Leah Gilliam Speaker Profile:
Leah Gilliam is an American filmmaker and media artist who deals with issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation in her art. Gilliam was the Director of Projects and Community Catalyst at gamelab’s Institute of Play and a visiting faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is currently Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Girls Who Code.
In her almost twenty years in the field, Gilliam has channeled her life-long fascination with systems and how things work into a diverse career at the intersection of learning and technology. Gilliam has consistently focused on issues of equity, opportunity, and participation—whether launching a game-design laboratory in an NYC public school, lecturing on art and technology as a tenured professor at Bard College, or helping to embed, scale, ands pread new tools and practices at Mozilla Foundation. She credits her socially engaged journalist mother and her avantgarde painter father with her early introduction to political thought and creativity.
Previously, Gilliam directed Hive NYC Learning Network, a key part of Mozilla’s global strategy to advance reading, writing, and participation on the web. Prior to that, she was the director of Informal Learning at New York’s Institute of Play, where she worked with city officials, educators, and designers to launch the game-based-learning public school Quest to Learn. Gilliam began her career in academia, working as an associate professor of electronic arts at Bard College and chairing its Arts Division. She holds a master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University, an MFA from University of Wisconsin, and a BA in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University.
Gilliam’s work often focuses on technology and obsolescence. This preoccupation surfaces in many of her works. Her contributions to the “BitStreams” digital show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2001 were ancient Mac computers displaying fragments of old Super-8 movie trailers. Her 1998 CD-ROM Split: Whiteness, Retrofuturism, Omega Man worked with an 8 mm film trailer for Planet of the Apes and was described as a work that “obsessively looks back at outmoded media technologies.”Another piece dealing heavily with the ideas of obsolescence, technology, and the reorientation of cultural texts, Gilliam’s work Agenda for a Landscape received a great deal of attention during its stay from July 12 through September 22, 2002 at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. In the year 2000 Gilliam was also a recipient of the Creative Capital Emerging Fields Award.
For availability and speaker fees, please contact Leah Gilliam’s speaking agent at Chartwell here, or call +1 972 385 1021 for U.S. inquiries or +44 207 293 0864 for international inquiries.
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