is Ph.D. Candidate in Performance Studies,
Davis Humanities Institute Pre-Doctoral Fellow,
University of California, Davis.
Bay Area/Colombian Praba Pilar is a performance artist, technologist, and cultural theorist exploring aspects of emerging technologies which generate new forms of economic, environmental, and sexual exploitation, and erasure. Deeply rooted in Latino communities, she has spent the last decade presenting site works performances, street theatre, writing and websites which provide a counternarrative to the overarching rhetoric about the beneficence of biotechnology, information technology, and nanotechnology.
Praba is currently presenting her latest techno-obra performatica: BOT I. Influenced by the work of Samuel Beckett titled NOT I, and by Isaac Asimov’s I ROBOT, she draws from these two texts to create a contemporary situated analysis of anxiety in the technosphere. From 2006–2010 she has been presenting the Church of Nano Bio Info Cogno, a satiric multimedia intervention into the messianic rapture surrounding the singularity and other effects of the technology revolution, at Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena, UC Irvine, the Radical Philosophy Association and multiple universities and performance spaces. Recent work has focused on the effects of information and communication technologies on women around the world.
She has recently exhibited work from a series titled Cyber.Labia, which is an extended “cyber-talk” on gender, race and technologies. This series has culminated in digital prints and an art book of interviews with cyberworkers and theorists, scripts, images and a companion DVD. Over 2004–06 she toured her solo performance, Computers Are A Girl’s Best Friend to Sweden, Montreal, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Albany. This performance counters the sexiness of the computer industry by disrobing the truth of the exportation of toxic electronic waste to Asia; net based gyno-slavery; net based trafficking, telesexuality; Real Dolls and other extraordinary aspects of the computer revolution.
Praba has performed at The LAB, Galeria de la Raza, the SF Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Studio XX and the Darling Foundry in Montreal, the Museum of World Culture in Sweden, and public streets and universities around the United States. She has participated in panel presentations organized by Teknica Radika, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, The SF Museum of Modern Art, Critical Resistance, the Living Word Festival, the Media Alliance and several universities and galleries locally and around the country. Her work has been featured in MIT’s “Race in Digital Space” Conference and in UC Santa Cruz’s Social Change Across Borders Conference.
Praba is currently in a doctoral program at UC Davis in Performance Studies, with designated emphases in Practice as Research and in Feminist Theory and Research, and is the recent recipient of the UC Davis President’s Pre-Doctoral Award (2007–2011), a Puffin Foundation Grant (2004), the Creative Capital Foundation Award (2002), Zellerbach Family Fund Award (2002), the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize of New Langton Arts (2001) and the Creative Work Fund Grant (2000). She recently completed a Master Residency with MacArthur Fellow Pepon Osorio (2000) at MACLA San Jose, and was featured in a book on inspirational women by Cathleen Rountree, On Women Turning Thirty: Making Choices, Finding Meaning (2000).
Watch Tactics and Critics Praba Pilar Feb 16, 06, A Cyborg Soap Opera, and The Church of Nano Bio Info Cogno. Read Praise the Lord & Pass the Critical Theory: An Interview with Praba Pilar of the Church of Nano Bio Info Cogno. Read her LinkedIn profile.