Nettrice Gaskins


Digital artist, academic, cultural critic and advocate of STEAM fields whose work explores techno-vernacular creativity and Afrofuturism. Gaskins is a graduate of the Digital Media PhD program in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. Her artwork, which is situated at the intersection of traditional (analog) and new media, is featured on our symposium’s website.

Featured Work

Selections from Gaskins’ Deep Dream collection.

Artist Statement

As an artist, my work extends notions of the intermedial by breaking down boundaries between myriad art forms. My artwork sits at the juncture between traditional (analog) and new media, which includes the interplay between technology, images, performance and sound. I have used the Internet as a platform to exhibit my work, especially in online and virtual 3D environments where different ideas are expanded beyond what is possible in the physical world. Currently, my process includes the generation of images based on collaboration with artificial intelligence; taking my digital practice further into the speculative with visions of many possible scenarios.

I use Deep Dream Generator’s algorithm, which is inspired by the human brain. The generator uses the stylistic elements of one image to draw the content of another. The first picture defines the portrait I want to create and the second picture I upload gives the program a style to simulate. The process may include more than one pass in the generator, using different style images, until I get the image I want. The portrait of Outkast, for instance, is a composite of multiple Deep Dream images.

As a researcher, I see the future as the intermingling of cultures, narratives, theories, histories, realms and awareness; the paradoxical existence of art forms and innovations in material and virtual spaces; the immersive intelligence of the viewer/observer and sometimes collaborator in diverse creative spaces; and the constant shifting and pushing of boundaries. These combinations can become the art of inclusion and possibilities.

As an educator, my goal is to help students construct new knowledge through their engagement in constructing personally meaningful projects. My work addresses an ongoing problem, which shows that almost every STEAM discipline has lower participation by African American, Native American, and Latino students. I seek to identify methods, modes, techniques and strategies to embed culture into STEAM education.