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Stuart Hall Library Research Network 2017: Virtualities

Research Network: Erotics of the Interface Gary Zhexi Zhang and Beryl Graham

29 Jun 2017

Artist and researcher, Gary Zhexi Zhang, is joined in conversation by Professor of New Art Media, Beryl Graham. Part of the Research Network 'Virtualities' Programme for 2017 .

  • Venue

    Stuart Hall Library

  • Time:

    18:30 - 20:30

  • Admission


  • More information:

    Stephanie Moran
    Library and Information Manager

Gary Zhexi Zhang, The Kernel Process, 2016. Film still. Image courtesy the artist.

Gary Zhexi Zhang will present research from his current project, Erotics of the Interface, which explores the emergent politics of distributed systems, including national internets, networked sex, and biological swarms.

As we enter further into socio-technological networks, notions of human agency run up against accident and emergence. Complex behaviours form through simple, individual interactions — a state wholly unknown to the sum of its parts.

This presentation takes the “many-headed” slime mould Physarum Polycephalum as a point of departure for a discussion of unintended politics, parasitical communications and the slimy interstices between physical and informational networks.



Gary Zhexi Zhang is an artist and researcher interested in distributed systems, including biological swarms, networked intimacy and national internets. Recent exhibitions include All Channels Open at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire and Beyond Telepathy at Somerset House. In 2017, he will be in residence at SPACE Art + Technology, London and CCA Creative Lab, Glasgow.


Beryl Graham is Professor of New Media Art at the University of Sunderland, and is co-founder of CRUMB resource for curators of new media art. She curated the international exhibition ‘Serious Games’ for the Laing and Barbican art galleries. Her books include Digital Media Art (Heinemann 2003), Rethinking Curating: Art After New Media (MIT Press 2010 with Sarah Cook), and New Collecting: Exhibiting and Audiences (Ashgate 2014 ed.). She has written for periodicals including Art Monthly, Leonardo, and the Journal of Curatorial Studies. She has been an invited speaker at conferences including ‘Navigating Intelligence’ (Banff Centre for the Arts), ‘Decoding the Digital’ (Victoria and Albert Museum), and ‘Cultural Value and the Digital’ (Tate Modern).


Listen to the event here: