Homay King Named Visiting Senior Fellow at National Gallery of Art Center

August 11, 2021
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Professor of History of Art Homay King has been named an Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellow at the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts this fall.

While at the center, King will be working on her book Go West: A Mythology of Silicon Valley.

In the book, King traces a particular California sensibility and set of beliefs across older routes of geography and time and offers new ways to conceptualize the tech culture these beliefs have shaped. The objects of study are diverse: works of film, video, music, architecture, painting, and photography. Some of these works offer a fantasy vision of the region as a promised land of personal and political liberty. Others interrogate that utopianism or attempt to exorcise ghosts left in its wake. Although the book is grounded in scholarly approaches, memoir forms a part of it. King observed first-hand the region’s astonishingly rapid suburban development as a native of Sunnyvale, Calif., growing up in the 1970s and '80s across the street from the site now occupied by Apple Computer’s headquarters, which was at that time a cherry orchard. The project thus draws upon memories of regional architecture, music, and visual culture.

King is Professor and Eugenia Chase Guild Chair in the Department of History of Art at Bryn Mawr. She is a co-founder of Bryn Mawr’s film studies program. She is the author of two books: Virtual Memory: Time-based Art and the Dream of Digitality (Duke UP, 2015), which won the Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award of Distinction from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies; and Lost in Translation: Orientalism, Cinema, and the Enigmatic Signifier (Duke UP, 2010), which provided inspiration for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass. Her work on film, digital media, contemporary art, and theory has appeared in Afterall, Discourse, Film Criticism, Film Quarterly, October, and collections including the exhibition catalogs for China: Through the Looking Glass and Myths of the Marble (Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art). She was featured in a video essay for the Criterion Collection’s edition of Shanghai Express. She is a member of the Camera Obscura editorial collective.

History of Art

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