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Mashinka Firunts Hakopian
Mashinka Firunts Hakopian is a light-skinned SWANA/armenian woman with straight, jet black hair, and wears red lipstick, cat-eye framed black n white glasses, and long white earrings.

Portrait of Eyebeam Democracy Machine Fellow 2024, Mashinka Firunts Hakopian. Courtesy of the artist.

Date and place of birth
b. 1987, Yerevan, Armenia
Current location
Glendale, CA
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
2024, Democracy Machine Fellow

Mashinka Firunts Hakopian is an Armenian writer, artist, and researcher born in Yerevan and residing in Glendale, CA. She is an Associate Professor in Technology and Social Justice at ArtCenter College of Design. Her work pursues imaginaries of emerging technology grounded in ancestral, SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African), and embodied ways of knowing.

Hakopian’s artist book, The Institute for Other Intelligences, was released by X Artists’ Books in December 2022 as the first title in the press’s X Topics series. The book was edited by Ana Iwataki and Anuradha Vikram, with diagrams by Fernando Diaz. The book bridges critical media studies and speculative ficto-theory in an illustrated instructional manual for training feminist bots. This project has received coverage in Brooklyn Rail, LA Review of Books, Forbes, Freethink, and LA Weekly. Lecture-performances adapting the book have been presented at the Centre Pompidou, the New Museum with Rhizome, Ohio State University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, and 2220 Arts + Archives.

Hakopian was a 2021 visiting Mellon Professor in the Practice at Occidental College, where she co-curated the exhibition Encoding Futures: Critical Imaginaries of AI with Meldia Yesayan at Oxy Arts. The exhibition traveled to the Ford Foundation Gallery in September 2023 under the title, “What Models Make Worlds: Critical Imaginaries of AI.” The second iteration of the exhibition included newly commissioned work from Morehshin Allahyari, Andrew Demirjian and Dahlia Elsayed, Stephanie Dinkins, Lauren Lee McCarthy, and Astria Suparak. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania.

She is the guest editor of the spring 2023 special issue of Art Papers on artificial intelligence, co-edited with Sarah Higgins. Her current book project considers the role of ancestral intelligence and diasporic worldmaking in emerging technologies. She serves as a Contributing Editor for Art Papers, an Advisory Board Member for the International Armenian Literary Alliance and Azad Archives, and a Contributing Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books from 2020-22.

Her writing and commentary have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Performance Research Journal, the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Art Papers, Hyperallergic, Georgia Journal, Art in America, AI Now Institute’s “New AI Lexicon” series, and Meghan Markle’s Archetypes.

With Avi Alpert and Danny Snelson, she makes up one-third of Research Service, a media collective that pursues performative and practice-based forms of scholarship. Performances and projects have been presented at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), Drawing Center (NY), Judson Memorial Church (NY), and in the New Museum (NY) Voice Registers Series. 

Her individual and collaborative work has received coverage in Art in America, Hyperallergic, Asbarez, Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, and Armenian Public Radio. She has been a guest lecturer and presented invited talks for the University of Chicago, Pacific Northwest College of Art, USC, the UCLA Art|Sci Lab, SAIC, Cooper Union, MIT, RISD, and elsewhere.

In 2024, she will present the project “Bazhak Nayogh” (One Who Looks at the Cup) at the Music Center in Los Angeles in conjunction with its Digital Innovation Initiative.

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