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Jacob Gaboury

 Assistant Professor
Ph.D. – New York University
gaboury | 631.632.7483 | 2058-A Humanities Building
    • Digital Media, History of Computing, Queer Studies, Media Theory.
    • Visual Culture, Art and Technology.

Jacob Gaboury received his Ph.D. in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University and his MA in Cinema Studies from New York University. His research interests include digital media, visual culture, queer theory, media archaeology, art and technology, media theory, and the history of computing. 

His research focuses on the history and critical theory of digital media, tracing the early origins of contemporary technologies to identify the cultural, technical, and aesthetic conditions that structure them. His current book project, titled “Image Objects,” offers a media archaeology of early computer graphics and visualization in the 1960s and 70s, with a focus on the critical but neglected history of the University of Utah’s computer graphics program. Following an object oriented approach grounded in original archival research, the project offers a critique of the supposed immateriality of simulated images through an investigation of the cultural and technical objects that structured visual computing at this early stage. Ultimately the project argues that it is through graphics that computing transforms from a tool for mathematical calculation into a complex interactive medium, and that this legacy continues to shape the ways we use and understand almost all contemporary visual media.

He has also begun work on a second project, which offers a queer theory of computing viewed through a set of foundational figures in the history of computation and mathematics. Tentatively titled “On Uncomputable Numbers,” the project draws on the long history of queer engagements with the anti-social, the negative, and the outside, identifying the queer externalities of technical systems in their break down and failure, and in theories of uncomputability first articulated by Alan Turing in the 1930s. The project is structured around a set of five queer figures in the early history of computer science, each of whom made foundational contributions to the discipline but whose sexuality has been largely neglected by historians of technology.
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