Nora Khan is a critic and writer on emerging issues within digital visual culture and philosophy of emerging technology. Her research focuses on experimental art and music practices that make arguments through software. She specializes in simulation design, AI and intelligent systems, machine vision, automated language and poetry and narrative design for interfaces across time, cultures and political contexts. In examining the cultural, aesthetic and psychological dimensions of technological tools and systems, she tries to map their grounding ideology. She uses emerging trends and spaces as case studies, whether investigating sonic weapons used for crowd control, dissecting therapy apps and online spirituality or mining chat systems in bootleg MMOs. Digital and internet art prove singular in revealing the ways that technology concentrates power and abuse of the vulnerable or offers radical outlets for expression, hybridized thinking and redistribution of resources.
Khan’s art and technology criticism has been published in 4Columns, Rhizome, Art in America, Flash Art, Mousse, California Sunday, Spike Art, The Village Voice, Glass Bead and many other places. She has contributed commissioned essays for exhibitions at Serpentine Galleries, Chisenhale Gallery, the Venice Biennale, and Kunstverein in Hamburg and in a number of artist’s books, including Sondra Perry’s Typhoon Coming On (Koenig), Katja Novitskova’s Dawn Mission (Mousse) and If Only You Could See What I See with Your Eyes*(Sternberg), and Ian Cheng’s Emissaries Guide to Worlding (Koenig). She wrote a book with Steven Warwick, Fear Indexing the X-Files (Primary Information, 2017), on early fan forum culture and online conspiracy theories. Her writing has been honored and supported by a Critical Writing Grant through the Visual Arts Foundation and Crossed Purposes Foundation, an Eyebeam Research Residency and a Thoma Foundation 2016 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art.
Khan is a longtime editor at Rhizome, where she has mentored many emerging writers with hybrid approaches to criticism and artists to help them articulate their ideas. She is currently editor of Prototype, a book for Google’s Artist and Machine Intelligence group. She has spoken widely on
technological surrealism, algorithmic creativity, VR and AR art and the black box of AI, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Serpentine Galleries, Gray Area Festival, New Museum, UCLA IDEAS, Triple Canopy, the Shed, transmediale, New School and NYU IDM. She collaborates with a large network of AI researchers and activists, engineers, curators and philosophers to create residencies, exhibitions and publications.
- Nora Khan
- Critic - Digital Media
- BA, Harvard University
- MFA, University of Iowa