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Nora Khan Receives Inaugural $15,000 Visual Arts Foundation/Crossed Purposes Foundation Critical Writing Grant

The inaugural $15,000 Visual Arts Foundation/Crossed Purposes Foundation Critical Writing Grant has been awarded to Nora Khan, Rhizome’s acting editor. The grant is given through the MFA photography, video, and related media department of the School of Visual Arts in New York and is supported by an endowment from the Cross Purposes Foundation, an organization committed to visual arts education and cultural services.

Khan received the award for “Seeing, Naming, Knowing,” a proposal for a text that would interrogate machine learning and how photographic imagery is read. “I am thrilled to be this year’s recipient of the Crossed Purposes Grant,” said Khan. “Over the last eight years, I have tried to engage critically with diverse practices of contemporary artists working with and through software. They are especially important today, as they teach us to closely examine our ‘ways of seeing,’ our interpretation of digital images within a larger matrix of biased artificial seeing and computer vision. However, articulating how they address complex ethical problems posed by opaque technologies takes time, resources and research support. It is a field within media that is newly being explored, and the language and terms are still emergent. I hope to place these active artistic interventions within histories of image interpretation. I’m grateful to be given this space, and look forward to the provocations that come out of this year!”

Khan has an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a BA in English literature from Harvard University. She has written essays for a number of arts journals and magazines, such as Mousse, 4Columns, Flash Art, and Art in America. She is also, with Steven Warwick, the coauthor of the book Fear Indexing the X-Files, which was published through Primary Information last year.