WdKA is delighted to welcome Danae Tapia, who joins our team of tutors in the academic year 2020-2021.
Danae Tapia is a working-class feminist writer, multimedia artist and technologist. She is the founder of The Digital Witchcraft Institute, an arts organisation dedicated to collecting and showcasing advanced non-conforming approaches to the use of technology. Her practice reflects on posthuman technology, deep migrations and climate justice. She is frequently speaking in public about these topics and has presented her work all over the world: Kyoto, Havana, San Francisco, Tunisia, London, Honolulu, Shanghai, and many more. She has also published in magazines, academic journals and outlets of creative non-fiction.
What is your branch of knowledge and subject?
At the WdKA I teach Hacking in Autonomous Practices.
What is your source of inspiration?
I am inspired by the power of intuition. I am very convinced about Andrei Tarkovsky’s and Wassily Kandinsky’s vision that transcendental art can only be reached through intuition. So I try to pay special attention to the things that have activated this radar of artistic consciousness: when my plants grow new leaves, the time I saw Mount Fuji, the song Freedom by George Michael. Romance and football always inspire me too.
What defines you as a tutor? Your strongest points?
I am this combination of a very sensitive person who thinks everything is a poem and this strong woman who works with concrete aspects of systems theory and computer science. Jorge Luis Borges once said that he’s very mathematic in his literary production because he was a very sentient man so he wrote with this coldness in his style because of modesty and a sense of shame. Sorry for comparing myself to one of the best writers in human history but I think that’s an approach that I have adopted in most of my practice. That is why I have done this nomad work and research on hacking and shamanism, artificial intelligence and masochism, oracular bots, etc. My strategy is being very clear and professional in the methodologies I used to reach these unconventional associations, I guess that’s a feminist strategy too because as a woman you have to triple-check that your work does not have structural weaknesses. In the end, my goal is to be a good translator of my work and I always like to create atmospheres of fun, equity and joy.
What is your dream/goal as a tutor?
To prepare for this position, I read Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks and I was very inspired by this quote: “The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility.” I was very moved by this idea and by the dimension of a collective effort that it entails. Now I want to be part of the communal building of a classroom that is full of excitement and transcendental contemplation. I do not take my role as a tutor lightly because I have experienced myself the real-life impact of excellent and awful educators. I hope that through my teaching, the students can attain that sense of possibility that bell hooks describes.
Name one item from your bucket list?
Have an excellent command of Dutch and read Nescio’s short stories in their original language.
Whom would you call true innovator?
I cannot decide on a single one so have this (still not comprehensive) list of my favourite people who have changed the course of history: Gabriela Mistral, Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter, Andrei Tarkovsky, Jorge González, Raúl Ruiz, Jarvis Cocker, Charli XCX, Sappho, Donna Haraway, Silvia Federici, James Baldwin, Yukio Mishima.
The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility.