Robert Atkins is a California-based art historian, activist, journalist,
online producer and editor. He is an Associate (Fellow) of the STUDIO for
Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, and, most recently, media-arts
editor for The Media Channel, editor/producer of Artery: The AIDS-Arts Forum,
and an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. His most recent book, Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression,
a multi-disciplinary anthology examining viewpoint suppression through systemic
causes and self-censorship, was published by The New Press in 2006.
And in 1995, he founded the City University of New York-sponsored
TalkBack! A Forum for Critical Discourse, among the first online journals about online
art and cyber-culture. An anthology of his writing, Seismic Shift: The Collision of
the Art World and the Real World In the Late Twentieth Century, is forthcoming as is a
current group project, Thanks for Sharing! A Resource Book About Collaboration In the
Arts & Beyond.
A former columnist for The Village Voice, he has written for more than 100 publications
throughout the world and received awards for art criticism from the NEA, Manufacturers
Hanover Bank, and in 2001, the first Penny McCall Foundation Award for independent curating
and critical writing. In addition to Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression,
he has written ArtSpoke: A Guide to Modern Ideas, Movements and Buzzwords 1848-1944, published
in 1993 by Abbeville Press as a companion to his bestselling ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas,
Movements and Buzzwords, which is now available in five languages in its updated, 1997 edition.
He is also the co-author of
From Media to Metaphor: Art About AIDS, the exhibition catalog and accompanying book for
the first travelling museum exhbition of its kind. He is a co-founder of Visual AIDS, the
creators of Day Without Art and the Red Ribbon, 911The September 11 Project: Cultural
Intervention in Civic Society, and a board member of the American branch of the International Art Critics' Association (AICA).
He has lectured at venues throughout the world about contemporary art, media, new technology,
social issues and queer culture.
His interests in art, technology and mass media resulted in exhibitions at far-flung venues
including Between Science and Fiction (which he organized for the Sao Paulo Bienal), About
TV (for JAM in New York), Peter D'Agostino: Twenty Years of Intervention and Interactivity
(for Lehman College Art Gallery in New York), and Fusion! Artists in a Research Setting
(for Carnegie Mellon University). He has long chronicled the cyber-art-world for such
publications as Art in America. (His ground-breaking December 1995 cover story, "The Art
World (& I) Go On Line"updated in January 1999 in a piece called "State of the (Online)
Art"was the first article of its kind.) He has also written extensively about online
art and convergence media for numerous publications and institutions including the Walker
Art Center, Japanese Esquire, The Village Voice and the New York Times.