Amy Alexander is a middle-aged, female hackernaut. She is an algorithmic filmmaker and performer who has focused throughout her career on the fuzzy borders between media and the world.
Her current focus is on social media video and algorithmic processes of curation and production — from social media ranking algorithms to generative processes like Deep Fakes.
Over the years, Amy has worked in computationally-based installation, net art, software art, audiovisual performance, film, video, music and information technology. Her research and practice focuses on how contemporary media – from performative cinema to social media – changes along with cultural and technological shifts. Amy’s projects have been presented on the Internet, in clubs and on the street as well as in festivals and museums. She has written and lectured on software art, software as culture, and audiovisual performance, and she has served as a reviewer for festivals and commissions for new media art and computer music. She is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego, where she currently serves as area head for Computing and Speculative Design. She co-directed the former UCSD Visual Arts Experimental Media Lab until 2016. She has been artist-in-residence iotaCenter in Los Angeles and The Media Centre in Huddersfield, UK. Amy has a Master of Fine Arts in Film/Video from California Institute of the Arts.
Amy – who has also worked under the names Cue P. Doll and VJ Übergeek – was a
dinosaur old codger pioneer in the development of software-based net art, beginning in 1996 with the Multi-Cultural Recycler, a site that spoofed both net celebrity and faux multi-culturalism on the web. In addition to her art projects, she was also a co-founder and moderator of the Runme.org software art repository, an early member of the TOPLAP live coding collective, and has been active in algorithmic and media art curation.
Amy’s projects have been exhibited at venues ranging from The Whitney Museum, Prix Ars Electronica, Transmediale, SIGGRAPH, NIME, and the New Museum to club performances at Sonar (Barcelona), First Avenue (Minneapolis) and Melkweg (Amsterdam). She has performed on the streets of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Zürich, and Aberdeen, Scotland.
Amy’s work has been influenced by her background in musical performance. As part of her research into performative practices, she has studied and performed standup comedy. Besides continuing her own performances, she’s published texts on audiovisual performance history. Amy particularly enjoys researching early 20th century audiovisual performance artist and inventor Mary Hallock Greenewalt: she operates the Mary Hallock Greenewalt Visibility Project, an online database and archive. Amy’s latest art project is PIGS (Percussive Image Gestural System), a live performance and research project focused on using silent percussion as a means to create improvisational, structured visuals.
Amy’s past lives have included work as a record store manager, a video camera operator / editor / technician, a 3D animator, a television and new media effects developer, and a Unix systems administrator. She programs in Max/MSP, Processing, Python, and a few others and continues to maintain various Linux and Raspberry Pi servers. She prefers vim to emacs.