January 30: Course Introductions

February 6: 


SCREENING of DMS Professor JUAN CARLOS ZALDIVAR's award-winning film 90 MILES (2001).

The screening will be followed by a Q and A with the filmmaker.

LIVE and IN PERSON in CFA 112.

90 MILES (dir. Zaldivar, 2001, US, Color, Sound, 53 minutes)

In 90 MILES, Cuban-American filmmaker Juan Carlos Zaldivar, recounts the strange twist of fate that propelled his family to risk their lives across one of the world's most treacherous stretches of water. The 53-minute film was broadcast nationally on PBS/POV and has screened internationally. A quest to piece together the twists--and consequences--of a family's journey into exile, 90 MILES chronicles a search for understanding and healing between father and son. Uncovering the emotional distance opened by the 90 miles of water between Cuba and the U.S., Zaldivar's film illuminates the psychological ramifications of immigration within our personal identities and in the psyche of Americans. 90 MILES resonates all around the world as a beacon of healing for any person who has lived through political conflict.

This documentary contains some Spanish with English subtitles.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Media Study, Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and UB Films. The PLASMA lectures series and course is taught and organized by Dr. Paige Sarlin, Assistant Professor of Media Study, who started the series along with former media study professors, Tony Conrad and Teri Rueb, PhD.

February 13: 


Anna Scime is an internationally exhibited media artist, whose solo and group screenings and exhibitions include: Burchfield Penney Art Center (Buffalo), Berlin International Directors Lounge (Berlin), Centro Cultural Borges (Buenos Aires), FLORA ars+natura (Bogotá), Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (Kuala Lumpur), PS1 MoMA (NYC), and more. Her documentary work has been broadcast nationally and published throughout the web on Free Speech TV, PhillyCAM and ArtGrease. She has received awards for her work including fellowships from ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and The New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA), The Center for the Moving Image, The Liberace Foundation, The Mark Diamond Research Fund, and The Robert and Carol Morris Fund for Artistic Expression and Performing Arts. She has curated screenings and exhibitions locally and beyond, including video art programs in traveling museum exhibitions, like Introducing Tony Conrad (Cathleen Chaffee, Chief Curator). She studied journalism at Northeastern, and graduated summa cum laude with Bachelor’s Degrees in English and in Art from University at Buffalo, where she also received an MFA from the Department of Media Study, and taught courses in media production and analysis. She is Lumiflux Media’s Executive Director, and since 2013 has worked to ensure that the company sustainably stewards a dynamic roster of media productions and collaborations. She was also Squeaky Wheel's Interim Executive Director from late 2015 through 2016, and continues to contribute to the cultural ecosystem in Buffalo through her work with community arts nonprofits, like the Buffalo International Film Festival, where she has curated the Offscreen series of art, music, and performance since 2017 and has served as Executive Director since 2020.

Media Production:

Media Art:

Community Media:

February 20th: 



Dr. Elia Vargas is an artist and a scholar working across multiple mediums, ranging from video and sound to writing and performance, focused on naturecultural media practices. His work is critical, speculative, ecological, energetic, and technocultural. It is engaged in an interdisciplinary approach with contemporary and historical experimental media, digital cultural, and feminist science studies. His current work considers the cultural, philosophical, and techno-scientific conditions of the early American oil industry and argues for refiguring crude oil as media to decenter anthropocentric representations of nature.

Towards the pursuit of challenging historical forms of meaning-making, he is interested in concepts that perform change—a multi-species, or posthumanist practice of worlding. His work seeks non-representational ways to trouble the entanglements of nature, culture, and technology. Vargas collaborates widely with artists, musicians, and institutions. He holds a PhD from UC Santa Cruz. He is currently a visiting assistant professor of Media Study at the University at Buffalo, and is commissioned by Goethe Institute to host and produce a monthly podcast on global technocultural exchange. He is the co-founder of the SF Bay Area art and technology organization, the Living Room Light Exchange.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 24: SCREENING of Every Ocean Hughes’s film One Big Bag (2021) 

7:00 PM AT Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center 341 DELAWARE AVE. BUFFALO, NY.

This screening is free and accessible to all.


February 27: 


Every Ocean Hughes, a.k.a. Emily Roysdon, is a transdisciplinary artist and writer. Every’s recent projects take the form of performance, photographic installations, printmaking, text, video, and curating. EOH was editor and co-founder of the queer feminist journal and artist collective LTTR. Her many collaborations include music with The Knife, Colin Self, and JD Samson & MEN; costume design for choreographers Levi Gonzalez, Vanessa Anspaugh, Faye Driscoll, and the band Le Tigre.

EOH has had solo exhibitions with Studio Voltaire, London (2022); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2022); Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2017); Secession, Vienna (2015); PARTICIPANT INC., New York Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (2015); Art in General, New York (2011); and the Berkeley Art Museum (2010). EOH has received commissions for new work from Tate Modern, London (2012, 2017), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2013–2014); Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (2013–2014); and the Kitchen, New York (2010).

Every’s work has been featured in the 11th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2016); the Biennale of Sydney (2014); Future Generation Art Prize at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Whitney Biennial 2010, New York; Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain (2010); Greater NY, MoMA/PS1 (2010); and The Generational, New Museum, New York (2009) and included in group exhibitions at the Hammer Museum and Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2021); Museo Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2017); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014); Moderna Museet, Malmö (2014); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2011); and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2010), amongst many others.

A fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2019–2020, Every is the 2021–2023 Sachs Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. EOH’s much-awaited solo exhibition Every Ocean Hugues: Alive Side is on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, from January 14 to April 2, 2023.



March 6: 


Hypericin Yellow Movie: A Performance-Lecture 

Hypericin is a phytochemical produced by the flowering plant St John’s wort. The plant has been used medicinally in different cultures for centuries, primarily as an antidepressant. In this performance-lecture Kerstin Schroedinger and Oliver Husain relate the flower to health, skin, light, and film by discussing their use of St John’s wort to hand-process the 16mm film in their project DNCB (on view at UB Anderson Gallery) and the political scandal that shrouded Germany in 1996, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, when a study of Hypericin as a treatment for HIV received government support while other AIDS research and care were severely underfunded.

With a pre-launch of Husain and Schroedinger’s new artist’s book DNCB – a History of Irritation published by Archive Books, Berlin

Artist and filmmaker Oliver Husain is based in Toronto, Canada. Husain’s projects often begin with a fragment of history, a rumor, a personal encounter or a distant memory. He uses a wide range of cinematic languages and visual pleasures—such as dance, puppetry, costume, special effects—to animate his research and fold viewers into complex narrative set-ups. DNCB (2018–ongoing), his collaboration with Kerstin Schroedinger, was shown in different formats at Heni Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo (2022); Silent Green Kulturquartier, Berlin (2021); and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE (2021). Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Clages, Cologne (2022) and Remai Modern, Saskatoon (2018). Group exhibitions include Taking a Stand, Stamps Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI (2020) and Immaterial Architecture, Art Museum at the University of Toronto (2020). Festival screenings include Berlinale, Berlin International Film Festival; Oberhausen Short Film Festival; Flaherty Seminar, New York; and Experimenta Festival, Bangalore (award 2017).

Kerstin Schroedinger is an artist working in performance, film/video, and sound. Her historiographic practice questions the means of image production, historical linearities, and the ideological certainties of representation. She researches the coinciding histories of industrialization and film. Her works and curatorial practice are often collaborative. Recent works include DNCB in collaboration with Oliver Husain and The Song of the Shirt (video/installation, 2020). Her works have been screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Forum Expanded of Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival; Wavelengths, Toronto; mumok, Vienna; and exhibited at 17th Istanbul Biennial; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA; Photo Cairo #6; nGbK Berlin; and the 2nd Kiev Biennial, among other places.




March 13: 



Christina is a British-born multi-disciplinary artist and media scholar and is currently a Visiting Professor of Media Study at the University at Buffalo. Her scholarly and artistic work focuses on media history and the relationships between analog and digital media.

Her work has shown at media festivals, in galleries, universities, and at international conferences. She has had a solo show at Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA and has been part of group shows at the Bluecoat, Liverpool UK, MOCA North Miami, the Exploratorium in San Francisco and Telematic Gallery also in San Francisco, among others. She has also taken part in several residencies, including at the Kala Institute, Berkeley, CA, and Western New York Book Arts Center in Buffalo. Her writing has been published online and in scholarly journals including articles about her creative practice and research in Media Fields Journal, the Journal of Early Visual Media and book chapters on peep boxes in Provenance and Early Cinema published by University of Indiana Press, and experimental historiography in the soon to be published The Aestheticization of History and the Butterfly Effect, released by Vernon Press.


Laura McGough

Laura McGough is an arts administrator, curator and art historian. Over the past 30 years she has been employed at arts organizations in the US and Canada in a range of administrative and curatorial positions. During her tenue as video curator at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, McGough coordinated the video screenings and festival programming and managed the organization’s video residency program and cable access television program. As the Program Director at the newly established Washington Project for the Arts/Corcoran, she developed arts programming, including gallery exhibitions, public art projects and a guest curator program.  In her capacity as an Independent Curator and Arts Consultant, McGough has curated film, video, web-based, visual arts and performance events for museums, festivals and arts organizations in US, Canada, Europe and Australia and developed board training, strategic plans and program evaluation for a range of nonprofit organizations. From 2000-2003, she served as the Multidisciplinary and Presenting Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts where she managed a diverse portfolio that included artist communities, performing arts centers, alternative art centers and technology-based arts projects. More recently, as the Director at The Herter Art Gallery at UMass Amherst, McGough oversaw the presentation of visual arts programming and related events for a campus-wide community. McGough has received funding for curatorial and related research projects from NYSCA, the DC Commission on the Arts, The British, Council, and the Canada Council, and has served as a peer reviewer on numerous state and national grant panels. Laura McGough holds a PhD from the Department of Media Studies at the University at Buffalo and an M.A. from New York University. Born and raised in Jamestown, McGough is a Western New York native.


March 21 - No Class

March 27: 


hiba ali is a producer of moving images, sounds, garments and words. they reside in many time zones: chicago, toronto and eugene. born in karachi, pakistan, they belong to east african, south asian and arab diasporas. they are a practitioner and (re)learner of swahili, urdu, arabic and spanish languages. they work on two long term art and publication projects: the first being an art-based phd project that examines womyn of colour’s labour, and architecture of surveillance as it exists within the monopoly of amazon (corp.) and the second being a series of works that addresses music, cloth and ritual practices that connect east africa, south asia and the arabian peninsula in the swahili-indian ocean region.

they are an assistant professor at the college of design in the art & technology program at the university of oregon in eugene and they teach on decolonial, feminist, anti-racist frameworks in digital art pedagogies. currently, they are a phd candidate in cultural studies at queens university in kingston, ontario. their work has been presented in chicago, stockholm, vienna, berlin, toronto, new york, istanbul, são paulo, detroit, windsor, dubai, austin, vancouver, and portland. they have written for the following magazines: “c”, the seen, newcity chicago, art chicago, art dubai, the state, medium’s zora, rtv, and topical cream.

April 3:


PRESENTATION TITLE: “Watching Monsters: The Horror of Racialized Monsters, Disabled Monsters, and Gender Nonconforming Monsters in Embodied Gothic Horror Films”

BIO: Dr. Jaynelle (Jay) Nixon has an interdisciplinary background in literature, transnational studies, and global gender and sexuality studies. She currently teaches classes on Gothic fiction as well as gender, race, and media. Her primary research focus is the body—particularly the ways certain bodies are surveilled and monsterized based on appearance.

April 10:

Akil Fletcher

Akil Fletcher is an award-winning researcher and PhD candidate in the Anthropology department at the University of California Irvine. His work focuses on understanding how Black gamers experience and utilize games and online platforms to create community. Currently, his project funded by the National Science Foundation seeks to understand how online Black communities use these platforms to form selfhood and relationships within games which traditionally have not been seen as Black spaces. His current research engages with the games Final Fantasy XIV and League of Legends.

April 17: 


April 24: 


LECTURE TITLE: Arte Programmata: Freedom, Control, and the Computer in 1960s Italy

Lindsay Caplan is Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Her writing has appeared in Grey Room, ARTMargins, e-flux, The Scholar and Feminist Online, Piano b, and Art in America, as well as edited collections and exhibition catalogues. Her book Arte Programmata: Freedom, Control, and the Computer in 1960s Italy received a Millard Meiss Publication Grant from the College Art Association and was recently published by the University of Minnesota Press (October 2022).


May 1: 


Pedro Neves Marques (b. 1986, Lison, Portugal) is an artist and writer whose films explore ecology, the earth's natural resources, and the politics and practices that govern humans' interactions with them.

May 8: 


Jennifer Gradecki (US) is an artist-theorist who investigates secretive and specialized socio-technical systems. Her artistic research has focused on social science techniques, financial instruments, technologies of mass surveillance, intelligence analysis, artificial intelligence, and social media misinformation. She received her MFA in New Genres from UCLA in 2010 and her PhD in Visual Studies from SUNY Buffalo in 2019. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in Boston.

Derek Curry (US) is an artist-researcher whose work critiques and addresses spaces for intervention in automated decision-making systems. His work has addressed automated stock trading systems, Open Source Intelligence gathering (OSINT), and algorithmic classification systems. His artworks have replicated aspects of social media surveillance systems and communicated with algorithmic trading bots. Derek earned his MFA in New Genres from UCLA’s Department of Art in 2010 and his PhD in Media Study from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2018. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in Boston.

Curry and Gradecki have presented and exhibited at venues including Ars Electronica (Linz), New Media Gallery (Zadar), Media Art History (Göttweig), NeMe (Cypress), The New Gallery (Calgary), ISEA (Vancouver), ADAF (Athens), and the Centro Cultural de España (México). Their research has been published in Leonardo, Big Data & Society, Visual Resources, and Leuven University Press. Their artwork has been funded by Science Gallery Dublin, Science Gallery Detroit, the Puffin Foundation, and the NEoN Digital Arts Festival.