When I think of what a book is, I think of Gilles Deleuze saying that instead of asking what a body is, he wants to ask what a body does. I think of Gloria Anzaldúa describing how writing makes the reader into a shape shifter. I think of Neal Stephenson’s book Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, in which a young girl in the future receives a nanotechnological book that contains an AI with the ability to talk to her and respond to her requests by transporting her to virtual worlds. I think of Ursula K Le Guin’s carrier bag theory of science fiction which says that we have had too many stories about long stiff weapons, sticks, swords and obelisks, which she calls killer culture, and she says that what we need more of are stories that can be carrier bags, containers, to carry our people, stars, memories and new worlds.

—micha cárdenas


micha cárdenas, PhD, is Assistant Professor in Art & Design: Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz. cárdenas is writing a new algorithm for gender, race and technology. Her book in progress, Poetic Operations, proposes algorithmic analysis to extend intersectional analysis and develop a trans of color poetics to reduce violence against trans women of color. cárdenas’s co-authored books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities (2012) and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs (2010) were published by Atropos Press. Her artwork has been described as “a seminal milestone for artistic engagement in VR” by the Spike art journal in Vienna. She is a first generation Colombian American.

michacardenas.org