Art, Apparatus and Neural-Digital Entanglement in Cognitive Capitalism
SFSIA 2024 | New York City

in collaboration with Creative Time and Montez Press Radio
June 17 – 26

Faculty Bios

Trained as a political scientist, Defne Ayas is currently working as senior program advisor for Performa in New York. Ayas has previously served as a director, co-director, curator, and advisor to several cultural institutions and research initiatives across the globe, including Melly (FKA Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art), Arthub Asia, New Museum, and V-A-C Foundation. At Performa in 2023, Ayas presented Protest and Performance: A Way of Life (with Kathy Noble), with performances by Gregg Bordowitz and Pamela Sneed, Rana Hamadeh, and Göksu Kunak. She also co-organized Sonic Tonic Assembly with AGF, Tony Cokes, HxH and Lamin Fofana a.o. (with Paul O’neill and the public). Ayas co-curated Minds Rising, Spirit Tuning,13th Gwangju Biennale (with Natasha Ginwala) in 2021; Acting in a Center in a City in the Heart of the Island of Eurasia, the 6th Moscow Biennale (with Bart de Baere and Nicolaus Schafhausen) in 2015, and the 11th Baltic Triennale in 2012. Ayas is a founding curator of Blind Dates (with Neery Melkonian), which addresses the traces of the peoples, places, and cultures that once constituted the diverse geography of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922).

Davide Balula is a French-American artist who lives and works in New York. Balula’s practice blends together the organic and the synthetic, inviting the viewer’s participation and the natural environment to become active agents of his pieces. Since 2018 he has been developing custom A.I. models with writers such as Catherine Malabou and Charles Bernstein. Solo presentations include: Machine Water, Musée Départemental d’Art Contemporain, Rochechouart; Some farmed, others mined, galerie frank elbaz, Paris; 37,5°C, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Calories and Dance Moves for the Internal Organ Systems, Schirn Museum, Frankfurt; Mimed Sculptures, Bass Miami; and Iron Levels, Gagosian Gallery, Rome.

Suparna Choudhury is an interdisciplinary researcher and writer, positioned between academic and community-based research, as well as experimental arts and healing. She trained in neuroscience, history and philosophy of science and creative writing in London, Paris, Berlin, and Vermont. She is based in Montreal, where she established Critical Neuroscience at McGill University, a research program which examines the social, cultural and political contexts of neuroscience and its implications for society. She is currently co-director of Uncertainty Academy, a Berggruen Institute fellow of the Future Humans program and a member of the Educational Ecologies Collective. She co-directs the Family Care Collective, a Montreal-based community organization, and is working on a hybrid fiction manuscript about wild things — flowers, brains, hearts and cities. 

Stephanie Dinkins is a transdisciplinary artist and educator whose work intersects emerging technologies, and our future histories. Her art practice is deeply committed to creating platforms for dialogue about AI as it intersects with these critical societal issues. As an LG – Guggenheim Awardee and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in AI, Dinkins leverages technology and storytelling to challenge and reimagine the narratives surrounding marginalized communities, particularly those of Black and brown individuals. Through her installations, digital platforms, and community-based projects, Dinkins seeks not only to question the current paradigms of AI development but also to forge paths toward more equitable and inclusive technological futures. Her work emphasizes the importance of incorporating diverse voices and perspectives into the design and application of AI, advocating for a future where technology uplifts and amplifies underrepresented histories and experiences, and fostering a tech ecosystem that is truly beneficial for all. She exhibits internationally and publicly advocates for inclusive AI internationally at a broad spectrum of community, private, and institutional venues.

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve is a writer, interviewer and cartoodlist. She writes about art as a world building activity, writing with not about art and artists. Her interests include art as a “structure of feeling,” human/nonhuman animal ontologies, the natural fantastic, the aesthetics of wonder, the history of modernism(s), surrealist methodologies, dystopias and utopias, and the metaphysics of technology. She is the author of Scribbles, Comments, Glosses, Annotations, Critiques, Doodles, Drolleries, and Illuminations: The Marginalia of Marshall McLuhan (Arcana Books, 2024); editor (with Joan Waltemath, Stephen Ellis, Jarrett Earnest, Christine Davis, and Helen Molesworth) of Critical Dialogues from the Hoffberger School of Painting (forthcoming, MICA, 2024); and co-editor of Workstyles of Mildred’s Lane with Morgan J. Puett. Her book-length interview portrait of Donna Haraway, How Like A Leaf (1999) has been re-published in several languages including Turkish, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish. She has published widely in The Brooklyn Rail, Art Agenda, Artforum, Art in America, and numerous artist catalogs, among them Raymon Elouza, Structure and Dissonance (Everson Museum, 2022); Suzanne Anker and Frank Gillette, Strata (Everson Museum, 2021); Alexis Rockman, The Great Lakes Cycle, 2018); Joan Waltemath, In the Absence of Grief (2015); Tom Friedman (Gagosian, 2008); and Ellen Gallagher (Anthony d’Offay, 1999). She is currently working with Tony Oursler on an exhibition and catalog of his videos (1970-1990s) in relation to television of the late 50s and 60s. She has a Masters in Cinema Studies from NYU and a Ph.D. from The History of Consciousness Program and is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in the MFA Art Practice, MFA Fine Arts, and MFA Computer Arts programs.

Lyle Ashton Harris has cultivated a diverse artistic practice, ranging from photography and collage to video installation and performance art, examining the impact of race, gender and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic globally through intersections of the personal and the political. Harris has been widely exhibited globally and his work is represented in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and Tate Modern among numerous public and private collections internationally. Over three decades, Harris has been on the faculty of New York University, where is a Professor of Art and Art Education.

Sir Isaac Julien, RA is a critically acclaimed British artist and filmmaker. In 2018, Julien joined the faculty at the University of California Santa Cruz where he is a Distinguished Professor of the Arts and leads the Moving Image Lab together with Arts Professor Mark Nash. Current and recent international solo exhibitions include: Isaac Julien: What Freedom is to Me, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Netherlands; K21, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2023; Tate Britain, London, UK, 2023; Lina Bo Bardi, A Marvellous Entanglement, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, USA, 2023; Lessons of the Hour, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Virginia USA, 2022-23; Once Again… (Statues Never Die), Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, USA, 2022; Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, USA, 2022; Lessons of the Hour, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco, 2020-21; Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement, MAXXI, Rome, Italy, 2020–21; Western Union: Small Boats, Neuberger Museum, New York, USA, 2020; Looking for Langston, Tate Britain, London, UK, 2019; Playtime at LACMA, Los Angeles, USA, 2019. Julien is the recipient of The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award 2017, and a Kaiserring Goslar Award in 2022. He was granted a knighthood as part of the Queen’s Honours List in 2022.

Liz Magic Laser is a multimedia video and performance-based artist from New York City. Her recent work explores the efficacy of new age techniques and psychological methods active in both corporate culture and political movements. Laser’s work has been shown at venues such as The Smithsonian American Art Museum (2023); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2023); ICA Boston (2023); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2022); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2021); and MUDAM The Contemporary Art Museum of Luxembourg (2021). Her work has been critically acclaimed in publications such as Text zur Kunst, Artforum, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Frieze, and Art in America.

Reza Negarestani is a philosopher and writer. He has lectured and taught at numerous international universities and institutes. His latest philosophical work is Intelligence and Spirit (2018, Sequence Press/Urbanomic/MIT), a monograph on artificial general intelligence at the intersection of theoretical computer science, philosophy of mind and German Idealism. Negarestani is currently working on a book dealing with the multifaceted enigma of time and its relation to imagination entitled The Vicious Transparency of Time.  

Warren Neidich is an artist and theorist who gathers together methods of poiesis and pataphysics to generate text-based, conceptual art works of illuminated neon glass that manifest as politically-motivated, conceptual and diagrammatic constellations in collision with painting, video and photography. Fundamental to his practice is thinking through the mind and brain as a resource for artistic production. He is the founding director of the Saas Fee Summer Institute of Art and currently contributing editor at BOMB Magazine and 02. Recent awards include Maison Sugar Fellowship, Paris (2023), Getty Research Fellowship (2023), Stiftung Kunstfonds NEUSTART KULTUR (2020 and 2021), Hauptstadtkulturfonds (2021), Katalogförderung des Berliner Senats (2017), and Vilém Flusser Theory Award, Transmediale (2010). He is author of Blow-up: Photography, Cinema and the Brain (DAP, 2002), Cognitive Architecture: From Biopolitics to Noo-politics (010 Publishers, 2010), The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism, Part 1 (2013), 2 (2015), and 3 (Archive Books, 2017), An Activist Neuroaesthetic Reader (Archive Books, 2022), and The Glossary of Cognitive Activism (Eris and Columbia University Press, 2024). 

Alison Nguyen is a New York-based artist whose work spans video, installation, performance, and sculpture. Her practice combines the particulars of the personal with an exploration into broader forces of history, particularly those entwined with technology. Her work has been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, MIT List Center for Visual Arts, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea, Vienna Secession, The Everson Museum, e-flux, The International Studio & Curatorial Program, Murmurs LA, op.cit., Signs and Symbols, KAJE, Ann Arbor Film Festival, International Film Festival Oberhausen, Channels Festival International Biennial of Video Art, True/False Film Festival, and Microscope Gallery. Nguyen received her MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University and her BA in Literary Arts from Brown University. She is a 2023–2024 artist in the Whitney Independent Study Program. Nguyen is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Bard College’s Film and Electronic Arts program and an Adjunct Professor at NYU Steinhardt’s BFA Studio Art program.

Diane Severin Nguyen is an artist who works across photography, film, and installation. She has exhibited her work internationally in venues such as SculptureCenter, Rockbund Art Museum, Renaissance Society, MoMA PS1, Jeu du Paume, Schinkel Pavillon, Hammer Museum, and many others. Her films have been screened at film festivals such as the New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Berlinale. Nguyen is a recent recipient of the 2023 Guggenheim fellowship and lives and works in New York.

Barry Schwabsky is art critic for The Nation and co-editor of international reviews for Artforum. His recent books include The Observer Effect: On Contemporary Painting (Sternberg Press) and The Perpetual Guest: Art in the Unfinished Present (Verso) as well as two collections of poetry, Water from Another Source (Spuyten Duyvil) and Feelings of And (Black Square Editions).

Martha Schwendener is an instructor at New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and an art critic for The New York Times.

Mindy Seu is a designer and technologist based in New York City and Los Angeles. Her expanded practice involves archival projects, techno-critical writing, performative lectures, design commissions, and close collaborations. Her latest writing surveys feminist economies, historical precursors of the metaverse, and the materiality of the internet. Mindy’s ongoing Cyberfeminism Index, which gathers three decades of online activism and net art, was commissioned by Rhizome, presented at the New Museum, and awarded the Graham Foundation Grant. She has lectured internationally at cultural institutions (Barbican Centre, New Museum), academic institutions (Columbia University, Central Saint Martins), and mainstream platforms (Pornhub, SSENSE, Google), and been a resident at MacDowell, Sitterwerk Foundation, Pioneer Works, and Internet Archive. Her design commissions and consultation include projects for the Serpentine Gallery, Canadian Centre for Architecture, and MIT Media Lab. Her work has been featured in Frieze, Vanity Fair, Dazed, Gagosian Quarterly, Brooklyn Rail, i-D, and more. Mindy holds an M.Des. from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a B.A. in Design Media Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. As an educator, Mindy was formerly an Assistant Professor at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts and Critic at Yale School of Art. She is currently an Associate Professor at University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Design Media Arts.

Anuradha Vikram is a writer, curator, and educator born in New York and based in Los Angeles. They are co-curator of the 2024 Oregon Contemporary Artists’ Biennial: ablaze with our care, its ongoing song (May–Aug 2024) and guest curator of the Getty PST Art exhibition Atmosphere of Sound: Sonic Art in Times of Climate Disruption (Sept 2024–May 2025) at UCLA Art Sci Center. Recent curatorial projects include Jaishri Abichandani: Flower-Headed Children at Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles (2022), Swept Away: Love Letter to a Surrogate with Warren Neidich, Renée Petropoulos, and Christina Strassfield at Guild Hall, East Hampton Main Beach, New York (2022) and 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica State Beach, California (2023), and eX-aMEN-ing Masculinities with LA Freewaves at Los Angeles State Historic Park in 2022. Vikram’s book Decolonizing Culture (Sming Sming Books, 2017) helped initiate a global movement to decolonize arts institutions and monuments. Their latest book is Use Me At Your Own Risk: Visions from the Darkest Timeline (X Artists’ Books, 2023), using speculative fiction to address current and future social conditions from a techno-critical point of view. They are a contributor to art periodicals including Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, and Los Angeles Review of Books, and publications from Paper Monument, Archive Books, Heyday Press, Routledge, Wiley, and Oxford University Press. Vikram is a lecturer at UCLA and visiting faculty at Cal Arts. They hold an MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts and a BS in Studio Art from NYU.