Harris David Harris

Artist Statement

Broadly speaking, my work engages diverse forms of creative intervention to open up spaces of possibility that resist the logics of neoliberalism and gay assimilation.  I am particularly focused on digital culture and the ways in which emerging technologies affect social interactions and political economies, on both local and global scales.  Beginning from a conceptual perspective, my work takes a number of different forms including video, installation, and performance; I also often repurpose many of the same technologies I seek to interrogate as a means of exploring their ideological inconsistencies.  Through my drag performance, I have further explored social contradiction through the form’s traditions of exaggeration, appropriation, and camp—strategies that inform my visual practice as well.

In my recent work, I have explored themes related to tech-driven nostalgia for AIDS era aesthetics (and its related hauntings), young women’s amateur performance of pop culture, planned obsolescence and the loss of personal archives, and connections between the gentrification of urban space and the privatization of the Internet.  While seemingly diverse in subject matter, all of this work seeks to examine tensions between personal uses of media and technology and their political or social implications.  In this way, I aim to situate myself within (and build a bridge between) diverse lineages of queer, feminist, and critical new media artists and theorists whose work has focused less on themes of representation and more on strategies of alternative world-making.


Harris David Harris is a media artist whose work examines the political economies and personal practices surrounding emerging technologies, particularly in the contexts of neoliberalism and gay assimilation.  Harris also draws on several years of performance as a drag queen—where as alter-ego Lil Miss Hot Mess, she has performed in venues ranging from gay bars to universities, SFMOMA to the streets of OccupySF—to extend that tradition's critical aesthetics of irony, camp, and failure to new forms and questions.  Harris holds an MFA in Digital Arts & New Media from UC Santa Cruz and a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Film & Media Studies from Swarthmore College.