micha cárdenas, Ph.D.


February 2018: My new article “Monstrous Children of Pregnant Androids”, is out, in a special issue of GLQ about the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. My artworks Pregnancy and #stronger, are currently being exhibited at the House of Electronic Arts in Basel, Switzerland in the show “Future Love: Desire and Kinship in Hypernature”. My artwork Becoming Dragon is currently on exhibit at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany, in the exhibition “Beautiful New Worlds: Virtual Realities in Contemporary Art”. The Simpson Center for the Humanities awarded myself and Abraham Avnisan a grant in support of our upcoming AR project, Sin Lluvia, about the intersections of climate change, migration and gender.

Upcoming Talks, Performances and Exhibitions


February, Grinnell
“The Politics of Human Thriving”, Center for the Humanities at Grinnell College

January – April, Basel
House of Electronic Arts, “Future Love: Desire and Kinship in Hypernature”

March 14, Toronto
Society of Cinema and Media Studies, Machineries of Identity / Cultures of Visuality panel.

April, Washington DC
DC Queer Studies Symposium, Plenary

October, Washington DC
“Bodies that Matter” speaker series, College of William and Mary

November, New York City
Refresh Biennial



micha cárdenas, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and Interactive Media Design at the University of Washington Bothell, where she directs the Poetic Operations Collaborative, a design research lab using inclusive design for social change. cárdenas is an artist/theorist who works at the intersections of gender, race and technology. Her book in progress, Poetic Operations, uses practice-based research to develop strategies for using media to reduce violence against trans women of color. cárdenas’s co-authored books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities (2012) and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs (2010) were published by Atropos Press. She is the winner of the 2016 Creative Award from the Gender Justice League. cárdenas was the recipient of the inaugural James Tiptree Jr. fellowship in 2014, a fellowship to provide support and recognition for the new voices in science fiction who are making visible the forces that are changing our view of gender today. She has been described as one of “7 bio-artists who are transforming the fabric of life itself” by io9.com. She is a first generation Colombian American.

cárdenas completed her Ph.D. in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. Her solo and collaborative artworks have been presented in museums, galleries, and biennials including the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2014); the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2014); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2011); Centro Cultural del Bosque, Mexico City (2015); CECUT, Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico (2009); the Zero1 Biennial, San Jose, CA (2012); and the California Biennial, Newport Beach, CA (2010). She has given keynote talks at the Allied Media Conference, the Association of Internet Researchers, the Digital Gender Conference at Umea University in Sweden, the Dark Side of the Digital Conference, and the Vera List Center at the New School in New York. She is on the advisory boards of FemTechNet and the York University Center for Feminist Research.

cardenas’ poetry has appeared in the anthologies Troubling the Line, The &Now Awards 3, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and Writing the Walls Down. She has published book chapters in Plants, Androids and Operators – A Post-Media Handbook, Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Queer Geographies, The Critical Digital Studies Reader and the Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader. Her articles have been published in CTheory, the Media-N Journal, the Ada Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, The Journal of Popular Music Studies, and the AI & Society Journal, as well as the magazines No More Potlucks, Mute Magazine and Make/Shift Magazine.

In 2015 micha was a visiting scholar in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, and a MacArthur Foundation HASTAC Scholar. In 2013 micha was a fellow at the Post Media Lab at Leuphana University in Germany, a New Directions Scholar at the USC Center for Feminist Research and a HASTAC Scholar. She holds an MFA from University of California, San Diego, an MA in Communication from the European Graduate School and a BS in Computer Science from Florida International University. She tweets at @michacardenasRead more…

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Recent Talks, Performances and Exhibitions



November 19, Baltimore
“40 Years After Combahee” National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference
Panel: Trans of Color Feminisms for Black Trans Women’s Lives

November 17, Chicago
Keynote, Digital Humanities and Computer Science Colloquium 2017

November 12, Chicago
“Pedagogies of Dissent” American Studies Association Annual Meeting
Panel: “Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s Cinematic Pedagogy of Dissent”

October 27, Alberta
Keynote, Crossing Boundaries Symposium, University of Lethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts

September 24, Los Angeles
Contemptorary at Human Resources Gallery

August 16, Berkeley
Keynote: UC Berkeley Summer Institute in Digital Humanities

May 25-29, San Diego
International Communication Association: Interventions

March 22, Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies department, Trans* Speaker Series

February 3, Seattle
Affect and Audience in the Digital Age: Activist Poetics

January 22, Seattle
Henry Art Gallery, Poetry Reading: Este Suelo Secreto (To Be Human Once More) and excerpts from Pregnancy

January 13, Seattle
We Stand Together, Racial Justice Teach-In, University of Washington


December 2-3, Eugene
2016 James Tiptree Jr. Symposium: A Celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin

November 17-20, Denver
American Studies Association: “ASA Program Committee: Trans* of Color Scholarship Home/Not Home in Trans* Studies”

September, Miami, FL
“TQ/Latinx Futures” 5 day workshop, ArtCenter/South Florida

September 7-10, Tucson, AZ
Trans* Studies: International Transdisciplinary Conference, “Trans of Color Scholarship” Plenary, “Poetics of Trans Pedagogies” panel.

July 2016, Berlin
#Stronger at nGbK in contesting/contexting Sport 2016

May 20, New York City
Keynote, Art in General, What Now? Symposium

April 1, Los Angeles, CA
Necessary Hybridity at AWP

March 21, Buffalo, NY
Digital Performance Workshop, Techné Institute
PLASMA Speaker Series

March 14, Lewiston, Maine
Bates College, Intersectional Approaches to Computational Studies

February 9, Chicago
Northwestern University, Performance Studies Lecture Series

January 29th, Seattle
University of Washington, Affect and Audience in the Digital Age: Translational Poetics Symposium

Previous Updates

July 2017: My artwork Becoming Dragon was reviewed in the Spike art journal and described as “a seminal milestone for artistic engagement in VR.” In June, I presented plenary talks at the International Communication Association Conference in San Diego and at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit.

March 2017: Headed to UMass Amherst to do a talk on “Poetic Operations: Creative Strategies for Resisting Fascism in the US” and a performance of Pregnancy. I’m so grateful to the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies department and Jeanine Ruhsam for inviting me!

November 2016: I won an award from the Gender Justice League of Seattle! Also, I have a new exhibition up at the Alice Gallery in Seattle, new publication in the Jump Cut Journal “Dilating Destiny: Writing The Transreal Body Through Game Design”, and I spoke at the American Studies Association Annual Conference!

October 2016: I am honored to be participating this week in the Comité Stratégico Internacional de Arte, Ciencia y Technologia / International Strategic Committee for Art, Science and Technology in Bogotá, Colombia for the Instituto Distrital de las Artes. Also, see this interview about my work from IAS at UW Bothell “Bulletproof art, technology and social justice” by Andrew Shinn.

September 2016: My new article, “Trans of Color Poetics: Stitching Bodies, Concepts and Algorithms” is available now!

May 2016: I am so honored to be in the new issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly, “Trans/Feminisms” alongside such brilliant scholars. My article is titled “Pregnancy: Reproductive Futures in Trans of Color Feminism”.

March 2016: Announcing the Poetic Operations Collaborative at the University of Washington Bothell! micha cárdenas directs this new design research lab, which applies technological creativity to advance social justice.

October 2015: Watch my talk at the Museum of Modern Art in New York at MoMA R&D. Listen to me being interviewed by Nia King, also on iTunes. Read this amazing response to my work by Nasrin Himada, “The Colour of Spatial Infinity is Red”.

August 2016: You can see my work in August in Berlin at the nGbK, and in Seattle at the Out of Sight Festival, the Center on Contemporary Art and until Summer 2017 at the Henry Art Gallery. Also, my collaborative publication “Queer OS: A User’s Manual”, , is now online!

July 2016: #Stronger, my new project with the POClab, will be exhibited at nGbK in Berlin in the contesting/contexting Sport 2016 exhibition

December 18, 2015 – January 22, 2016: UNSTOPPABLE will be on exhibit at the INCA Institute in Seattle! Opening Friday, December 18, 7:30pm To exhibit or host this project, send me a message by using the contact form.