Praba Pilar bio

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.  She has spent the last two decades presenting performances, street theatre, installations, interactive projects, two dimensional works, writing and websites to provide a counternarrative to the overarching rhetoric about the beneficence of biotechnology, information technology, and nanotechnology. 

In January of 2013, Ms. Pilar relocated to Winnipeg, Canada to begin a post-doctoral fellowship in Digital Humanities and New Media with the Hub for Innovative Exchange (HIVE) of the Institute for Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. She will hold this position for two years.

Ms. Pilar 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, Pilar draws from these two texts to create a contemporary situated analysis of anxiety in the technosphere. Since 2006 Ms. Pilar has been presenting the Church of Nano Bio Info Cogno, a satiric multi media intervention into the messianic rapture surrounding the singularity and other effects of the technology revolution, at Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena, at CUNY Graduate Center in New York, UC Irvine, the Radical Philosophy Association and multiple universities and performance spaces. 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 2004-09 Ms. Pilar 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.

Ms. Pilar has performed and presented multi media works at multiple performalogic spaces, including museums, galleries, universities, and public streets around the world. 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.

Ms. Pilar has a PhD in Performance Studies, with designated emphases in Studies in Performance Practice as Research and in Feminist Theory and Research from the University of California, Davis. She is 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).