María Fernández’s research and teaching concern three areas and their intersections: the history and theory of digital and new media art, Latin American art, and feminist media art, with attention to postcolonial/decolonial theories. She is the author of Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture (Texas University Press 2014), for which she won the Arvey Book Award by the Association for Latin American Art in 2015. With Faith Wilding and Michelle Wright she edited Domain Errors: Cyberfeminist Practices (Autonomedia, 2002). Recently, she edited the volume, Latin American Modernisms and Technology, which explores diverse engagements of Latin American intellectuals and artists with modern technologies, mechanical, electronic, digital and imaginary (Cornell Institute for Comparative Modernities and Africa World Press, 2018). Her essays have appeared in multiple journals including Leonardo, Art Journal and Third Text as well as in edited collections. She is now writing a book on the work of the British cybernetician, Gordon Pask and investigating the contributions of women artists working in new media to posthumanisms and new materialisms.
Fernández has taught courses in the history and theory of digital art, Latin American as well as feminist media arts. Recent seminar topics include: Feminist Postumanisms, Latin American Modernisms and Technology, and BioArt (with Angela Douglas, Depts. Entomology, Molecular Biology & Genetics).
- Feminist media arts
- New materialism
- Artificial life
- Aesthetics of interaction and responsiveness.
Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture (University of Texas Press, 2014). A collection of case studies on Mexican visual arts ranging from the seventeenth to the first decade of the twenty-first century. In this book Mexican art emerges as an ongoing process of negotiation between the local, the global, and a force field of power relations. It demonstrates that cosmopolitanism entails violence as well as the synthesis and transformation of diverse discursive and artistic traditions.
Latin American Modernisms and Technology (Cornell Institute for Comparative Modernities, ICM, and Africa World Press, 2018.) This collection of essays documents the creative involvement of Latin American artists and intellectuals with modern technologies from the nineteenth-century to the present. The book aims to stimulate new ways of thinking about histories of art and media art to challenge the conceptual separation of“developed” and “underdeveloped” countries that perpetuates the marginalization of the Global South from modernity.
Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices, a subRosa project edited by María Fernández, Faith Wilding and Michelle Wright (N.Y.: Autonomedia, 2002). Originally intended as a book for a general audience, this volume focuses on issues underdeveloped in second-wave cyberfeminism such as race and reproduction.
- "Radical Women and Digital Bodies: Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico" Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture (2023) 5 (2):72-80. https://online.ucpress.edu/lalvc/issue/5/2
- "Reading Posthumanism in Feminist New Media Art" in A Companion to Feminist Art edited by Hilary Robinson and Maria Elena Buszek (Wiley Blackwell 2019), 299-314.
- “Detached from HiStory: Jasia Reichardt and Cybernetic Serendipity” Art Journal (Fall 2008), 6-23.
- “Gordon Pask: Cybernetic Polymath,” Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts Sciences and Technology, Volume 41, Number 2, April 2008. http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/leon.2008.41.2.162
- “Life-Like: Historizing Process and Responsiveness in Digital Art,” in Companion to Contemporary Art Since 1945 edited by Amelia Jones (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2006), 557-581. This essay was reprinted in The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology edited by Donald Preziosi (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 458-487.
- “Aesthetically-Potent Environments” or How Pask Detourned Instrumental Cybernetics,” in White Heat Cold Logic: British Computer Art 1960-1980 edited by Paul Brown, Charlie Gere, Nicholas Lambert and Catherine Mason (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press 2009).
- “Illuminating Embodiment: Rafael Lozano Hemmer’s Relational Architectures,” 4dsocial: Interactive Design Environments guest edited by Lucy Bullivant. AD Architectural Design, (July/August 2007), 78-87.
- “Estri-dentistas: Taking the Teeth Out of Futurism,” in At a Distance: Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet edited by Annmarie Chandler and Norie Neumark (MIT Press, 2005), 343-371.
- “Is Cyberfeminism Colorblind?” February, 2003, www.artwomen.org
- “Postcolonial Media Theory,” Third Text, 47 (summer, 1999). An expanded version of this essay appeared in Art Journal, 58, no.3, fall 1999 and abbreviated reprint in Feminist Visual Culture edited by Amelia Jones (New York: Routledge, 2003). https://www.jstor.org/stable/777861?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
“Gordon Pask: Life, Cybernetics and the Arts.” An investigation of the work of the British cybernetician Gordon Pask focusing on his contributions to theater, art and architecture.
In the news
- ARTH 3650/6653 History & Theory of Digital Art, F22
- New class contemplates media from cross-campus perspectives
- Book explores Latin American modernity, technology
ARTH Courses - Fall 2023
- ARTH 4153 : Topics in Feminist Media Arts
- ARTH 4991 : Independent Study
- ARTH 4998 : Honors Work I
- ARTH 5991 : Supervised Reading
- ARTH 5993 : Supervised Study
- ARTH 6153 : Topics in Feminist Media Arts
VISST Courses - Fall 2023
ARTH Courses - Spring 2024
- ARTH 3550 : Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art
- ARTH 4151 : Topics in Media Arts
- ARTH 4992 : Independent Study
- ARTH 4999 : Honors Work II
- ARTH 5992 : Supervised Reading
- ARTH 5994 : Supervised Study
- ARTH 6151 : Topics in Media Arts
- ARTH 6550 : Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art