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.

For enrolled students, the class begins at 6:00pm.

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

PLASMA Speaker Series

MONDAYS 6:00- 8:30 pm EST

Zoom Meeting ID: 959 5554 2975

Email with PLASMA2021 in subject line for password ​

2021 PLASMA Schedule

February 8th 

Amelia Winger-Bearskin

Amelia Winger-Bearskin is an artist/technologist who empowers people to leverage bleeding edge technology to effect positive change in the world. In 2019, she was an invited presenter to His Holiness Dalai Lama’s World Headquarters in Dharamsala for the Summit on Fostering Universal Ethics and Compassion. In 2018, she was awarded a McArthur and Sundance Institute fellowship for her 360 video immersive installation in collaboration with the artist Wendy Red Star (supported by the Google JUMP Creator program and exhibited at the Newark Museum and ASU in 2019). The non-profit she founded, IDEA New Rochelle, in partnership with the New Rochelle Mayor’s Office, won the 2018 One Million Dollar Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge for their VR/AR Citizen toolkit to help the community co-design their city. She is a Sundance Institute Creative Advisor and artist of their New Frontier Story Lab and Festival (AR/VR/XR/AI tech section). In 2018 she was awarded the 100K Alternative Realities Prize for her Virtual Reality Project from Engadget and Verizon Media. Amelia is the founder and host of podcast and the She is also the host and producer of the Contentful + Algolia Developer Podcast DreamStacks. Amelia is Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma, Deer Clan.

Watch on demand

February 15th

Chris Stults - Cinetracts ‘20

Chris Stults has been an associate curator in the Wexner Center for the Arts’ Film/Video department since 2002. Planning visits and events with filmmakers such as Joe Dante, Yance Ford, Kirsten Johnson, Kelly Reichert, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, he has organized hundreds of screenings, festivals, and retrospectives with a focus on documentary and experimental film. In 2012, he curated the touring series Cruzamentos: Contemporary Brazilian Documentary, the largest North American film survey on the topic and, along with Genevieve Yue, he co-curated the 2016 Flaherty NYC series “Wild Sounds,” exploring films about gender and voice. His writing has appeared in ArtForum, Cinema Scope, Film Comment, and the Viennale catalogue, among others. 

Cinetracts ’20is a web-based film project comprised of 20 short works commissioned by The Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University.

The international slate of contributors includes more than 20 filmmakers: Natalia Almada (Mexico/San Francisco, CA), Tony Buba (Braddock, PA), Charles Burnett (Los Angeles, CA), Tamer El Said (Egypt/Germany), Akwaeke Emezi (Nigeria/US), Su Friedrich (Brooklyn, NY), Kelly Gallagher (Syracuse, NY), Cameron Granger (Columbus, OH), Christopher Harris (Iowa City, IA), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation, WI), Karrabing Film Collective (Australia), Bouchra Khalili (Morocco/Germany), Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil), Rosine Mbakam (Cameroon/Belgium), Natasha Mendonca (India), Sheilah and Dani ReStack (Columbus, OH), Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (Puerto Rico), Cauleen Smith (Los Angeles, CA), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), and Želimir Žilnik (Serbia).

The initiative was inspired by Cinétracts ’68, a radical project in which French filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard and Chris Marker responded to the political uprising in Paris of May 1968. Wexner Center Film/Video curators David Filipi, Jennifer Lange, and Chris Stults invited artists to capture “the zeitgeist in your own backyard,” in hopes that a global portrait would emerge from this index of diverse locales. The project was launched in 2019, supported by a 2019–20 Wexner Center Artist Residency Award, and called upon both established and emerging filmmakers to participate.


Watch on demand


February 22nd

Stephanie Rothenberg

Stephanie Rothenberg’s interdisciplinary art draws from digital culture, science and economics to explore relationships between human designed systems and biological ecosystems. Moving between real and virtual spaces her work investigates the power dynamics of techno utopias, global economics and outsourced labor. She has exhibited throughout the US and internationally in venues including Eyebeam (US), Sundance Film Festival (US), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art / MASS MoCA (US), House of Electronic Arts / HeK (CH), LABoral (ES), Transmediale (DE), and ZKM Center for Art & Media (DE). She is a recipient of numerous awards, most recently from the Harpo Foundation and Creative Capital. Residencies include ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik in Berlin, TOKAS / Tokyo Art and Space, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace, Eyebeam Art and Technology and the Santa Fe Art Institute. Her work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art and has been widely reviewed including Artforum, Artnet, The Brooklyn Rail and Hyperallergic. She is an ongoing participant and organizer in the MoneyLab research project at the Institute of Network Cultures and co-organizer of the 2018 MoneyLab 5 symposium that took place in Buffalo, NY. She is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art at SUNY Buffalo where she co-directs the Platform Social Design Lab, an interdisciplinary design studio collaborating with local social justice organizations.


Watch on demand

March 1st

Jon-Sesrie Goff

Jon-Sesrie Goff is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator. His practice explores the intersection of race, power, identity, gender and the environment by unearthing the visceral representational value and authenticity behind the images propelled across varying diasporas. Jon has offered his lens to a variety of projects spanning many genres including the award-winning documentaries Spit on the Broom (Black Public Media 2019), Out in the Night (POV, Logo 2015) and Evolution of a Criminal (Independent Lens 2015), among many others. He holds an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University and, until recently, served as the Executive Director of America’s longest running film event –– The Flaherty. Prior to Flaherty, Jon served as the Museum Specialist for Film at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture where he was responsible for developing the museum’s public film program.


Watch on demand

March 8th

Rebekah Rutkoff on “Lillian Schwartz: The Artist and the Computer”

Rebekah Rutkoff is the author of The Irresponsible Magician: Essays and Fictions (semiotext(e), 2015) and the editor of a volume of essays by and about the American filmmaker Robert Beavers (Austrian Film Museum/Columbia UP, 2017).

She is a recipient of a Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her work on Schwartz and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

Lillian Schwartz (B. 1927) began drawing as a child with a sidewalk canvas and brush of slate. In Japan during the occupation, she caught Polio. The treatment for overcoming paralysis consisted of learning to move her muscles until she could slowly draw with pen and ink. She never recovered from her stay near Hiroshima where shadow bodies that had been real people decorated remnants of buildings. Her early acrylics were often dark, bleak. She studied art techniques with well-know artists, but oils and acrylics were not enough. She moved them to plastic paintings over lights and to collages. Then kinetic fluid in lit boxes, electronic mobiles, plastic imagery through changing the chemical composition, and then a complex piece in MOMA that led to her entry into Bell Labs in 1968 where she developed programs, special color filters and editing techniques, art and historical analyses, art films and graphics that could be viewed in 2D or 3D without pixel shifting. A pioneer, she created a new technique for 2D/3D. In her 80s, she sees films in her mind filled by grand whorls of imagination with her memory of images she had created. From poverty and a cement canvas to paralysis cured through precise practice with pen and ink, from oils to kinetic metals to 2D/3D, she pushed and pushes through each media to find something more, something forever, changing vision, perception, and knowledge of life’s war and peace.


March 15th

Adam Khalil

Adam Khalil, a member of the Ojibway tribe, is a filmmaker and artist from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, whose practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of ethnography through humor, relation, and transgression. Khalil is a core contributor to New Red Order and a co-founder of COUSINS Collective. Khalil’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Walker Arts Center, Lincoln Center, Tate Modern, HKW, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Toronto Biennial 2019 and Whitney Biennial 2019, among other institutions. Upcoming exhibitions will be held at Gasworks in London, Spike Island in Bristol, and Artists Space in NYC. Khalil is the recipient of various fellowships and grants, including but not limited to Sundance Art of Nonfiction, Jerome Artist Fellowship, Cinereach and the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

Watch on demand -  

March 22nd

Jason Geistweidt

Jason Geistweidt is an artist and scholar working across the fields of sound composition, physical computing, creative coding, real-time performance systems, and installation. In his creative work he utilizes computation as a means for organizing time and space, invoking the event and creating experience. His current research interests lie in the study of media impermanence and the transitory nature of computation. In 2019 large-scale prints from his twittage project, which procedurally collages images captured from the Twitter firehose, were featured in the group show Unsettling Time at Vanderbilt University and his thoughts on the future of media study appear in the 2020 inaugural issue of MAST. His electroacoustic works have been presented at both the ICMC and NIME conferences. Geistweidt holds a Phd from the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queens University Belfast and a Masters from The Centre for Computational Musicology and Computer Music at The University of Limerick. His amateur radio callsign is KD2SGY.

Watch on demand  

March 29th

Girish Shambu

Girish Shambu is Professor of Management at Canisius College, where teaches in the area of sustainability. He is also a film blogger, critic, and scholar who edits Film Quarterly’s online column, Quorum. He is the author of The New Cinephilia (2nd edition, 2020), a book about Internet film culture, and two essays that have recently sparked discussions on social media, “Time’s Up for the Male Canon,” and the manifesto “For a New Cinephilia”—both in Film Quarterly. He also writes regularly for the Criterion Collection.

Watch on demand  


April 5th

Jenson Leonard

Jenson Leonard's practice involves the intersection of poetry, conceptual art, and internet memes. Not unlike the earliest forms of oral poetry, memes transmit our cultural memory. I scour the web for these preserves…the copies and reproductions of our collective digital id, dragging and dropping(sculpting) my findings into the Adobe Suite to create a bricolage of text and image that call into question notions of identity and empire. I chart an internet psychogeography that questions the sensorial exhaustiveness of audiovisual capitalism–An art that, in the framework of predictive algorithms and data extractions attempts intervention within the infrastructure of social media.

Instagram: @coryintheabyss

Watch on demand  


April 12th

Ekrem Serdar

Ekrem Serdar is the curator at Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center (2015–present), where he is responsible for the organization’s exhibitions, public programming, and artist residencies. Previously, he was a programmer with Experimental Response Cinema (Austin, TX) which he co-founded. He is the recipient of a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (2017). He is an advisory member of Experimental Response Cinema, and the FOL Cinema Society (Istanbul). His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Millennium Film Journal, and 5harfliler, among other publications. He completed his BA in Critical Studies, and his MFA in Media Arts Production at the Department of Media Study at SUNY Buffalo. He is from Ankara, Turkey.

Watch on demand  

April 19th

Sindhu Thirumalaisamy

Sindhu Thirumalaisamy's work across moving images, sound, and text, is rooted in a critical listening practice. It engages common places such as hospitals, parks, streets, temples, mosques, and lakes, as sites of collective resistance and care, paying close attention to possibilities for speech and action with/in them.

Sindhu holds a diploma in digital video production from Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology, Bangalore, and an MFA in visual art from the University of California, San Diego. She has participated in the Whitney Independent Study program, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, and the SOMA Summer program. She is a 2020-21 Core artist-fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Sindhu's most recent film, The Lake and The Lake, won the Best Documentary Award at the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival. Recent exhibitions include programs at Camden International Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, DokuFest, Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), Kinodot Experimental Film Festival, EFA Project Space, Union Docs, Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Center, Artists’ Television Access, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Current:LA Triennial, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and San Diego Museum of Art.

Watch on demand  


April 26th

Gregg Bordowitz

Since the late 1980s, writer, artist, and activist Gregg Bordowitz has made diverse works—essays, poems, performances, drawings, sculpture, and videos—that explore his Jewish, gay, and bisexual identities within the context of the ongoing AIDS crisis. A professor and director of the Low-Residency MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bordowitz was an early participant in New York’s ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), where he co-founded various video collectives, including Testing the Limits, an advocacy group within ACT UP, and DIVA (Damn Interfering Video Activists). While developing a visual language capable of communicating harm-reduction models to a broad public in his collaborative works, he made his own videos and television broadcasts, such as some aspect of a shared lifestyle (1986) and Fast Trip, Long Drop (1993), that juxtaposed performance documentation, archival footage, role play, and recordings of protest demonstrations, drawing influence from feminist conceptual art. In recent years Bordowitz has increasingly introduced poetry and performance as art events, exploring histories of televised stand-up comedy in works such as Only Idiots Smile (2017) and Some Styles of Masculinity (2017).

Watch on demand  

May 3


Watch on demand