Curator & Director
Currently, I am the Operations, New Media, and Curatorial Director for the Center of Art and Thought (CA+T), a nonprofit that facilitates the convergences of scholars, artists, writers, and the broader public by harnessing the power of new media and digital technologies and with the Filipino global diaspora as the organization’s point of departure. I manage everyday operations of the organization and CMS workflow and functionality; curate virtual and offline multidisciplinary and multiplatform exhibitions; research new media projects and implement solutions; generate relationships with artists, writers, and scholars; and manage publicity, fundraising, design and communications projects.
Scholar & Teacher
I am interdisciplinary scholar of Asian American visual culture and art history, comparative race and ethnic studies, and queer cultural studies. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in the Program in American Culture.
As a scholar, my research interests include: Asian American Visual Culture, Art History, and Criticism; Asian American and Filipino American Cultural and Historical Studies; Modern and Contemporary Art; History of Visual and Media Technologies (Photography, Film, New Media , and Digital Technologies); Queer Visual Culture and Queer Theory; and U.S. Cultural History: 1865 – Present (Race, Gender, Sexuality, and U.S. Empire).
I am at currently at work on several articles for peer-reviewed journals and two book projects that fall within the emerging field of contemporary Asian American visual culture studies and criticism.
Creator & Artist
As a multidisciplinary artist, I use everyday or vernacular new media and digital imaging technologies to create artwork that captures my interests in queer bodies, affects, spaces, and temporalities. I am attracted to vernacular digital image-making, and I primarily use digital cameras, related equipment, and computer and smart phone applications that are at my immediate disposal (usually not professional grade or expensive). In my most recent digital photographic iPhonography series (from January 2013 – May 2013), the series brings to light normative viewing strategies through what I call “tactical juxtapositions.” I used only my iPhone 4s camera and various iPhone apps to create images that question “the contemporariness” of contemporary photographic practices and technologies. The iPhonography series argues for a more robust, historical, and dialogic understanding of everyday image making.
Prior to the iPhonography series, I used the WordPress CMS platform to display a word a day online (see instructions and words here). Entitled 8 Months, I customized the CSS of a WordPress template to post only one word a day in a large font size on my homepage. Long words were often broken unexpectedly between letters to fit the limited dimensions of the content cell. Each word indexed a variety of things: a memorable moment during the day, a particular mood, specific locations, and so on. I chose the font called “Impact,” as its name tied fittingly to the ethos of the project. Could my day and the myriad experiences I lived be distilled into a singular word? Would the words and the mode of exhibition inspire users’ thoughts on the possibilities afforded by the Internet or perhaps rather the Internet’s facilitation of the ephemeral?
I am at work on several new digital photography, video, and new media art projects.
Jan Christian Bernabe
last update: February 10, 2017