micha cárdenas publishes "Dark Shimmers" and exhibits "Becoming Dragon" in Germany


IAS faculty member micha cárdenas has published a chapter in the new book "Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the politics of Visibility" (MIT Press). Part of the "Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture" series, the essays in the book "attest to how trans people are frequently offered 'doors'—entrances to visibility and recognition—that are actually 'traps,' accommodating trans bodies and communities only insofar as they cooperate with dominant norms." Her essay, "Dark Shimmers: The Rhythm of Necropolitical Affect in Digital Media" engages in affective and algorithmic analyses of a few moments of time in the months of June and July 2016, during which extreme violence against trans, black, and Latinx people occurred repeatedly, rhythmically. Through a consideration of her practice-based research projects Unstoppable and #stronger, she asks if the paradigmatic tool of necropolitics is the algorithm. 

In addition, cárdenas' artwork Becoming Dragon is on exhibit at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany in an exhibition titled "Schöne neue Welten: Virtuelle Realitäten in der zeitgenössischen Kunst" or "Beautiful New Worlds. - Virtual Realities in Contemporary Art". The works in the exhibition range from simulated reproductions of real environments to 3D videos and Virtual Reality which generates an all-encompassing spatial illusion with the aid of VR headsets. Becoming Dragon is a 365 hour mixed reality performance which questions the one year requirement of "real life experience" that transgender people must have before receiving gender confirmation surgery. The performance asks if this could be replaced with "Second Life" experience.

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