Shawné Michaelain Holloway is a new media artist and poet who creates critical software, video installations, and real-time performances to initiate conversations about power and control. Her work re-shapes the rhetorics of technology and sexuality by critically engaging the technical language of instruction, specifically from queer feminist BDSM communities, to direct viewers to read, play, or listen their way through narratives that guide them in and out of visceral memories. Her work leverages both tech and poetic mechanisms to navigate through and/or away from abuses of power. This choreography of viewership is constructed through a decidedly black, queer, feminist discipline, forefronting agency and consent within the experience.
I first came across shawné’s work while in grad school, and have been a fan boi ever since. I was fascinated with their ability to combine what might be seen as sexually explicit with the sublime, and how this coupling led to a new means of viewership and connection. I am most excited by the ways Shawne’s visual and pedagogical practices spotlights the ways mainstream methods of code based instruction reinforce the cis white maleness of online space, and how they subvert this reality in order to lure viewers into unfamiliar digital and thematic territories.