Monthly Archives: April 2015

Lecture: María Fernández, Reading Posthumanism in Feminist New Media Arts

April 09, 2015
3:00 PM
Mann Assembly Room, Paterno Library

On April 09, 2015, María Fernández delivered a lecture titled “Reading Posthumanism in Feminist New Media Arts.”

Event flyer

Follow-up interview (September 2015)

Description of presentation

This presentation explores works by contemporary artists engaged with posthumanist perspectives in relation to a body of previous feminist works. It suggests that in new media art from the early 1990s to the present, it is often difficult to make a sharp distinction between feminist, posthumanist and new materialist orientations.

Speaker bio

María Fernández is Associate Professor of Art History at Cornell University. She received her doctorate in art history from Columbia University in 1993. Her research interests include the history and theory of digital art, postcolonial and gender studies, Latin American art and architecture and the intersections of these fields. Her book Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture was released in January 2014 by University of Texas Press and was awarded the 2015 Arvey Prize by the Association for Latin American Art. Her work appears in several volumes including The Art of Art History, edited by Donald Preziosi (Oxford University Press, 2009), A Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945, edited by Amelia Jones (Blackwell 2006), and At a Distance: Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet, edited by Annmarie Chandler and Norie Neumark (MIT Press, 2005.) With Faith Wilding and Michelle Wright she edited the anthology Domain Errors: Cyberfeminist Practices, published by Autonomedia in 2002. Recently she completed an edited volume of essays titled Latin American Modernisms and Technology, which explores diverse engagements of Latin American intellectuals and artists with modern technologies, and currently she is working on a book on the work of the British cybernetician Gordon Pask.

Description of Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture, from publisher’s Web site

Since the colonial era, Mexican art has emerged from an ongoing process of negotiation between the local and the global, which frequently involves invention, synthesis, and transformation of diverse discursive and artistic traditions. In this pathfinding book, María Fernández uses the concept of cosmopolitanism to explore this important aspect of Mexican art, in which visual culture and power relations unite the local and the global, the national and the international, the universal and the particular. She argues that in Mexico, as in other colonized regions, colonization constructed power dynamics and forms of violence that persisted in the independent nation-state. Accordingly, Fernández presents not only the visual qualities of objects, but also the discourses, ideas, desires, and practices that are fundamental to the very existence of visual objects.

Fernández organizes episodes in the history of Mexican art and architecture, ranging from the seventeenth century to the end of the twentieth century, around the consistent but unacknowledged historical theme of cosmopolitanism, allowing readers to discern relationships among various historical periods and works that are new and yet simultaneously dependent on their predecessors. She uses case studies of art and architecture produced in response to government commissions to demonstrate that established visual forms and meanings in Mexican art reflect and inform desires, expectations, memories, and ways of being in the world—in short, that visual culture and cosmopolitanism are fundamental to processes of subjectification and identity.

Description of Domain Errors: Cyberfeminist Practices, from publisher’s Web site

Part performative intervention, part radical polemic and activist manual, Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices introduces a diverse international group of feminist writers, artists, theorists, and activists engaged in formulating a contestational politics for tactical cyberfeminism. This recombinant book highlights productive intersections of feminist and postcolonial discourses through critical analyses of the embodied politics of digital culture. Opening areas repressed in previous cyberfeminist discourses, the authors map contemporary social relations between women as they are mediated and transformed by digital and bio technologies.

Other resources

Publisher’s Web site for Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture

Excerpt from Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture, from publisher’s Web site

Fernández, María. “Detached from HiStory: Jasia Reichardt and Cybernetic Serendipity,” Art Journal 67.3 (2008): 6–23

Fernández, María. “Postcolonial Media Theory.” Art Journal 58.3 (1999): 58–73

Publisher’s Web site for Domain Errors: Cyberfeminist Practices

subRosa publications ::: including information about Domain Errors: Cyberfeminist Practices

subRosa/ refugia site for Domain Errors: Cyberfeminist Practices