Joseph Endowed Lecture with micha cárdenas on Poetic Operations: Trans of Color Art in Digital Media. Please follow the registration link to attend.


About the lecturer: micha cárdenas, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Art & Design: Games + Playable Media, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she directs the Critical Realities Studio. cárdenas is writing a new algorithm for gender, race and technology. Her book in progress, Poetic Operations, proposes algorithmic analysis as a method for developing 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 Stamps Gallery (2020); Thessaloniki Biennial (2019) in Greece; Arnolfini Gallery (2019); De La Warr Pavillion (2019); 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)


About the lecture: Poetic Operations learns from women of color feminism to articulate an algorithmic method of analysis and propose new operators of thought and action to work for the survival of trans people of color. By using algorithmic analysis to consider artworks that contribute to safety for trans people of color, the survival strategies of these communities can be perceived, which constitute a trans of color poetics: a repertoire of poetic operations. 

Poetics, whether of language, media or movement, are the observable meeting points of matter and agency. Trans of color poetics can also be seen in the work of artists who do not identify as people of color, trans or gender non-conforming, whose poetics still serve to increase safety for trans of color communities. The artworks discussed in this talk all contribute, most explicitly, a few implicitly, to reducing violence against trans people of color, by interrupting colonial control of embodiment, modulating perceptibility, fostering transformation and building solidarity. Trans of color poetics can aid work for gender and racial justice more broadly, especially in considerations of race and gender in technology.

This event will have captioning available. For other accessibility requests, please contact Sarah Maaske at smaaske@arizona.edu or 520-626-7005


This event is sponsored by the Institute for LGBT Studies and cosponsored by the Poetry Center, Public and Applied Humanities, Latin American Studies, and the English department at the University of Arizona.