Anthony Stagliano is a film and media artist and scholar of rhetoric, whose research is in the intersections of material theories of rhetoric, media theory, and theories of technology. Stagliano is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at New Mexico State University.
His films and media art pieces have been shown in festivals and galleries around the world. His feature narrative film, Fade, was released theatrically and on DVD by Cinema Epoch.
Current media projects include two features, and an extended sound/video composition. New Commons is an experimental narrative film using only appropriated surveillance, weather, traffic, mapping and other public observation imaging, all of which was culled from the internet. A short version of this work premiered as part of the Light Assembly exhibit at the 2012 Art Basel Miami.
Let No Man Regret Destroying Nature combines footage from the 1970s educational film of the same name with public surveillance and mapping images culled from the internet.
GlaciATING.response.CompleteSUITE is a 55-minute video that accompanies a drone music suite composed and recorded by Stagliano and Steven Tester in Frankfurt. The first chapter of G.r.CS is available on this site. Future chapters to come.
In all of these, Stagliano is pursuing an ‘ahuman’ experimental film practice, composing the films with the partnership and help of nonhuman performers (everyday objects) and co-conspirators (automated surveillance, traffic, and weather cameras; algorithmic imaging and mapping; bots). This practice explores two questions: first, what is the nature of the image (moving and still) now that so many of its producers are nonhuman entities, whose aim is observation? And, how are these images available for manipulation by us?
Stagliano’s academic work is done where the distinctions between theory and practice, creative and conceptual become blurred. His theory-practice is enacted through several overlapping forms, including his research-based creative work in film, video, and other media.
As director of NMSU’s Creative Research Center, he heads a site for digitally-created hybrid works that cut across the arts and humanities. The CRC’s mission is to foster transdisciplinary creative and aesthetic inquiry into the conditions of life in contemporary mediated culture.
His current research project includes a monograph and related artistic interventions. The monograph, currently in preparation, and titled Biotechnologies of Disobedience, examines the novel forms of civil disobedience that emerge in response to new, digital tools of surveillance and control—for instance, ubiquitous security cameras, data mining in social media spaces, biometric scanning—activities that disobey, by hacking, subverting, or otherwise thwarting efforts to use the interface of our bodies and networked technologies. Biotechnologies of Disobedience theorizes the character of this new public technique and the possibilities, limitations, and risks in its new modes of disobedience and democratic participation. In rethinking disobedience itself in terms of the interface between lived bodies and the rhetorical technologies of what Deleuze called the “control society,” the book studies three sites for biotechnologies of disobedience: 1. Biometric Control: We are in public (either virtual or physical space) with bodies and faces that are subject to biometric forms of tracking, data processing, analysis, surveillance, and control; 2. Genomic Surveillance: We have or leave behind, in public, traces of DNA which are themselves subject to complex forms of tracking, data processing, analysis, surveillance, and control; 3. Hierarchies of Biotechnical Knowledge: Any disruption to the conditions of 1 and 2 is contingent on different distributions of biotechnical knowledge and tools than are currently dominant. Thus, the hierarchies that cultivate technical mastery of the interface between our public bodies and networked technologies, themselves serve as biotechnologies of control, and as sites of disobedient creativity.