The PLASMA speaker series brings cutting-edge guests to UB to discuss innovations in media art and culture shaping the new millennium communication world.

PLASMA (Performances, Lectures, and Screenings in Media Art) brings to Buffalo celebrated theorists and artists who are exhibiting in some of the world’s most renowned museums and galleries, and writing on the cutting edge of new media theory and expression.

Each event brings internationally celebrated artists to discuss varied arts practices, models, modes, examples, and experiences in media arts.

The series serves as a kind of hub as to how courses in new media, digital poetics, game studies, locative media, robotics, installation, media theory and performance arts can be experienced.

In this series you can see and interact with artists that you would encounter in New York, Europe and Latin America, offering of a rich experience for the University at Buffalo, the city and Western New York.

The series provides, not expressive answers, but raises intriguing questions, exploring new avenues in the digital age, who we are, how we interact and where we are going.

PLASMA is presented by the Department of Media Study and the College of Arts and Sciences.

PLASMA Speaker Series

When: Select Mondays during Spring semesters, 6:30–8:30PM
Where: 112 Center for the Arts

2019 PLASMA Schedule

PLASMA 2019 poster listing upcoming speakers

Feb 4

Dept. Of Media Study Graduate Student Films

Feb 11

Screening: "Video Rib Gets In The Way" by Steve Reinke

Feb 18

Laura U. Marks works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. Her most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015) and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT, 2010). With Dr. Azadeh Emadi she is a founding member of the Substantial Motion Research network, Dr. Marks is Grant Strate Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Feb 25

Rick Prelinger is an archivist, writer, filmmaker and educator. His collection of 60,000 ephemeral films was acquired by Library of Congress in 2002. Beginning in 2000, he partnered with Internet Archive to make a subset of the Prelinger Collection (now 7,000 films) available online for free viewing, downloading and reuse. His archival feature Panorama Ephemera (2004) played in venues around the world, and his feature project No More Road Trips? received a Creative Capital grant in 2012. His 25 Lost Landscapes participatory urban history projects have played to many thousands of viewers in San Francisco, Detroit, Oakland, Los Angeles and elsewhere. He is a board member of Internet Archive and frequently writes and speaks on the future of archives and issues relating to archival access and regeneration. With Megan Shaw Prelinger, he co-founded an experimental research library in San Francisco in 2004, which serves over a thousand artists, researchers and activists each year. He is currently Professor of Film & Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz.

March 4

Alan Bigelow is the recipient of the Robert Coover Award for Electronic Literature (2017); the Lauréat du Prix Poésie Média, BIPVAL international Prix de Poésie Média (2011); the Judge's Prize, Opening Up Digital Fiction Writing Competition (2017); and First Runner Up, Digital Humanities Awards (2016). His work, installations, and conversations concerning digital fiction and poetry have appeared in the Library of Congress (USA), SFMOMA, La Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris),, The National Art Center (Tokyo), Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts, FAD, VAD,, The Museum of New Art, Art Tech Media, FILE, Blackbird, Drunken Boat, IDEAS, New River Journal, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, and many other places worldwide. He is currently a Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Medaille College in Buffalo, New York, USA. You can see his work at

March 11

Jodie Mack is an experimental animator who received her MFA in film, video, and new media from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Combining the formal techniques and structures of abstract/absolute animation with those of cinematic genres, her handmade films use collage to explore the relationship between graphic cinema and storytelling, the tension between form and meaning. Musical documentary or stroboscopic archive: her films study domestic and recycled materials to illuminate the elements shared between fine-art abstraction and mass-produced graphic design.

Mack's 16mm films have screened at a variety of venues including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Images Festival, Projections at the New York Film Festival, and the Viennale. She has presented solo programs at the 25FPS Festival, Anthology Film Archives, BFI London Film Festival, Harvard Film Archive, National Gallery of Art, REDCAT, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennale, and Wexner Center for the Arts among others. Her work has been featured in publications including Artforum, Cinema Scope, The New York Times, and Senses of Cinema. She is an Associate Professor of Animation at Dartmouth College and a 2018/19 Film Study Center Fellow at Harvard University.

Jodie Mack

March 19 
Spring Break - No Lecture

March 25

Duraid Munajim


A cinematographer's journey, screening and discussion of various projects and films including excerpts from The Hurt LockerZero Dark Thirty ,The Journey and others.

Duraid Munajim is an acclaimed Toronto based filmmaker and cinematographer whose work has been screened in festivals around the world, including IDFA in Amsterdam, Dokfest in Munich, Hot Docs in Toronto as well as festivals in Switzerland, The Middle East, France, and across the U.S. and Canada. Best known for his work on The Hurt Locker andZero Dark Thirty, though his work as a director of photography and lead cinematographer exceeds 46 titles of feature length and short  narratives, experimental and documentary films and TV shows such as MastermindsSon of Babylon,The Unspeakable ActYou Gotta Eat HereManufacturedMy Enemy, My BrotherThe Seven Last Words, and other projects winning many awards, including the Robert Brooks Award for Best Director of Photography at the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, Best Cinematography at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and the 2018 Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Documentary Award, amongst countless others awards and accolades.

April 1



A screening of short experimental documentaries followed by a discussion and Q&A with filmmaker, Laura Kraning.

Laura Kraning’s moving image work navigates landscape as a repository for memory, cultural mythology, and the technological sublime. Exploring absence and the fluidity of time, she evokes liminal spaces of neither past, nor present, but a landscape of the imagination. Laura’s work has screened widely at international film festivals, such as New York, Rotterdam, London, Edinburgh, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Antimatter, Visions du Réel, and Festival du Nouveau Cinema, among others. She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation John H. Johnson Film Award, the Leon Speakers Award and Jury Awards at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Film House Award for Visionary Filmmaking at the Athens International Film and Video Festival and the Jury Award for Short Film at the Rencontres Internationales Sciences & Cinémas Film Festival in Marseiiles, France. Her latest film, Las Breas, had its World Premiere at MoMA Doc Fortnight 2019.

April 8

Phillip Hoffman

A screening and discussion of his award winning films:

Slaughterhouse (15 min, 2012)

Vulture (56 min, 2019)

Philip Hoffman is one of the few contemporary filmmakers whose work provides a bridge to the classical themes of death, diaspora, memory, and finally, transcendence.

He has been honored with more than a dozen retrospectives of his work. In 2001 the publication Landscape with Shipwreck: First Person Cinema and the Films of Philip Hoffman, was released comprising some 25 essays. He has received numerous awards including the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award and the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s Gus Van Sant Award. In 2016 he received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Hoffman currently teaches at York University, and since 1994, has been the Artistic Director of the Independent Imaging Retreat (Film Farm).

April 15

A Screening of Academy Award Nominated Documentary: "OF FATHERS AND SONS"

Followed by a live Skype Q&A and discussion with the director Talal Derki

About Talal Derki

After his Sundance award-winning documentary Return to Homs, Talal Derki returned to his homeland where he gained the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses primarily on the children, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose only dream is to establish an Islamic caliphate. Osama (13) and his brother Ayman (12) both love and admire their father and obey his words, but while Osama seems content to follow the path of Jihad, Ayman wants to go back to school. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, Of Fathers and Sons is a work of unparalleled intimacy that captures the chilling moment when childhood dies and jihadism is born.

The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2018, where it received the Grand Jury Prize of World Documentary, followed by many awards and nominations, including the 2019 Academy Award Nomination for Best Feature Documentary.

Intro by Filmmaker & MFA Candidate Shawn Combs

April 22

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother)

 April 29

Joan Hutton