IMDA Graduates

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Mina Cheon

Korean-American artist Mina Cheon (PhD, MFA) is a media artist, writer, and educator who divides her time between United States and South Korea. She resides in Baltimore, New York, and Seoul and is an Interdisciplinary Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), teaching in the departments of Foundation, Interactive Media, Art History, Theory, & Criticism, and Language Literature & Culture.

Cheon earned her PhD degree in philosophy of media and communications at the European Graduate School (EGS) of European University for Interdisciplinary Studies (EUFIS), Saas-Fee, Wallis, Switzerland. Her dissertation The Shaman in Cyberspace: Dilemmas of Reproduction (2008) has been newly adapted into a book SHAMANISM + CYBERSPACE (2009), published by Atropos Press, NY and Dresden. Prior to EGS, Cheon was a Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities (MITH) Doctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland, College Park between 2003-4, where she first started her Ph.D. work in the Theatre History and Performance Studies department. Cheon also has two MFAs; one from the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art and another from the Imaging Digital Arts (IMDA) program of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County: An Honors University of Arts, Science, and Technology.

Press Release:

New media theorists, performance artists, media culture commentators, and politicians have celebrated life online - the virtual unknown - as shamanic, Eastern, mysterious, transformative, and exotic. SHAMANISM + CYBERSPACE shows that this rhetoric is actually a familiar version of the other, and that imperialism is at its core. This book combines postcolonial, deconstructionist, and performance theory to reread new media theory and shamanism itself, specifically in South Korea. It unravels and reweaves discourses on originary reproduction, confronting the proliferating violence in media and nationalism. Perhaps most radically, it proposes a new theory of "media mourning" to help us see and hear shamanism colliding with contemporary media art worlds, collapsing time and space, upending gender and racial categories, and confounding the boundaries between East and West. Most importantly, the book introduces a new opening toward instigating the impossibility of the other in philosophy while critiquing how shamanism is used to image the other in cyberspace culture.