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

Feb 5 
Tony Conrad’s film Completely in the Present, with curators: Cathleen Chaffee, Rachel Adams and Tina Ryan.


Feb 12 
Jibade-Khalil Huffman

Jibade-Khalil Huffman is an artist and the author of three books of poems, “19 Names For Our Band” (Fence, 2008), “James Brown is Dead” (Future Plan and Program, 2011) and “Sleeper Hold” (Fence, 2015). His recent and forthcoming exhibitions include the Hammer Museum, MOCA Detroit, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, The Jewish Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, The Studio Museum in Harlem and Swiss Institute. Educated at Bard College (BA), Brown University (MFA, Literary Arts), and USC (MFA, Studio Art), his awards include the Grolier Poetry Prize, the Jerome Foundation Travel Grant and fellowships from the Lighthouse Works, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Huffman was a 2015-16 Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and lives and works in New York.

Feb 19 
Darius Kazemi
Darius Kazemi is an internet artist under the moniker Tiny Subversions. His best known works are the Random Shopper (a program that bought him random stuff from Amazon each month) and Content, Forever (a tool to generate rambling thinkpieces of arbitrary length). He has a small army of Twitter and Tumblr bots that he builds because they make him laugh. He founded NaNoGenMo, where participants spend a month writing algorithms to generate 50,000 word novels, and Bot Summit, a yearly gathering of people who make art bots. He cofounded Feel Train, a creative technology cooperative.

Feb 26
A Screening of Deepa Mehta’s 2016 film ANATOMY OF VIOLENCE, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the film’s cinematographer Maithili Venkataraman.

ANATOMY OF VIOLENCE mixes fiction and fact in an improvised exploration of the events leading up to, and following, the notorious gang rape of a young woman by six men in a moving bus in New Delhi, December 16, 2012.

March 5
John Greyson
John Greyson is a Canadian director, writer, video artist, producer, and Political activist, whose work frequently deals with gay themes. Greyson is also a professor at York University’s film school, where he teaches film and video theory, film production, and editing. He was part of a loosely-affiliated group of filmmakers to emerge in the 1980s from Toronto known as the Toronto New Wave.

Though Greyson has won countless awards and achieved critical success with his films—most notably Zero Patience (1993) and Lilies (1996)—his outspoken persona, activism, and public image has also attracted international press and controversy.


March 12 
Shu Lea Cheang
As an artist, filmmaker, networker, Shu Lea Cheang constructs networked installation and multi-player performance in participatory impromptu mode. She drafts sci-fi narratives in her film scenario and artwork imagination. She builds social interface with transgressive plots and open network that permits public participation. Engaged in media activism and video art for two decades (1980s- 1990s) in New York city, Cheang concluded her NYC period with a cybernoia film FRESH KILL (1994) and the first Guggenheim museum web art commission/collection BRANDON (1998-1999). After releasing her second feature “I.K.U” (2000) at Sundance Film Festival, she relocated to Eurozone where she took up large scale installations and networked performance while co- founded several collectives to pursue cross-disciplinary projects. From homesteading cyberspace in the 90s to her current retreat to post-crash BioNet zone, Cheang takes on viral love, bio hack in her current cycle of works.

March 19 
Spring Break - No Lecture

March 26 
Brenda Longfellow
Brenda Longfellow is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in the Department of Film, York University and an award-winning filmmaker. She has published articles on documentary, feminist film theory and Canadian cinema in PublicCineTracts, Screen, and the Journal of Canadian Film Studies. She is a co-editor (with Scott MacKenzie and Tom Waugh) of the anthology The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson (2013) and Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women Filmmakers (1992). Her documentaries have been screened and broadcast internationally, winning prestigious awards including Best Cultural Documentary forTina in Mexico at the Havana International Film Festival (2002); a Canadian Genie for Shadowmaker/ Gwendolyn MacEwen, Poet (1998) and the Grand Prix at Oberhausen for Our Marilyn (1988). She was the 2018 recipient of the inaugural Faculty Research Award in AMPD, York University. Her most recent project, the interactive documentary OFFSHORE, is available at:

April 2 
Sha Xin Wei
Sha Xin Wei, PhD, is Professor and Director of the School of Arts, Media + Engineering at ASU where he directs the Synthesis Center for responsive environments and improvisation with colleagues in AME and affiliate research centers.  He is also on faculty at the European Graduate School.

His research interests are essentially interdisciplinary; he focuses on topological media, visualisation technologies, intersections between mathematics and humanities, and the critical study of media arts and sciences.

April 9 
Maiko Tanaka
Maiko Tanaka is the Executive Director of Squeaky Wheel since 2016. She holds a BFA from OCADU and a Masters of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto. For over ten years Maiko has curated projects with prestigious and widely recognized arts institutions in Canada and abroad, including Trinity Square Video, Nuit Blanche at OCAD University, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (now Art Museum – University of Toronto), InterAccess, all in Toronto, as well as Casco – Office for Art, Design, and Theory in Utrecht, NL. Maiko also currently serves on programming committee of Gendai Gallery and editorial advisory of C Magazine. She is the co-editor of several catalogue publications including, The Grand Domestic Revolution Handbook published by Casco and Valiz, and Model Minority, published by Gendai Gallery and Publication Studio and has written numerous articles and catalogue essays on the topic of artistic research and practice.

April 16 
Dana Cloud
Dana L. Cloud is Professor in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University. She is a longtime activist for social justice and the author of We Are the Union: Democratic Unionism and Dissent at Boeing and Control and Consolation in American Politics and Culture: Rhetorics of Therapy.​

April 23
Curtis Marez
Curtis Marez is a Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego, Curtis Marez is the author of Drug Wars: The Political Economy of Narcotics (Minnesota, 2004) and Farm Worker Futurism: Speculative Technologies of Resistance (Minnesota, 2016).  He is also Past President of the American Studies Association; former editor of American Quarterly; and current editor, with Lisa Duggan, of the American Studies Now: Histories of the Present book series from the University of California Press. Marez is currently completing a third book, University Babylon: How Hollywood Helps Make Student Bodies of Color.

 April 30
Lynne Sachs
Lynne Sachs makes films, installations, performances and web projects that explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences by weaving together poetry, collage, painting, politics and layered sound design. Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in her work with every new project.  Between 1994 and 2006, she produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany — sites affected by international war – where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own subjective perceptions. Lynne discovered her love of filmmaking while living in San Francisco where she worked closely with artists Bruce Conner, Ernie Gehr, Gunvor Nelson, Barbara Hammer, Craig Baldwin and Trin T. Min-ha.

May 7
Navtej Johar
Navtej Singh Johar is one of India’s leading male dancers and choreographers whose work traverses freely between the traditional and the contemporary. Trained in Bharatanatyam at the Kalakshetra, Chennai, he also studied methodologies of dance scholarship at the Department of Performance Studies, New York University. His continual attempt at forging a space for freedom in dance is closely informed by a scholarly enquiry into the complex sociopolitical history of Indian dance; his choreographic work revolves around issues of boundaries, body and identity. Widely traveled, Johar has performed, lectured, choreographed and conducted workshops at prestigious venues all over the world. In 1996, he received the Times of India Fellowship to research the sociopolitical history of Bharatanatyam; the Charles Wallace Fellowship in 2000, a University of Michigan residency and the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha Award for abhinayain 2010. He is the founder of Studio Abhyas(New Delhi), a nonprofit organization dedicated to dance training, yoga, humane urban design and the care of stray animals