Marco Deseriis a.k.a. Snafu holds a PhD in media studies and teaches in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.
I was born and raised in the eternal city of Rome, where he earned a BA/MA in Literature and Philosophy (Magna cum Laude) from the University “La Sapienza” in 1996.
After finishing school I became a free lance contributor to various national Italian dailies and magazines including L’Unità, D – La Repubblica delle Donne, Repubblica.it, and Rai.it specializing in the artistic, social, and political uses of the internet. (A selection of these articles is available in the Articles page of this blog.)
My involvement with the emerging net.art and net.culture scene of the late 1990s led me to co-found the Italian node of The Thing (now archived) and co-author, along with Giuseppe Marano, Net.Art: L’arte della Connessione (Shake, 2003), the first Italian book on net.art, which explores the link between the heritage of the avant-gardes and technological innovation. (A new edition of the book came out in 2008.)
From 2000 through 2002 I have also been involved with the organization of the net art festival Digital-Is-Not-Analog and, since 2004, I have been advising the Barcelona-based festival of “culture jamming and radical entertainment” The Influencers. Between 2002 and 2004 I have also collaborated with 0100101110101101.org and The Yes Men on projects such as Nikeground (2003) and Yes Bush Can! (2004). In the same period I lectured in various conferences and media art festivals including TILT (Sydney, 2001), Transmediale (Berlin, 2002), Read Me! (Moscow, 2002), World Information (Novi Sad-Belgrade, 2003), the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and Free Bitflows (Vienna, 2004).
Before moving to New York City in 2005, I co-authored, along with Domenico Quaranta and Luca Lampo, the art catalogue Connessioni Leggendarie: Net Art, 1995-2005 for the homonymous exhibition at the Mediateca Santa Teresa in Milano, and translated into Italian John Pilger’s Hidden Agendas (Fandango, 2003), Geert Lovink’s My First Recession (Apogeo, 2003), McKenzie Wark’s A Hacker Manifesto (Feltrinelli, 2005), and Kevin Mitnick’s The Art of Intrusion (Feltrinelli, 2006).
In 2006 I sat on the Selection Committee of the Netarts.org Grand Prize, assigned to the most innovative net art projects by the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts of Tokyo.
In 2008-2010 the NYU Council for Media & Culture awarded me two grants to program the conference Radars & Fences investigating the possible collisions between the Foucauldian notion of disciplinary society and the Deleuzian “control societies” across different fields such as the border, the media, the biotech industry, and the military. In the same period I also joined Not An Alternative, a Brooklyn-based collective whose mission is to integrate art, activism and theory in order to affect popular understandings of events, symbols and history.
Entitled Improper Names: The Minor Politics of Collective Pseudonyms and Multiple-Use Names, my dissertation links folk heroes of the Industrial Revolution such as the mythical general of the Luddites, Ned Ludd, to pseudonyms shared by Hollywood film directors (Alan Smithee), North American and European mail artists (Monty Cantsin), Italian cultural activists (Luther Blissett), and alter-globalization activists (®TMark, Serpica Naro and Yo Mango!).