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Bio (Expanded)

Biography (expanded version):

Mark Dery is a cultural critic.

Dery’s books include The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink and Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century, which has been translated into eight languages, and was a New York Times “New & Noteworthy” book. He edited the scholarly anthology Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture. His most recent book is the essay collection I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts.

He is writing a biography of the artist Edward Gorey for Little, Brown.

Dery’s writings on the cultural politics of  the media, technology, American society, visual culture, emerging trends, subcultural style, gender, sexuality, and food have appeared in Artforum, ARTnews, Bookforum, Cabinet, Dwell, Elle, I.D., Interiors, Interview, The L.A. Times, The L.A. Weekly, The Las Vegas Weekly, Lingua Franca, Nerve, New York, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine, Print, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, The Utne Reader, The Village Voice, Vogue Hommes, The Washington Post, and Wired, among others.

He has been a featured guest blogger on Boing Boing (the sixth most popular blog on the Web, according to Technorati). His columns of cultural commentary have appeared on the websites True/Slant and Thought Catalog.

Dery is widely associated with the concept of “culture jamming,” the guerrilla media criticism movement he popularized through his 1993 monograph Culture Jamming (Open Magazine Pamphlet Series).

As well, he coined the term “Afrofuturism,” a concept he introduced in his essay “Black to the Future” in Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture (1994), which he edited. Flame Wars inaugurated cyberstudies as an academic field, kick-starting academic interest in techno-feminism and black technoculture.

A frequent speaker in the States and abroad, Dery has lectured in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, Finland, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and throughout the United States. (More here.)

He has been a professor of journalism at New York University, a Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow at UC Irvine, and a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome .


Selected Interviews

A curious little summer 2009 interview with the editors of the mail-art publication Abe’s Penny. (Scroll down.) The scattershot fusillade of questions is part of its charm, a magpie mindset that animates the best of that little-noted and sometimes justifiably maligned microgenre, mail art.

“The Culture Jammer,” an Austin Chronicle interview on the occasion of my keynote lecture at the 2003 “Games Without Borders” videogame and videogame theory conference at UT Austin.

“PostFuture Shock,” a wide-ranging, off-the-beaten-path interview with Roy Christopher, editor of the brutally cool Front Wheel Drive.

“Vive la presse,” a spirited (if somewhat linguistically fractured) Q&A with me, conducted for a rough-around-the-edges but intellectually combative little Parisian start-up called Verity. I’m in Al Gore/Inconvenient Truth-Mike Davis/Ecology of Fear eco-pocalyptic Jeremiah mode, in the last half of this.

“The Road Ahead,” a Time magazine roundtable consisting of me, Malcolm Gladwell, David Brooks, Clay Shirky, Esther Dyson, Tim O’Reilly, and…Moby. The number of column inches each of us got correlated, unsurprisingly, with the number of weeks we’d been on the bestseller list…or not. Worth a glance.

“Loving the Alien,” San Diego CityBeat editor Kelly Davis’s short, drily funny interview-cum-introduction to an excerpt from my book-in-progress.

My Dinner with Dery,” an almost unbearably hilarious Orange County Weekly column by Rebecca Schoenkopf, inspired by one of my lectures at UC Irvine during my time there as the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow, in January 2000.

“Building a Progressive, Pragmatic Futurism: An E-mail Interview with Mark Dery” a provocative, in-depth interview from 1996, with the always insightful cultural critic and Net theorist Geert Lovink. Later included in Lovink’s Uncanny Networks: Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia.

“Mind to Mind with Mark Dery,” a 1996 interview about Escape Velocity with the estimable Howard Rheingold, futurist, technoculture critic, and the Charlie Rose of online interviews.

“Peering into the Global Meta-Mind,” an interview with The Boston Phoenix.