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Robert Atkins

Robert Atkins is an art historian and writer who earned his BA at the University of California, Riverside, and MA at the University of California, Berkeley. A former columnist for the Village Voice, he has written for more than 100 publications throughout the world ranging from The New York Times to Wired (Japan) and is a regular contributor to Art in America and MODERN. He is the author of books including ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, which was recently published in a new 25th anniversary edition edition, its modern-art prequel ArtSpoke, which covers art from 1848-1944, and, most recently, Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression. He’s lectured widely about the intersections of art, politics, queer culture and technology and held teaching positions at the University of Michigan, Rhode Island School of Design and San Francisco State University, among. He has organized exhibitions at far flung venues from the Sao Paulo Bienal (Entre Cienca y Ficao) to New York’s New Museum (David Ireland). A Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon’s STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, he is a pioneering online developer whose productions include TalkBack: A Forum for Critical Discourse (1995), Artery: The AIDS-Arts Forum (1999), and, in 2011, ArtSpeak China.org, the first bilingual wiki devoted to contemporary Chinese art and culture. He is currently at work on a volume of his collected writings and a book for teenagers called So You Want To Be An Artist? A Primer for Prospective Picassos and Their Parents. An AIDS activist, in 1989 he helped found Visual AIDS, creators of Day With(out) Art and the Red Ribbon. He is a former board member of the American branch of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and the recipient of grants for writing from the Penny McCall Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He currently lives in Pacifica, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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