Nora N. Khan is a writer. She writes criticism on emerging issues within digital visual culture, experimental art and music practices, and philosophy of emerging technology. She is a professor at RISD, in Digital + Media, where she currently teaches MFA graduate students critical theory and artistic research, critical writing for artists and designers , and history of digital media. 
She is a longtime editor at Rhizome based at New Museum in New York. She is currently editor of Prototype, the book of Google’s Artist and Machine Intelligence Group forthcoming in spring of 2019. In 2020, she is the Shed’s first guest curator, organizing Manual Overridean exhibition featuring Lynn Hershman Leeson, Sondra Perry, Martine Syms, Morehshin Allahyari, and Simon Fujiwara.

https___cdn.evbuc.com_images_57926601_154030751217_1_originalKhan’s writing practice extends to a large range of artistic collaborations, which includes shows, performances, fiction for exhibitions, scripts, and sometimes, librettos. Last year, she collaborated with Sondra Perry, Caitlin Cherry, and American Artist to create A Wild Ass Beyond: ApocalypseRN at Performance Space, New York. 

Her most recent work is a short book published by The Brooklyn Rail, titled Seeing, Naming, Knowing. She consistently publishes criticism in places like 4ColumnsArt in America, Flash Art, Mousse, California Sunday, Spike Art, The Village Voice, and Rhizome. Last year, she wrote a small book with Steven Warwick, Fear Indexing the X-Files, published by Primary Information in New York. She has contributed essays and fiction to exhibitions held at Serpentine Galleries, Chisenhale Gallery, and the Venice Biennale, within books published by Koenig Press, Sternberg Press and Mousse.

Her writing practice has been supported by many awards over the last decade, including, most recently, a Critical Writing Grant given through the Visual Arts Foundation and the Crossed Purposes Foundation (2018), an Eyebeam Research Residency (2017), and a Thoma Foundation 2016 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art for an emerging arts writer. Here is a good interview with Khan about her writing practice.

Selected Writing:

Seeing, Naming, Knowing, a special book publication within the Brooklyn Rail of an essay written with support of the Crossed Purposes Critical Writing Grant.
Machine Séance: On Kevin Beasley at the Whitney
Frame, Frame, Frame: On Tony Conrad’s Retrospective at Albright Knox Galleries
The Possibility of a Field in queer.archive.work, published by Paul Soulellis
Full Zine Made For A Wild Ass Beyond: ApocalypseRN in collaboration with Caitlin Cherry, Sondra Perry, and American Artist
Towards a Poetics of Artificial Superintelligence

Business Fish, or Emotion Under Late Capitalism
Faulty Inventory Control
Family Function
Trust Issues
Scaling up to the Sublime

Editor: What’s To Be Done?, a magazine marking the tenth anniversary of 7×7Designed by Richard Turley, it features works and interviews with Paul Ford, Claire L. Evans, Kate Ray, and Martine Syms, and an interview Khan conducted with Stanford professor and Silicon Valley scholar Fred Turner, “We Are As Gods.

Speaking: Khan speaks frequently at festivals, museums, and galleries and works with curators, activists, and scholars with overlapping interests. Notable speaking engagements have been at Triple Canopy, Gray Area Festival, transmediale, UCLA IDEAS, New School, NYU IDM, the Whitney, as part of New Ways to See: Digital Art Criticism Nowand New Museum, producing  Together in Electric Dreams, a session on the present and future of artificial intelligence, within Open Score.

Events Future and Past:

11/19 Manual Override Opening, The Shed
 Conversation Series in MISCA, Malta
10/19 Discussion and Panel, Western History Association Conference, Las Vegas, NV
Guest Speaker, Brown University
7/19 Currently: Arts Writing Resident, Fogo Island, Islands Arts Writing Residency, Fogo Island Arts and Art Metropole
Carnegie Mellon University, Distinguished Visiting Critic, Capstone MFA Critiques
3/19 Duke University, Incomputable Futures: A Symposium on Representation, Computation, and Experimental Scholarship, Lecture
2/19 CORE, Museum of Fine Arts-Houston, CORE Postgraduate Fellows Program, Lecture + Guest Critic
11/19 Mourning Money: UKK Artists’ Symposium with artist Jesse Darling and Patricia Reed, in Aarhus, Denmark
10/19 A Wild Ass Beyond: ApocalypseRN, Performance Space, New York (show, film, installation, in collaboration with Caitlin Cherry, Sondra Perry, American Artist)
10/19 RISD Graphic Design Lecture Series, Providence, RI
E-State Realisms, Conversation with Emer Grant and Max Wolff, Red Bull Arts Curator, at ArtCenter South Florida, Miami. 
5/2 A Prelude to the Shed: In Conversation with Laurie Anderson and Tino Sehgal, moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Dorothea von Hantelmann. The Prelude Series is curated by Dorothea von Hantelmann with Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Kevin Slavin.
5/3  “Refiguring The Future,” respondent to an internal session on Transfeminist AI at NetGain Partnership conference, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
4/13 In Conversation with Harm van den Dorpel, LIMA Amsterdam.
In Conversation with Ian Cheng and Ben Vickers, Serpentine Galleries, London.
1/22 In Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, DLD Conference, Munich, Germany.

General Interests: Understanding grounding ideology beneath technology; how we manage to express joy and wonder, and maintain our creative energy, within the bounds of increasingly oppressive systems; how to consistently ground analysis of creative work in the social, political and material realities that make the work possible; the ongoing play between affect, cognitive studies, and emerging technology; how new tech- makes us feel, think, and relate to one another in new ways; the hope of digital, networked, and virtual systems that might just allow for a more open, learned, and compassionate world.

Get In Touch:



  1. Hi Nora,

    I’m an art and culture writer currently working on a story for Vice about the increasing digitalization of the art world through artificial intelligence and the issues this raises about copyright, privacy, and anonymity. I’m a huge fan of your writings for Art in America and Rhizome and would love to be able to talk to you about your work at Eyebeam but couldn’t find your e-mail on your site.

    Please let me know if this would be a possibility!

    All my best,

    Mariana Fernandez

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