Past Talks & More

Valences of the Algorithm


Collage of photos featuring each participant of the conversation series.

Join us on Instagram and Facebook Live for this two-part summer series exploring the power of algorithm to shape our sense of identity and collective politics.

Artist Imma Asher and Ohio State professor of queer studies Jian Chen (July 20) and artist Mimi Onuoha (August 3) inhabit Valences of the Algorithm, a hybrid media and performance platform from which they examine the political and personal projects that draw artists to digital media as a form of expression. Tune in at 2 PM both days for these compelling virtual conversations that engage with cutting-edge contemporary art practice and learn how media-based technologies influence our understanding of being alive.

Valences of the Algorithm is presented in conjunction with Portal For(e) the Ephemeral Passage, an interdisciplinary exhibition curated by jaamil olawale kosoko that amplifies Black feminist voices in contemporary art and performance. View the complete lineup.

And learn more about how digital media and other forms of cultural expression trace the societal dispossession of trans and gender-nonconforming people of color in Jian Chen’s book Trans Exploits: Trans of Color Cultures and Technologies in Movement, available online and in person at the Wexner Center Store!

Circular headshot of Mimi Onuoha, who is turned slightly to the side and looking into the distance. Her hair is wrapped in a black scarf on top of her head, and she has short, brown-beaded locs hanging down her forehead. She is wearing a black turtleneck, denim halter top, and hooped earrings. There is text laid over the gray-and-white background. The word “Slavery” appears in faded white text over her face.

Mimi Onuoha, photo: Julia Robbins.

Imma Asher, who is sitting in a chair and holding a pot with two cacti in it. She is wearing a long, spaghetti-strap, cheetah-print dress, along with a multicolored, patterned headscarf. Her arms, chest, and hands are covered in black-ink tattoos featuring flowers and wild cats.

Imma Asher, image courtesy of the artist.

Jian Chen, who has short black hair and is wearing glasses and a denim jacket, standing in front of a bridge with a body of gray-green water underneath. There are boats and mountains on the horizon and a clear blue sky above them in the background.

Jian Chen, photo: Billie Chen.

More about the participants

Imma Asher chevron-down chevron-up

A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Imma Asher learned to draw at age 7 from her father. She studied dance at The Ailey School and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Parsons School of Design, followed by a master’s in fine arts with a performance concentration from University of the Arts London. Asher’s work focuses on the performance of self and her obsession with gesture to solidify gender. She is currently interested in feminine as fact and the intersectionalities through which she enters her innate womanhood. 

Jian Chen chevron-down chevron-up

Jian Chen is associate professor of queer studies in the departments of English and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State. Chen is also affiliate faculty in the Film Studies program and a previous director of the Asian American Studies and Sexuality Studies programs. Their research focuses on transgender and queer aesthetics and embodied practices in literature, visual culture, and contemporary theory, and their reimagining and reconstruction of social relations and movements. 

Mimi Onuoha chevron-down chevron-up

Mimi Onuoha is a Nigerian American artist creating work about a world made to fit the form of data. By foregrounding absence and removal, her multimedia practice uses print, code, installation, and video to make sense of the power dynamics that result in disenfranchised communities’ relationships to digital, cultural, historical, and ecological systems. Onuoha has lectured and exhibited internationally and has been in residence at Studio XX (Canada), Data & Society Research Institute (USA), the Royal College of Art (UK), Eyebeam Art + Technology Center (USA), and Arthouse Foundation (Nigeria, upcoming). She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. 

American Electric Power Foundation

The Ohio State University Office of Outreach & Engagement
Ingram-White Castle Foundation 

Ohio Arts Council 
Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation
Martha Holden Jennings Foundation 
State Farm

Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Wexner Family
National Endowment for the Arts
Ohio Arts Council
L Brands Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane
Axium Packaging
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
President Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica Meinhard
Nancy Kramer
Larry and Donna James
Lisa Barton
Johanna DeStefano
Jones Day
Alex and Renée Shumate


Past Talks & More

Valences of the Algorithm