An Xiao Studio
the virtual studio of an xiao mina



My creative practice heavily encompasses research and writing. In my writing, I explore the perspectives and lives of others on this journey, and I try to bring a theoretical underpinning to my work and the observations I've made over the years. I find that writing helps bring a good deal of rigor to my thought process and helps me communicate the jumbled-up thoughts bouncing around in my head.

I have contributed extensive independent work to publications such as The Atlantic, Wired, Design Observer, Esquire Philippines, Tank Shanghai and The Guardian. I blog regularly for Core77 (design), Hyperallergic (art), 88 Bar (Chinese tech issues) and Creators Project (film). I served as an English-language editor for Ai Weiwei: Interlacing, a book about the artist's photography and use of social media. I'm currently working on a long essay about internet memes for the Journal of Visual Culture, and I probably have other writing projects in the works if I can remember them.

Highlights

These are my most popular essays to date, and they cover a wide variety of my interests, from social impact to social media art to online translation problems. More highlights to come!

A Tale of Two Memes: The Powerful Connection Between Trayvon Martin and Chen Guangcheng, The Atlantic, July 12, 2012.
Hashtag memes: Breaking the single story through humour, Al Jazeera, March 27, 2013.
Art Village: A Year in Caochangdi, Places Journal in Design Observer, May 7, 2012.
Real-Name Registration Threatens the Lively World of China's Microblogs, Wired Op-Ed (with Tricia Wang), March 15, 2012.
90 Years of Chinese Communism: A Multimedia Celebration, Design Observer, August 23, 2011.
Building a Global Coworking Network, Tank Magazine, March 28, 2011.
Twitter as an Artistic Medium, Current (New York Foundation for the Arts), March 25, 2009.
Social Media Street Art: Censorship, China's Political Memes and the Cute Cat Theory, Personal Blog, December 28, 2011.

Citations

Internet theorist Ethan Zuckerman recently cited me in an essay on his Cute Cat Theory, and it was such an honor and so cool. He's the only citation I have so far, but hopefully there will be more. In the mean time, you can read his fantastic theory, which has informed my own writing and explorations.

Cute Cats to the Rescue? Participatory Media and Political Expression, by Ethan Zuckerman. This  essay is a chapter in the forthcoming  Youth,  New  Media and Political  Participation, edited by  Danielle  Allen  and  Jennifer  Light (under  review,  MIT Press).  

And here are my other essays arranged by topic. It's not a comprehensive list but it's certainly representative of my interests. I follow where my curiosity takes me, but I do focus on the intersection of creativity, communications technology and social impact.

Design Observation
90 Years of Chinese Communism: A Multimedia Celebration, Design Observer
The Texting Culture of the Philippines, Design Observer
Extending the Network: Increasing Wi-Fi Access with Humans and Robots, Core77
Discovering Chinese Design: An Interview with Zara Arshad of Design China, Core77
QR Codes on Business Cards, Core77

Social Media Art
Twitter as an Artistic Medium, Current (New York Foundation for the Arts)
Surveying Social Media Art, a three-part series in the Brooklyn-based Hyperallergic
Art Under the Influence of Others in PBS-affiliate Art21 Blog
The Cosplay Ethic, also in Art21 Blog

Civic Memes
Hashtag memes: Breaking the single story through humour, Al Jazeera, March 27, 2013.
A Tale of Two Memes: The Powerful Connection Between Trayvon Martin and Chen Guangcheng
, The Atlantic, July 12, 2012.
The Chickens and Goats of Uganda's Internet, Ethnography Matters, March 25, 2013.
Social Media Street Art Responds to Chinese Train Disaster, Hyperallergic
Learn from Lei Feng - The Meme, 88 Bar
Locusts and Pandas and Bears… 哦麦 (o mai)!, 88 Bar
A Curated History of the Grass Mud Horse Song, 88 Bar
Getting Naked for Ai Weiwei [NSFW], Hyperallergic
"We Need to Ai Weiwei": The Ai Weiwei Question on Chinese Social Media, Hyperallergic
The Art of Political Memes, Hyperallergic
Social Media Street Art Responds to Chinese Train Disaster, Hyperallergic

Chinese Internet
Real-Name Registration Threatens the Lively World of China's Microblogs, Wired Op-Ed
The 21st Century Saloon: A Peek Inside China's Wangba, or Internet Cafes
, Huffington Post
Time for the Western Art World to Join Chinese Social Media?, Hyperallergic
Is Twitter Catching Up To Weibo?: Multimedia and Emoji in Western Social Media, 88 Bar

Social Impact
JeepneED: Science Ed Off the Beaten Path, Design Altruism Project
Chinese Art Activist Returns to Ruins of Bulldozed Arts District, Hyperallergic
An Xiao Mina – Gwangju Design Biennale, A Good Week

Translation Interfaces
Translating Interfaces vs. Translating People: Closing the Online Language Gap, Meedan
Translating Ai Weiwei: Bringing Chinese Social Media Art to the English Twittersphere, Art21 (PBS)

China and Africa
CCTV Africa: Chinese Media Into the African Continent, 88 Bar

Coworking and Collaboratives
Building a Global Coworking Network, Tank Magazine, March 28, 2012.
Surveying Arts Residencies Today (Three Part Series), Hyperallergic, April 3, 2012.

Art and Technology
Live Tweeting the Arts, Hyperallergic
Jenny Holzer's Cat, Ugly Renaissance Babies and Other Art World Meme Trends, Hyperallergic
3 iPad Apps Recreate the Museum Experience...Almost, Hyperallergic
Off the Beaten Path with the Mysterious @MuseumNerd, Hyperallergic

Reviews: Art
Historic Protest from 1960s and 1970s California, Hyperallergic
Where Psychogeography Meets Mobile Phones, Hyperallergic
Surrealist Visions and California Chic, Hyperallergic
Four Artists in Asia I'm Watching in 2012, Hyperallergic
A Zen Buddhist and a Catholic Walk Into a Composition, Hyperallergic
An Artist Grapples With the Worst Documented Attack on Journalists, Hyperallergic
Trick or Treat in the Manila Slums, Hyperallergic
Postcards Home: Chen Ke and ChART Contemporary at Beijing Design Week, Hyperallergic
Restless and Peaceful with Li Wei, Hyperallergic
The State of Cosplay in China, Hyperallergic
A Taste of Beijing's Large New Media Art Triennial, Hyperallergic
Critiquing America from China, Hyperallergic
Fake Real: The Journey West Travel Office, Hyperallergic
Marc Horowitz Crowdsources Life/Art From Strangers, Hyperallergic

Reviews: Books
NYFA Releases a New Guide to Making Your Art Profitable
, Hyperallergic

Reviews: Design
The Ultra 10 Challenge, Design Observer
Sustaining a Pro Bono Design Practice: A Chat with A Very Nice Design Studio, Huffington Post
Where Art, Design & Tech Naturally Mingle, Xindanwei in Shanghai, Hyperallergic

Reviews: Interactive
Brainscape Taps Into the Greatest App of All: Your Brain, Huffington Post
Vimeo's New iPad App Offers Viewing, Editing and Uploading in One, Core77

Travel
United by turkey – and Twitter, Guardian
Art World Road Trip: Kansas City, Hyperallergic
World's Longest Graffiti Street in China?, Hyperallergic
Tweet Tweet and Choo Choo: An Artist's Guide to Crossing the Country by Rail, Hyperallergic
Ting Bu Dong: Free iPhone Apps Getting Me Through China, Huffington Post
Hiking the Great Wall and the Chinese Landscape: A Trip With the Beijing Hikers, Huffington Post
Chunyun Beijing: What The World's Largest Annual Human Migration Looks Like, Huffington Post