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 graduate students four courses: critical theory and artistic research, critical writing both for artists and designers, and history of digital media.
Khan’s writing practice extends to a large range of collaborations, which include shows, performances, and exhibition essays, 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.
She is a longtime editor at Rhizome. She is currently editor of Prototype, the book of Google’s Artist and Machine Intelligence Group forthcoming in spring of 2019. Last year, she edited What’s To Be Done?, a magazine marking the tenth anniversary of 7×7. Designed 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.”
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. She consistently publishes criticism in places like 4Columns, Art 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. 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. Here is a good overview interview with Khan about her writing practice.
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
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
Scaling up to the Sublime
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 Now, and New Museum, producing Together in Electric Dreams, a session on the present and future of artificial intelligence, within Open Score.
Events Future and Past:
7/19 Arts Writing Resident, Fogo Island, Islands Arts Writing Residency
3/19 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
7/25 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.
4/6 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.
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