A.M. Darke is an artist and scholar designing radical tools for social intervention. Still in the class war. Now in the pandemic. He’s in the combination class war and pandemic. Darke is an Assistant Professor in Digital Arts and New Media, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and Performance, Play & Design at UC Santa Cruz, and directs The Other Lab, an interdisciplinary, intersectional feminist research space for experimental games, XR, and new media. She's completed residencies with Laboratory, NYU Game Center, the Open Data Institute, and the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon. Darke recently released ‘Ye or Nay?, a Kanye West-themed game about Black culture, fairlyintelligent.tech, a speculative algorithm critiquing “inclusivity” under technocapitalism, and is currently developing the Open Source Afro Hair Library, a 3D model database for Black hair textures and styles.

Darke holds a B.A. in Design and an M.F.A. in Media Arts, both from UCLA. His work has been shown internationally at venues such as IndieCade, Ars Electronica, Game Devs of Color, Vector Fest, Grey Area Festival, Albright-Knox, and Science Gallery Detroit, as well as featured in a variety of publications, including KillScreen, NYLON, Essence, VICE News, The New York Times, and NPR.

Who needs Black Virtuality???

I've been thinking about this thing I'm calling 'Black Virtuality' for the last few years. Loosely defined, it's the construction and consumption of Black bodies, Black cultures, and Black identities in virtual space. In games, film, and social media, Blackness is often extracted from Black people and fragmented into bite-sized, easily appropriated pieces. Through my work on the Open Source Afro Hair Library and other interventions, I seek to preserve a Black whole, distribute a Black intact, and grow the fluid virtual-corporeal community that I've always longed for.