Pop Culture critic and writers
Dery will examine the events of 9/11 and other contemporary atrocities through the strange lens of aesthetic philosophy and ask the question, "When does the aestheticization of the unspeakable become a oral obscenity?"
Mark Dery is a witty and influential commentator on digital media, fringe thought and new developments in popular culture. His critically acclaimed books have included The Protechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink (1999), Escape Velocity: Cyberculture and the End of the Century (1996) and Culture Jamming: Hacking, Slashing and Sniping in the Empire of the Signs (1993). He is also editor of an essay collection, Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture (1995).
Dery's essays and articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, Salon, The Atlantic Monthly and other leading publications. He is also the author of the column Invisible Lit, which appears in the literary magazine, Bookforum. A pioneer in his field, Dery teaches in the department of Journalism and Mass Communication at New York University.
"an astute observer of trends adept at connecting seemingly disparate phenomena. The best essays focus on our obsessions with conspiracy and paranoia, the new grotesque aesthetic in the arts and the changing dynamics of technophilia and technophobia in the new computer age." - Publishers Weekly on The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium
"an everything-including-the-kitchen-sink view of the end of the millennium." - Booklist on The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium
New Statesman reviewer Peter Jukes described Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the end of the Centure (1996) as "a parade of cyberpunk novelists, cybersex enthusiasts, technopagans, cyber rockers and underground roboticists. New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani says that the book "manages to give the lay reader a lively and informative tour through the darker recesses of cyberculture, navigating its jargon-filled byways with an observant eye."
Dery's books have been hailed by cyberculture insiders as well as outsiders. Leading cyberculture journal Wired said of Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture (1995), "This book is crucial reading; it will change how you view the future."
Also an Informal Public Conversation
Mark Dery and McKenzie Wark will lead an informal public conversation on the spontaneous and calculated alliances between artists, theorists, and activists that are creating new zones for cultural resistance in the digital age.
McKenzie Wark is a media theorist who teaches in the UAlbany's English Department. His books include Virtual Geography (1994), The Virtual Republic (1997) and Celebrities, Culture and Cyberspace (1999).
Additional Link: Writers Online Magazine Article
For additional information visit www.albany.edu/writers-inst or contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620.