Micha Cárdenas

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Micha Cárdenas
Micha Cárdenas.jpeg
Allied Media Conference 2012 Opening Ceremony
Born 1977
Nationality American
Education University of California, San Diego
Known for Performance

Micha Cárdenas is an Assistant Professor of Interactive Media Design and Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington's Bothell campus.[1] Cárdenas is an artist and theorist who studies the movement (migration, performance, and mobility) of trans people of color in digital media.

Artwork and performances[edit]

Cárdenas has presented her work around the world, including keynote performances at the 2015 Association of Internet Researchers Conference,[2] 2014 Digital Gender workshop at Umeå University in Sweden,[3] 2013 Dark Side of the Digital Conference[4] and 2012 Allied Media Conference,[5] performances at the 2012 Zero1 Biennial in San Jose,[6] and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics 7th Encuentro in Bogotá, Colombia[7] and collective exhibitions at the 2010 California Biennial,[8][9] and the 2009 Mérida Biennial.[10] In 2008, Cardenas performed Becoming Dragon, a 365 hour mixed reality performance in Second Life.[11] Recent projects include "Unstoppable", a collaboration with Patrisse Cullors, Chris Head and Edxie Betts to create no-cost bulletproof clothing,[12] Local Autonomy Networks [13] and virus.circus, a collaboration with Elle Mehrmand.[14] She has also curated exhibits in Los Angeles, New York and Tijuana, Mexico.,[15][16][17]

As a member of the Electronic Disturbance Theater/b.a.n.g. lab,[18] she helped design the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a GPS device designed to guide immigrants illegally crossing the US-Mexico border and to help them find water stations during their journey.[19] Cardenas argued that the aim of this project was "about giving water to somebody who's dying in the desert of dehydration,"[20] but which critics claimed was an irresponsible use of government funds, and a tool that would also help facilitate other illegal activity, like smuggling, as well.[18] Ultimately, all investigations of the project were dropped without finding any misuse of funds or illegal activity on the part of the artists.[21]


In 2014, Cárdenas published an essay titled "Movements of Safety" in the book Plants, Androids and Operators: A Post-Media Handbook by Mute Publishing. ISBN 190649696X The book includes essays from numerous theorists and artists working in the Post-Media Lab in Germany.

In 2013, Cárdenas' poetry and a statement on poetics was published in the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics ISBN 978-1937658106 by Nightboat Books. The editors describe the book as the first anthology of transgender and genderqueer poetry.

In 2012, Cárdenas' co-authored book The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities, co-edited by Zach Blas, ISBN 0-9839152-4-5 was published by Atropos Press. The book discusses art, games and activism that use multiple realities, including augmented reality, mixed reality and alternate reality approaches.

Cárdenas' first book, co-authored with Barbara Fornssler, Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs ISBN 0982530994 discusses an experimental conception of politics based in desire.[22]

Cárdenas has published several works related to the theoretical issues raised in her performances including "Becoming Dragon, A Transversal Technology Study" in the 2013 book Critical Digital Studies ISBN 978-1442614666 from University of Toronto press,[23] and "I Am Transreal" in the book Gender Outlaws the Next Generation, edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman. Additional published works include "Technesexual Interface: Erotic Mixed Reality Performance",[24] in Digimag.it co-authored with Elle Mehrmand.

Teaching and research[edit]

Cárdenas was a Lecturer in the Visual Arts Department[25] and Critical Gender Studies Program[26] at UCSD in 2009 and 2010. She was previously the Interim Associate Director of Art and Technology for the Culture, Art and Technology program at UCSD[27] and a researcher at the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, CalIT2 and the UCSD School of Medicine.[28] Cárdenas also worked in the Experimental Game Lab at the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts on the Scalable City project.[29]


Cárdenas earned her PhD at the University of Southern California in the Media Arts and Practice program where she was a Provost Fellow.[30] She received her MFA at the University of California, San Diego in the summer of 2009, and holds a Master's degree in Media and Communications with distinction from the European Graduate School and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Florida International University.


  1. ^ "Micha Cárdenas Faculty Page at University of Washington Bothell". 
  2. ^ "Association of Internet Researchers Website". 
  3. ^ "Digital Gender Workshop, Sweden, Abstracts and workshop programme". 
  4. ^ "Dark Side of the Digital, University of Michigan, Milwaukee". 
  5. ^ "AMC2012 Opening Ceremony: Experiments in the Species Self". 
  6. ^ Sarah Beth (July 17, 2012). ["http://www.zero1.org/blog/emerge-zero1-street-festival" "eMERGE, The ZERO1 Street Festival"] Check |url= value (help). 
  7. ^ "Micha Cárdenas and Elle Mehrmand". Hemi.nyu.edu. August 22, 2009. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Another Righteous Transfer, Not the Same Old Song and Dance: Recent Encounters with Karen Adelman and Flora Wiegmann". Anotherrighteoustransfer.wordpress.com. February 15, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  9. ^ Hart, Hugh (November 15, 2010). "Screw-Embedded Football 'Breathes' on Respirator". Wired. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Biennale: Arte Nuevo Interactiva '09". Yucatantoday.com. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ Hello, Guest (December 21, 2008). "Online-world immersion probes possibilities of transformation, San Diego Union Tribune, by Scott LaFee". .signonsandiego.com. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Seattle Weekly, A UW Professor's Mission to Build Affordable Bulletproof Gear for Trans Folk". 
  13. ^ "Feature Interview: Micha Cardenas". 
  14. ^ "MCA Presents Here Not There, Will Bowen, sdnews.com". Sandiegonewsroom.com. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  15. ^ HOUSE OF ART: Lui Velazquez, Derrik Chinn, SignOnSanDiego.com, San Diego Union Tribune[dead link]
  16. ^ http://eventot.com/mix-nyc-the-coming-disturbance-we-re-coming-you-should-come-too/1033683.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ http://map.usc.edu/collective-alchemy-performance-night-at-usc/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ a b Rhett, Joshua (April 7, 2010). "Critics Blast Transborder Immigrant Tool As 'Irresponsible' Use Of Technology". Fox News. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  19. ^ "AJE". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  20. ^ Spagat, Elliot (December 30, 2009). "Activists want to give GPS to immigrants | Wichita Eagle". Kansas.com. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Interview with Ricardo Dominguez, Zach Blas, Reclamations Journal". Reclamationsjournal.org. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  22. ^ "e-misferica, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, NYU". Hemi.nyu.edu. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Becoming Dragon, A Transversal Technology Study". Ctheory.net. November 4, 2009. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Technesexual Interface: Erotic Mixed Reality Performance". Digicult.it. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  25. ^ Visiting Faculty, UCSD Visual Arts Department Archived January 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ "critical gender studies fall courses, UCSD Critical Gender Studies Program" (PDF). Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  27. ^ Micha Cardenas, Culture, Art and Technology Program Website Archived April 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ "Productive confusions: learning from simulations of pandemic virus outbreaks in Second Life (Proceedings Paper)". Spie.org. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Scalable City by Sheldon Brown and the Experimental Game Lab". Scalablecity.net. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  30. ^ "USC Provost Fellows". 

External links[edit]