Performances, Lectures, and Screenings in Media Art (PLASMA) is a speakers series presented by the Department of Media Study and co-sponsored by the Department of English, the Department of Theater and Dance, the UB Technē Institute, and the UB Gender Institute. The series is open to the public and focuses on contemporary practices and discourses in media art and culture.

Select Mondays, 6:30-8:30 PM, in CFA112

February 1: Ernst Karel

Ernst Karel’s audio work includes electroacoustic improvisation and composition, location recording, sound for nonfiction film, and solo and collaborative sound installations. Using analog electronics and location recordings, either separately or in combination, Karel creates audio pieces that move between the abstract and the documentary.   He also works as a mastering engineer, preparing a wide variety of material for publication on CD, including folk music from various cultures, spoken word, new music and electronic music; he also has digitally re-mastered several Folkways recordings for first-time reissue on CD on the Locust Music label.

Karel holds an MA and PhD from the Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago, where his doctoral research traversed the disciplines of cultural psychology, anthropology and ethnomusicology.  He currently manages the experimental Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL) at Harvard University. The SEL promotes innovative combinations of aesthetics and ethnology. It conducts and sponsors sound and audiovisual projects that are exhibited across Europe and North America, and offers students assistance in the form of production equipment and faculty mentoring.

Karel’s installations include the ongoing Hourly Directional Sound Recordings(with Helen Mirra), instantiations of which have been exhibited in the 2012 Sao Paulo Bienal and at MIT List Visual Arts Center. Together with Pawel Wojtasik and Toby Kim Lee, he made Single Stream, first as a large-scale video and four-channel audio installation for the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, and then as a cinematic work in 4K CinemaScope with 5.1 surround sound, which had its international premiere in the 2014 Festival del film Locarno. Other projects include the long-running electroacoustic duo EKG, and the location recording collective the New England Phonographers Union. Films for which Karel has edited and mixed sound include Detour de Force (2014), The Iron Ministry (2014),Manakamana (2013), Leviathan (2012), People’s Park (2012), Foreign Parts (2010), and Sweetgrass (2009). His recent albums composed with location recordings are Materials Recovery Facility(2012), Swiss Mountain Transport Systems (2011), and Heard Laboratories(2010).
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February 8: Shelley Jackson

Shelley Jackson is an electronic media artist and author.  She teaches at Pratt Institute and the New School and holds a B.A. in art from Stanford University and an M.F.A in creative writing from Brown University.  She published her first hypertext novel and re-working of the Frankenstein myth Patchwork Girl, in 1995 to acclaim. After first reading at Hallwalls in the inaugural season of Exhibit X in 2004, she published Half Life, a 440-page novel about conjoined twins, chosen as one of the Village Voice‘s favorite books of 2006. Jackson is also the author of the story collection The Melancholy of AnatomyThe Doll Games, and My Body; and several illustrated children’s books, including The Old Woman & the Wave and Sophia, the Alchemist’s Dog. Her stories and essays for grown-ups have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Grand StreetConjunctions, and Paris Review, and she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Howard Foundation grant. She continues her ongoing project of tattooing a story entitled Skin on volunteers, one word at a time, and more recently has initiated an Instagram based environmental fiction called Snow at: Her latest piece, “Texts to be Written on the Moon” is part of a current exhibit at the Guggenheim Foundation, available at: .
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February 22: Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston, an Upstate New York film and video maker, lectures in the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa.   He holds an M.F.A. in Film & Video Production and an M.A. in Communication Studies (Theories of the Avant-Garde) from the University of Iowa, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Cornell University.  He has previously served as a James B. Pendleton Teaching Fellow and assistant professor at Ithaca College, and the former managing director of Cornell Cinema, to name a few.  His work has been programmed at many festivals and venues, including the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, the Austrian Film Museum, the Margaret Mead Film Festival, Ann Arbor and more. Under Foot & Overstory, winner of a Jury Prize from the New York Underground Film Festival, can be rented from the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. The Two Boys: earned a Special Director’s Prize for Poet of the Cinema at the late, great Cinema Texas. Some of his recent video work can be seen as part of ETC: Experimental Television Center 1969-2009, a 5-DVD Anthology distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix. He is a recipient of a New York State Council of the Arts Individual Artist Grant for his work-in-progress, INTERSTATE, a long-form video essay about video collectives, the Socialist Workers Party, the Onondaga Nation, family history, political economy and disco. In addition to making moving images, he has worked in film exhibition, most notably with THAW in the late 1990s and with Cornell Cinema from 2002 – 2004. He occasionally writes about cinema for such publications as The Brooklyn Rail.

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March 7: Shannon Mattern
Shannon Mattern is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at The New School. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She is author of _The New Downtown Library: Designing with Communities_ and _Deep Mapping the Media City_ (both published by University of Minnesota Press), and she writes a regular column about urban data and mediated infrastructures for _Places_, a journal focusing on architecture, urbanism, and landscape. She has also contributed to various public design and interactive projects and exhibitions. In 2015-16 she was a fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, and at the Digital Cultures Research Lab at Leuphana University. You can find her at
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March 21: micha cárdenas
micha cárdenas is an artist/theorist who creates and studies trans of color movement in digital media, where movement includes migration, performance and mobility. cárdenas is an Assistant Professor of Interactive Media Design at the University of Washington | Bothell. cárdenas completed her PhD in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. 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. Her solo and collaborative work has been seen in museums, galleries, biennials, keynotes, community and public spaces around the world. micha has collaborated with Ricardo Dominguez, Brett Stalbaum, Amy Sara Carroll and Elle Mehrmand on the Transborder Immigrant Tool.  Her co-authored book The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities was published by Atropos Press in 2012.  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 blogs at and tweets at @michacardenas.  She blogs at and tweets at @michacardenas
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March 28: Susanna Paasonen
Susanna Paasonen is the professor and chair of Media Studies and the deputy director of the School of History, Culture and Arts Studies, at the University of Turku. Her research interests focus on media culture and, more specifically, on Internet research, popular culture, sexuality, pornography and theories of affect.

She received her PhD from the University of Turku in 2002 and worked previously as a lecturer in Media Culture at the University of Tampere, postdoctoral researcher in Gender Studies at the University of Turku, research fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (University of Helsinki), and as a senior research associate and professor of Digital Culture at the University of Jyväskylä.  Her research has been published in journals like Feminist Theory, New Media & Society, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Sexualities, Velvet Light Trap, Somatechnics, and Communications and Critical Studies in Media Communications. Her volume Networked Affect coedited with Ken Hillis and Michael Petit on the intersections of internet research and affect theory, is forthcoming from MIT Press.  Her previous book projects include the monograph Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography (MIT Press 2011) as well as the edited anthologies Working with Affect in Feminist Readings: Disturbing Differences(with Marianne Liljeström, Routledge 2010) and Pornification: Sex and Sexuality in Media Culture (with Kaarina Nikunen and Laura Saarenmaa, Berg 2007).
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April 11: Ian Bogost 
Ian Bogost is an author and an award-winning game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds an appointment in the Scheller College of Business. Bogost is also Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio, and a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic, where he writes regularly about technology and popular culture. Bogost received a Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, 2004, and an M.A., Comparative Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, 2001. Bogost is author or co-author of many books, a few of which include: Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame CriticismPersuasive Games: The Expressive Power of VideogamesRacing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer SystemNewsgames: Journalism at Play. Bogost is also co-editor of Object Lessons, a book and essay series about the secret lives of ordinary things (Bloomsbury/The Atlantic), and of Platform Studies, a book series about the relationship between hardware/software design and creativity (MIT Press).  Bogost’s videogames about social and political issues cover topics as varied as airport security, consumer debt, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, pandemic flu, and tort reform. His games have been played by millions of people and exhibited internationally at venues including the Telfair Museum of Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, the Laboral Centro de Arte, and The Australian Centre for the Moving Image.  His independent games include Cow Clicker, a Facebook game send-up of Facebook games that was the subject of a Wiredmagazine feature, and A Slow Year, a collection of videogame poems for Atari VCS, Windows, and Mac, which won the Vanguard and Virtuoso awards at the 2010 IndieCade Festival.
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April 18: BENERVA!
BENERVA! is a collaborative project of textual, visual and poetic-technological experimentation between acclaimed poet and essayist Minerva Reynosa and Benjamin Moreno, a master of using digital devices to bring text and image to life in dazzling, thought-provoking, and sometimes troubling ways. Together, these two young digital artists have not only defined possibilities for the medium, but have made the field richer, more culturally diverse, and more saavy have produced seven books of poetry and fiction, recived over ten awards and fellowships and have in. BERNEVAL! has installed and performed their work worldwide, most recently in Monterrey, Mexico, the U.S., Spain, Morocco, Germany and Russia, where they are known for their innovation, energy, and uncompromising artistic practice.

April 25: Barbara Glowczewski
Professorial researcher at The French Scientific Research Center, CNRS, member of the Laboratory of Social Anthropology at the College de France. Glowczewski has spent the past 35 years dedicating her work to advocating for Australian Aboriginal creativity employing a variety of artistic, cinematic and narrative modes of exploration. Her just-published book, Desert Dreamers (Univocal) is an ethnographic adventure exploring the Warlpiri and their cultural practices of “the dreaming” in relation to their societal laws, ritual art, and connection with the cosmos.

May 2: Tony Conrad
Screenings and work by Tony Conrad, one of the early forces in Media Study, University at Buffalo, renowned Buffalo presence, filmmaker, exhibiting artist, and acclaimed practitioner in contemporary media and sound arts worldwide.