Ricardo Dominguez: Charting Virtual and Real Borders

Critical Art Ensemble in Halle/Saale, Germany, performing “Radiation Burn: A Temporary Monument to Public Safety” [courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

I first met “hacktivist” artist Ricardo Dominguez and was exposed to his ideas as an undergraduate student at Cooper Union, taking a course called Interdisciplinary Seminar taught by artist Doug Ashford—a mentor to me. Fifteen or so years later I had a chance to bring the two of them together, in 2016, in an exhibition titled Dispatches, which involved artistic responses to erupting news cycles in the turbulent time spanning the presidential campaign. By then, Ricardo, one of the founding members of Electronic Disturbance Theatre, had forged a new group, EDT 2.0, with a new set of collaborators including b.a.n.g. lab, to create the Transborder Immigrant Tool, among other things. I spoke with him this fall to download a cartography of his life and work; to better understand the intersection between electronic activism and performance art as he has helped shape it and map it; and to hear him speak to how artists, through what he calls critical gestures, might respond now to the increasingly bordered conditions of our world.

Cora Fisher: How does the border figure in your work? Is it something that you actively think about, resist? Is it a frame, is it—is it not?

Ricardo Dominquez: Well, on an existential, biographical level, I was born in El Paso, TX, so I am basically a border child, first generation. But a few months after I was born, my family moved to Las Vegas, and it was Las Vegas in which I gained critical consciousness. So I would say my relationship to the border has been one of knowing of its existence, having some familial histories of the border, but Las Vegas created a different kind of sensibility, which was about the establishment of global regimes.

Las Vegas was a space in which I learned the fundamentalisms of Mormonism as a pragmatic accumulation culture that merged with mafia capitalism and then military industrial research because [approximately] 95% of Nevada is federal land: the nuclear test site, the above ground/below ground, is 65 miles from Las Vegas; Nellis Air Force Base, which is a testing ground for accelerationist Empire trajectories and new hyper sonic missiles; and then Area 51, which [we long believed didn’t] exist. Entangled in all this is a kind of neon hyper-simulation culture. A 24-hour, 24/7 culture. So one of the elements is that the way the border has played itself out and the way I’ve encountered it has been from this other, you know, pre-Baudrillard society of the hyperspectacle. The moment in which I had to understand the border came very late. And so the way I approached the border was from this other space, which I would define as the emergence of virtual capitalism. And for me, one of the things that happened was, when I left Las Vegas as a young man, I found it incredible that other communities weren’t open 24/7; Now the world is much more 24/7 culture—

CF: Right, we’ve caught up to Nevada, unfortunately.

RD: By a series of life coincidences in early 1980, I ended up in Tallahassee, FL, and there I began to meet a group of artists in this cultural frontier that became Critical Art Ensemble. I had an interest in avant-garde theater, I was interested in, you know, The Living Theatre and El Teatro Campesino. So, with this group we began to develop a vocabulary of what we call radical, critical gestures in this Tallahassee space. And it was there in the early 1980s that we began to develop the idea of a new border being crossed between real bodies and data bodies. But we didn’t have access to computers or any networks or anything. We could certainly culturally see and read notions of cyberspace via cyberpunk, via a growing awareness that data was becoming a predominant way in which mechanisms of capital and military research were being instantiated. We began to imagine that this world without borders was being driven by a consolidation of data bodies versus real bodies. Who was allowed to control data bodies, who wasn’t allowed, who had data bodies imposed on their real bodies?

So out of this came the notion of a performative matrix, and this for us was where we would begin to poke and ping and create electronic disturbances to try to create a cognitive mapping of what this new virtual space was, where the borders of it were, where it broke down. It was a really important moment. And again, all my work was always collaborative—it’s always been collaborative—so part of this border was also, how does one aesthetically cross genres, sensibilities of making forms across art and artist? How does one develop a communication with a filmmaker, a poet, a photographer, a designer so that we could all work together and still have a kind of horizontal understanding of aesthetics, which for me was performance, but yet a horizontal quality of critical questions?

The Electronic Disturbance Theater sitting on steps

Electronic Disturbance Theater [photo: Kinsee Morlan for The San Diego City Beat; courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

CF: So, what is electronic disturbance?

RD: You know, it’s all these data bodies, real bodies. But we began then to stuff it with a very specific sensibility. We did a series of experiments, gestures, and they all started defining one important territory of electronic disturbance, which was electronic civil disobedience. We began to imagine what that would be, how it would function. We obviously took a lot from Thoreau, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr..

During the mid-80s many of our friends began to die, so we started ACT UP Tallahassee [AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power], and were working with ACT UP Miami, ACT UP Atlanta. And so, with ACT UP, we were able to begin to consolidate the ideas of street action, street gesture, performance design, and [ask] what is electronic civil disobedience. So, in those days, it was fax-jams, phone-jams, that for us were a way to reflect on the die-ins, the kiss-ins, everything we were doing. Only, how could we reflect it in this digital realm, in this telematic sense? So, again, our interest was, how can we teleport the streets into this new territory?

And again, it was border-crossing in a sense of an artist getting access to the machine that had not been part of that sort of … I didn’t have a passport, you know, to the military or the university to get a hold of these machines. I didn’t have the money to buy machines. But I knew artists here in New York City, and I was lucky enough to wander here in [Greenwich] Village, and in those days, there were galleries in SoHo, which there aren’t, really, anymore.

And I would try to note any show that had something to do with the digital or the electronic as my guiding post, and it was there that I met Jordan Crandall. He was at Sandra Gering Gallery, and he had a MOO URL—what wasn’t really a URL but a MOO address—which was a chat area, pre-browser. So, I spoke to him, and I said, “I’m from Critical Art Ensemble. I’m interested in electronic disturbances.” And we started working together. He introduced me to [the work of] Wolfgang Staehle , who was a conceptualist, a painter, and filmmaker. [He] had made a good deal of money off his art in the 1980s in the Mudd Club scene. And he had gotten some modems and started this thing called “thing.net.” I was introduced to him. He said, “I’m leaving for Berlin. Here’s how to get somebody on a Mac or PC onto these things.” I had never even had a machine, but I could answer the phone, and I could read how you do it. So that’s how I slowly began to be a system administrator ….

It was at that moment, here in New York City, that another border emerged: at one minute after midnight, 1994, the Zapatistas—an indigenous group in Chiapas—at the same time that NAFTA was signed, ripped through the electronic fabric. I found myself, on January 1 at an important squat, with my emails that I had gotten from the Zapatistas that night, the First Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle. And so, that day, we started the New York Committee for Democracy in Mexico, the New York Zapatistas. So there I teleported across the US–Mexico border—intergalactically, as they would say. I didn’t ask to cross the border, they—

CF: You were pulled across.

Sign indicating the entrance of Zapatista rebel territory. “You are in Zapatista territory in rebellion. Here the people command and the government obeys.” [photo: Paolo Massa; courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

RD: The virtual could allow far-flung communities who, in theory, had no access—and in practice—had no telephones, no electricity, nothing. Yet within six hours, [they] created a global movement. The New York Times called them the first postmodern revolution.

I had to reorganize the aesthetics and really transgress the borders of Critical Art Ensemble that we had developed. The aesthetics of that really began to reshape me towards the question of NAFTA, the border being consolidated into this larger, economic, non-bordered world without borders for commodities, for the economy. Human beings were being deleted from the flows. But it still was very different from the sort of hard border that we see now.

I was able to meet communities of artists and activists who were collectively intelligent and could teach me to gather groups, and that’s how Electronic Disturbance Theater 1.0 began—because of the emergence of digital zapatismo. They said, “Look, we need to create a poetics of a new sort of circuit of altered globalization, where it’s small communities, peer-to-peers, like the Zapatistas speaking to other communities.” And they also said—and this was very difficult for the emerging group of Electronic Disturbance Theater 1.0—that you have to give up anonymity. Because at that time, AOL and Yahoo were going—In cyberspace, nobody knows you’re a dog, right? So, it was anonymous. So, they said, “You have to choose another radical aesthetic.” And so, part of the conversation was that we had to become transparent. Our data bodies and real bodies had to be very clear. It was Brett Stalbaum; Carmin Karasic; Stefan Wray [saying], “We’re here in New York City. I live at Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Here’s my telephone number. We’re going to do a virtual sit-in on you next week between this hour and this hour. Call me or come arrest me.” This created aesthetic confusion because the way cyberwar, cyberterrorism, cybercrime was being theorized was like the cybermarket anonymity. It was one of high tech, you know, utilitarian efficiency. What the Zapatistas were saying [was], “Be transparent. Follow the embodiment of civil disobedience.” And also, “allow it to have a vocabulary of a kind of surreal quality.” Because the Zapatistas would send letters, like, “This is a letter from Don DeVito, the most famous invisible bug in all of Lacandon, and he’s been at the Sorbonne recently reading something.” So, the military and the Mexican army would go—“What the—an invisible bug? A one-legged chicken? The big nose?” It was these very powerful mythopoetic spaces.

So, how do you merge a kind of symbolic efficacy, a transparency, and a practice that would layer these things together? This question of a formal aesthetics—that is, how one creates a poetry, if you will, a rhythm, not just an algorithm but an algo-rhythm, another sort of rhythm, a poetic rhythm. What might be considered an aesthetic formalism, right? As opposed to going against the aesthetic. How do you merge that with the practice? It worked well, and electronic civil disobedience then became an important conversation at that time.

And I guess the shift is—there was a great joy in the 1990s around tactical media. My friends at RTMark, who are now The Yes Men, [and many others] were playing with the great joy of creating simulations, right? “This is happening, that’s happening.” But then, there was this kind of ontological event much prayed for by the neoconservatives of the late 1990s like Ronfeldt and Cheney and others. I think it was called Project for the New American Century, where they had said, in 1999, we need a Pearl Harbor-like event to initiate our neocon vision of the world. And they got it with 9/11.

So, with 9/11, that was an ontological shift in which the practices that emerged rather joyously started being reconsolidated in other ways. You could see that begin to blossom after 9/11 with neocons. An advisor to George W. Bush at one point said to The New York Times, “People like you are still living in what we call the reality-based community. You believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you are studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.” Right? So there, with neocons, G.W. Bush, all these guys, were consolidating the Fox agenda. They could start wars that had nothing to do with 9/11. They could force somebody like Colin Powell—who is represented as a good, authentic military, truthful person—to lie, right? They could force The New York Times to agree. I mean, it was just—we could begin to see the inklings of what we now see: Trumpism. We could see the emergence of unmanned aerial vehicles used for assassination and signature events.

At this time, I was then made a professor at University of California, San Diego, 2004. San Diego is right next to Tijuana, right? I had never lived next to the border. Again, I knew about the border, my family certainly had to cross the border, but it was not a lived, you know, “here I am at the border.” So, I was brought into the academy by a program called California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Calit2], which was a new transdisciplinary institute for research. I said, “Well, obviously you are interested in electronic civil disobedience or what we now call ‘hack-tivism.’ I will certainly continue to do research into that territory, but I will do it differently here in the university.

As an autonomous artist, I would be interested in asking two core questions: what does it mean to use UC supercomputers against nation-states, corporations, or groups that we deem should be the focus of electronic civil disobedience? I was interested in using electronic civil disobedience as institutional critique of the university. So I will probably be using [it] against the UC system at some point, and that will really be sort of the top layer of my research: how does institutional critique work? The next level of my research will be border disturbance technologies. I believe the border is bound to questions of the technological. There’s a history of border art, and I’m going to create something called border disturbance technology. What will it do? I’m not sure. But that will be part of my research. The last level of my research is nanopoetics, nanotoxicology. I’m very interested in the way particle capitalism is emerging. So I want a nanotechnology lab because nobody else has given me one.

They said, “Yes, it’s all yours here at Calit2, but you have to be in a department.” And I was very lucky that Jordan Crandall—who had been one of the first people I met there—happened to be a professor. One of the co-founders of Electronic Disturbance Theater 1.0, Brett Stalbaum, was a professor there. So, they took me in, right? I then began to investigate, in 2004, the border—the border that you were asking about between Mexico and the US—consolidated as a free trade zone, continuing a history of Operation Gatekeeper that started in 1994, at the same time that we were doing Electronic [Disturbance Theater]. The leftovers of the [first Iraq War] were going to be used to create a hard new border, right there at the Tijuana-San Diego border. New types of virtual border [were] going to be created, and immigrants were being targeted as a kind of danger somehow.

Older version of Netscape computer alert popup as part of Electronic Disturbance Theater project

Electronic Disturbance Theater Floodnet performance from September 9th 1998 (screenshot), an invited project for the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria [courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

CF: Some of the things that are happening right now are so barbaric—particularly at the US-Mexico border—that I myself am curious, you know, how are we going to respond? What kinds of agency or potency does civil disobedience in physical form or in electronic form have at this point?

RD: There’s been a long history of border art that has dealt with these issues. From Richard Lou’s famous door on the border to Guillermo Gómez-Peña and others who worked there before I got there. I knew I wanted to participate in that history of art practice. Again, I didn’t know how it would function. What I began to do is to try to understand how military structures and military research in San Diego were establishing the hardening of the virtual. How immigrant bodies and data bodies were being consolidated.

San Diego shares a lot with Las Vegas. It’s highly militarized, it’s a research area. So you have the US Navy, you have SPAWAR [Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which recently changed its name to Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) Research], you have General Atomics, you have Top Gun right next to the university. One of the leading thinkers, Mike Davis—who wrote City of Quartz, [about] the futurological history of LA—was living in San Diego when I arrived, writing a book called Under the Perfect Sun. And he says there are more spies living in La Jolla, CA, than there are [elsewhere] in the entire world put together. Why? Because they all retire there and start paramilitary corporations like Blackwater.

I read that [US secretary of defense Robert] McNamara, during the Vietnam War, had requested that the most intelligent physicists in the United States be gathered in La Jolla at University of California, San Diego, to develop a virtual fence to control North Vietnam from South Vietnam. This group of high-end physicists—the best and the brightest of the United States—they were called the Argonauts, [and] later on just the Jasons. That’s what one of the wives called them. So the Jasons, with IBM, developed a new virtual fence. Planes would drop these sensors, both chemical and sonic sensors, [and] a radar plane would fly over, sensing. That information would be sent to [a] lily pad naval intelligence system, and IBM would gather the information, send that information to the military, and then blow the hell out of people there, right? Well, the North Vietnamese figured out what these things were. So they would take buckets of piss and put them next to the sensors …. The [Americans] would blow that area up, but then the North Vietnamese would just go around them. So what does the United States research agenda do with failed systems of technology? They sold it to the Border Patrol in the 1970s. So this failed virtual wall—I began to think, “Well, maybe we need to create, like, a bucket of piss in this new environment and see what would occur.”

My longtime collaborator Brett Stalbaum—a really magnificent new media artist, you know; a genius, I think—he and his partner Paula Poole, they’re like my Thoreau. They live out in the desert. They talk to tarantulas and stuff (I hate nature). They [take] long walks for days out in places that are guaranteed to basically kill human beings. But, you know, sometimes, they get lost or what have you. So, being the brilliant people they are, around 2005, Brett created a virtual hiker, which was a system that would prefabricate a dangerous hike. It almost killed him a few times because it wasn’t really working very well, but eventually, it began to work. And there was a new kind of art form called “Locative Art,” or “Locative Media Art,” because your family and my family had put in millions of tax dollars for these things to be developed by DARPA, and then eventually they give it back to us by selling to the commercial entities, who [then] sell it to you, so you double pay. In 2000, GPS [the Global Positioning System] was given to civilian corporations. Artists were doing some really interesting stuff using GPS. I wasn’t really very interested in the aesthetics or the sensibility, even though I think I had a fairly good grasp of it because I thought it was very urban-based. [I was] having coffee with Brett, [and] he told me about this algorithm, this walkabout, this walking tool that was out in a nonurban space. I’m really interested in walking as an art form—not that I walk.

CF: [laughs]

RD: But I’m interested in it as an art form, right? And I’m interested in the way it works with eco art and land art, and again, not because I particularly want to go see Spiral Jetty. I’m interested in the way it functions. I’ll let other people go out and do it. I thought what he and Paula had done was different. I said, “Well, do you think we can shift the walking around the US-Mexico border? You know, do you think it would function that way?” And he said, “Yeah, we just have to kind of come up with a platform.” So that night, I went home and I wrote the Transborder Immigrant Tool manifesto: this is what it’s going to do, this is how it’s going to work, you know, what have you. The next day, I saw that the UCSD Center for the Humanities was calling for border art, you know, and they would fund something. When I wrote the Transborder Immigrant Tool proposal, I began to add poetry—poetry that would be experimental because I felt that we always look at immigrants and asylum seekers as bare life, as if they were just these zombies that had no histories of critical culture, of the rhythms of the poetic. I felt that this new geo-poetic-system would allow a conversation that is more about earth art, poetry—

CF: And a kind of humanism.

Nokia taking a picture of barrel with replicated screenshot in corner

Transborder Immigrant Tool in operation, showing tool and screenshot from same Nokia e71, directing user to a Water Station Inc water cache in the Anza Borrego Desert [courtesy of Stalbaum and Wikimedia Commons]

RD: Then Brett came back and said, “You know, I think we can take this Motorola i355 system, open code, very cheap, 120 dollars. We can try to figure out how to make this walking tool.” That’s how the Transborder Immigrant Tool emerged in 2007. Then we created Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0: myself; Brett Stalbaum; poet Amy Sara Carroll; two of my MFAs, micha cárdenas, who’s now a professor at UC Santa Cruz, and a brilliant Persian trombonist/punk sound artist—her name is Elle Mehrmand.

So, all of us worked together. We were winning funding, Calit2, you know, great, great—until it wasn’t. Then Fox News got a hold of it, the FBI, Congress, the GOP, Darrell Issa, Duncan Hunter. They said this was an act of [treason]—that we were traitors against the nation. Glenn Beck did a half hour, and the FBI came for us as cyberterrorists. The university tried to de-tenure me. So the gesture came about a bit too early in the circumference of dialogue. It really also educated me in the growing tensions [regarding] the border.

At this point, I think we’ve seen the re-emergence of an aggressive global fascism that is based [upon] borderization—a hardening—whether it’s in the Mediterranean or here, on the US-Mexico border. The differences are that the Sandia Labs in 1993, [which] had been asked by the US government to come up with a way to deal with the US-Mexico border, came up with the idea of Prevention Through Deterrence. Their basic idea was that you would let nature do the job of killing people. You wouldn’t have to build all [of] the wall; you just have to funnel them. So, the wall would funnel people into the most dangerous nexus of the desert—if you will, the desert of the real—and it would eliminate a large percentage, and a minimal [number] would arrive and be cheap labor.

Then, after 9/11, the new policy for the emergence of the virtual border, the real border, and the definition of immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and their bodies was Defense in Depth. And their policy was to add to the way Prevention Through Deterrence was using nature to kill folks. Defense in Depth brought the US-Mexico border into the US a hundred miles in every direction. So [that] the US-Mexico border isn’t there at the Rio Grande.

That means any human being a hundred miles in, from the border, can be considered an un-citizen. To leave San Diego, you have to go through Homeland Security. If you’re headed to LA, there’s Border Patrol. If you’re going into the Central Valley, you have to go through Border Patrol. So San Diego is already borderized. Defense in Depth was under G.W. Bush and Obama.

Now what Trumpism has done is added a new element to this question. So, we had the early 1990s Clintonian Prevention Through Deterrence using nature, then you had the post-9/11 G.W. Bush/Obama Defense in Depth, and now you have Defense and Detention, in which the bodies are now separated, disaggregated, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re an 18-month-old baby or a woman, I don’t know, having her period. I mean—the horrors are many.

RD: They are very specific in this lattice of surveillance. It is driven by Congress, it is driven by new-edge Silicon Valley aggregation of technology, so you have corporations creating new systems…. which [are] being integrated [into] police surveillance systems, which [are] being integrated [into] Border Patrol systems. But this kind of hardcore visibility and databasing is also one in which that community is also desegregated, lost, and unaccounted for. We don’t know where these [individual] children are, we don’t know who they belong to. So, it is both a deep protocol of command and control over data bodies and real bodies, and a very clear removal of access to where those bodies belong.

So, can the work that I’ve been doing now function in this environment? I think it’s a really difficult question and one that I have to deeply consider. I think one can still manifest the histories of a critical aesthetic and border art and gestures of electronic disturbance, but they have to be reconsidered in a way that is around forming alliances with activists who know the territory extremely well.

For instance, we couldn’t have done the Transborder Immigrant Tool without having long-term, three-, four-year discussions with Water Station, Border Angels, communities who deal with the real grit, day to day. For instance, this issue right now around Amazon and Microsoft and PayPal and Amazon—it has been through the alliance of workers in these systems who are working with artificial intelligence, who have come out and let activists know what is going on because they themselves didn’t know what they were doing.

Amazon Warehouse robots lined up on the ground

Inside an Amazon Fulfillment Center (screenshot), 2018 [courtesy of Youtube]

Woman in an amazon warehouse looking at a computer

Inside an Amazon Fulfillment Center (screenshot), 2018 [courtesy of Youtube]

CF: Right, of course they would be separated and atomized in the workplace.

RD: I think we are in a space where what we need as artists are deeper conversations … a kind of alliance with those individuals who are in the basement producing these artificial intelligence systems, these algorithms, who are coming into working class consciousness as laborers [in relation to] what they are doing. I think if we are going to create gestures, it really has to be with a clear sense of how we can assemble and integrate the knowledge bases of those [who are] laboring in these systems, creating new lattices of unexpected technologies used for other purpose than what they think—immigrant communities who have long-term knowledge of how these policies are working.

It takes me a long time to think about developing projects—10 years—so it’s not a simple process. One is, as a teacher, having long-term conversations with graduate students and undergraduates—I teach in the speculative design territory to undergraduates now. Undergraduates are both naive and brilliant in that nothing will stop them, right? They’re at a point where they can make choices that are not bordered, you know.

I try to tell them, “Well, it always seems really bad. We’ve gone through really bad situations. But we have to try to create speculative designs that might imagine otherwise.” I have a really amazing MFA [student who] who graduated from the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program recently and is now back in San Diego, Andrew Sturm. He created a project called 31footladders.net. When Trump was building his [border wall] prototypes there in Tijuana, Andy heard on the news that the Border Patrol said, “Well, these walls are going to be really useless.” Because you could just have, like, a 31-foot ladder and go over. And so then Trump said, “Yeah, yeah, but the person would fall and hurt themselves and probably die on the other side, unless they had a rope that they could throw over.”

And Andy thought, “That’s a—”

CF: “That’s a great suggestion!”

RD: Right! So he started a company called 31Foot Ladders, and I was the representative of the company. When the FBI came, and they asked the company, you know, “Are you going to sell these in Latin America, these ladders?” And so Andrew responded, “Oh, no, it’s not our marketing plan. There is no market for them in Latin America or Tijuana. This is for people who want to get the hell ….

CF: “… out of the US!” [chuckles]

RD: So again, that was a kind of moment of both joy, critique … possibility.

My latest project that I’m trying to develop [is] going very slowly. My university, University of California, is at the center of what is called Drone Valley. [Drones are], at this moment, something like a 100 billion-dollar industry [between 2016 and 2020] and growing. We the university are part of the research and economy that produce 80 percent of all the [crewless] unmanned aerial vehicles used for security and war purposes. General Atomics is right across the way. We in the university produce the algorithms, we produce the little systems that then go into these larger [crewless] unmanned vehicle systems. And so I thought that maybe producing a [crewless] aerial vehicle called the Palindrone, a singing border drone, that would chase the Homeland Security drones and sing to them the culture of the border, the voice, the poetry of Anzaldúa, the beats of Nortec, the voices of community, because these [crewless] aerial vehicle pilots in Nevada might not know the culture of the border. So, again, [there’s] this history of how one can code switch technologies to do something that is aesthetic, in another way. And so, a singing border drone I thought would be interesting, but again, it takes me a long time to cobble things together.

This exchange has been edited for publication.

Cora Fisher is a curator and arts writer based in New York City. She is currently Curator of Visual Art Programming at the Brooklyn Public Library. From 2013-2017 she was the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) where she organized over twenty solo and group exhibitions, numerous performances and programs and produced four print publications. As a freelance arts writer, she has contributed reviews, profiles, interviews and conversations to Artforum.com, Bomblog, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, NY Times Blog, Objektiv Magazine, MOMUS and the Rumpus, among other publications. She holds a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art and an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.