Micha Cárdenas is an artist/theorist who works in social practice, wearable electronics and intersectional analysis. She is a PhD student in Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) at University of Southern California and a member of Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. Her project Local Autonomy Networks was selected for the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial in San Jose and was the subject of her keynote performance at the 2012 Allied Media Conference. Her book The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities, published by Atropos Press in 2012, discusses art that uses augmented, mixed and alternate reality, and the intersection of those strategies with the politics of gender, in a transnational context. Micha holds an MFA from University of California, San Diego, an MA in Communication from the European Graduate School and a BS in Computer Science from Florida International University. She blogs at transreal.org

Local Autonomy Networks: Post Digital Networks, Post Corporate Communications

Abstract: My work on the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a project to turn used cell phones into devices that provide physical and poetic sustenance to people crossing the US/Mexico border, led me to Local Autonomy Networks (Autonets), which is being developed in collaboration with community-based organizations in Los Angeles, Detroit and Bogotá, Colombia. Autonets has the goal of building networks of safety for queer and trans people of color using a range of technologies including wearable electronics and non-digital embodied communication methods. Digital technology is the basis for an epistemology often referred to as “the digital” which is imbricated with western logics. To work towards post-digital networks is to participate in a decolonization of technology and to imagine possibilities that both precede and follow the digital. My intervention is to make a trans of color critique, taking inspiration from queer of color critique, that rejects the binary logic of the digital and looks to oppressed communities for alternative logics.