March 30, 2012: Symposium: Creative Activism in the Age of Digital Technologies


Creative Activism in the Age of Digital Technologies

March 30th, 2012, 2–5pm

Digital technologies have offered scholars, artists, and activists new strategies to address a broad array of social problems, enabling powerful new connections between artistic production, political action, and humanities scholarship. This symposium will explore the relationship between creativity, activism and digital technologies, and examine the new forms of political intervention, collaboration, and corporalities which these have enabled.

The event will include presentations by Faye Ginsburg (NYU), Jacques Servin (The Yes Men/NYU), and Aaron Bady (UC Berkeley), a digital performance by Micha Cardenas (USC), and responses from Diana Taylor (NYU), Michael Stoller (NYU), Tavia Nyong'o (NYU),Nicholas Mirzoeff (NYU), and Debra Levine (NYU).

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
NY, NY 10003

Free, photo ID required. Reception to follow.

Aaron Bady is a PhD candidate in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley, whose dissertation “White Men’s Country: The Image of Africa in the American Century” shows how visions of the American frontier were translated into the state-making project of settler Kenya. He has been active in both Occupy Oakland and Occupy Cal, and has written on Occupy for Salon, the Guardian, Possible Futures, and Technology Review, as well as blogging for The New Inquiry as “zunguzungu.”

Micha Cárdenas is PhD student in Media Arts and Practice Program at University of Southern California. She holds an MFA in Visual Arts from the UCSD and is the author of The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities. Her blog can be found at

Faye Ginsburg is Director of the Center for Media, Culture and History at NYU where she is also Kriser Professor of Anthropology and co-Director of NYU’s Council for the Study of Disability, as well as the Center for Religion and Media. She is author/editor of four books and is currently carrying out research on Cultural Innovation and Disability with her colleague Rayna Rapp (Anthropology).

Debra Levine has just completed her dissertation, “Enduring ACT UP: The Ethics, Politics, and Performances of Affinity” in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University, and is creating a digital version of the project that contains an extensive archive of materials from the collections of ACT UP New York members.

Nicholas Mirzoeff is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. He recently published The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality. His blog, Occupy 2012: A daily observation on Occupy, may be found at

Tavia Nyong’o’s research interests include the intersections of race and sexuality, visual art and performance, and cultural history. His book, The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory investigates musical, aesthetic, and political practices that conjoined blackness and whiteness in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is the web editor of Social Text.

Jacques Servin is a co-founder of the Yes Men, a group that has accomplished numerous high-profile media interventions serving to highlight environmental, economic and social injustices and the systemic problems that lead to them. At the Hemispheric Institute, Andy heads the Yes Lab, which helps students and others carry out media interventions.

This event is co-sponsored by The Digital Humanities Working Research Group, a project of the Humanities Initiative led by Diana Taylor (University Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish, and Director of the Hemispheric Institute) and Michael Stoller (Director of Collections and Research Services, New York University Libraries) that brings together a broad range of humanists and technologists from across NYU to discuss the role and implication of digital technologies in the Humanities.