Mashinka Firunts Hakopian is an Armenian writer, artist, and researcher born in Yerevan and residing in Glendale, CA. Her work is concentrated in media studies, feminist and queer studies, visual culture, contemporary art, and SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) diaspora studies. Her research attends to cultural practices that intervene in existing sociotechnical systems to produce alternative imaginaries of the future. She holds a PhD in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania.
She was a 2021 visiting Mellon Professor in the Practice at Occidental College, where she designed the course “Art, AI, and the Aesthetics of Algorithmic Justice” and co-curated the exhibition “Encoding Futures: Critical Imaginaries of AI” with Meldia Yesayan at Oxy Arts. She has held positions as an Associate Director of Research and a Senior Researcher at the Berggruen Institute, where she co-edited the dossier “Remote Intervention” for the Los Angeles Review of Books with Medaya Ocher. Prior to this, she held a two-year teaching appointment in UCLA’s Department of English, where she designed courses in media studies, critical race studies, performance studies, feminist and queer theory, and visual culture.
She serves as a Contributing Editor for Art Papers and ASAP/J, an Advisory Board Member for the International Armenian Literary Alliance, and has intermittently been a Contributing Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books since 2020. Her book, Algorithmic Bias Training: Lectures for Intelligent Machines, is forthcoming in 2022 from X Artists’ Books.
With Avi Alpert and Danny Snelson, she makes up one-third of Research Service, a media collective that pursues performative and practice-based forms of scholarship.
Her writing and reviews have appeared in Performance Research Journal, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Art Papers, Hyperallergic, Georgia Journal, and Art in America. Performances and projects have been presented at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), Drawing Center (NY), Judson Memorial Church (NY), and in the New Museum (NY) Voice Registers Series. Her individual and collaborative work has received coverage in Art in America, Hyperallergic, Asbarez, Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, and Armenian Public Radio. She has been a guest lecturer and presented invited talks for the University of Chicago, Pacific Northwest College of Art, USC, the UCLA Art|Sci Lab, SAIC, Cooper Union, and elsewhere.
Contact: mashinkafirunts at googlemail.