Author Archives: xtine

About xtine

xtine is a media artist and educator. Her online works diffuse consumer-based web practices to create information exchange promoting interpretation and autonomy. Her web projects empower web users in the analog world. Recent web projects include, a website where users can post and find information about locally owned stores; and, a blog where workers on’s Mechanical Turk website were paid to upload videos of themselves performing Olympic events to YouTube. Voting on the amateur videos was concurrent with the Summer 2008 games, resulting in Gold, Silver, and Bronze bonus payments on The Mechanical Olympics was an Official Honoree of the 13th Annual Webby Awards (2009). xtine has shown or spoken about her work nationwide and internationally. She has participated in international festivals promoting digital art and culture including ISEA (Belfast), Futuresonic (UK), Electrofringe (AU), Sonar (SP) and Prog:ME (BR). A co-author of the digital design textbook, Digital Foundations (New Riders/AIGA), xtine is an Assistant Professor of Visual Communications at California State University, Fullerton. A complete portfolio of her work can be viewed at

Computational Literature Panel at CalTech, Review by Larry Wilson


Larry Wilson wrote this generous article about the Computational Literature panel with Nick Montfort and Eran Hadas at CalTech I was honored to join early last week. The student who asked why my process is so inefficient really made my day–one of the best questions I’ve ever had to field about art-making.

Mediations on a Digital Workforce in Leonardo

An artist statement I wrote about Mediations on Digital Labor at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana appeared in Leonardo on October 1, 2016.

Citation, full article, and the abstract on Leonardo:
burrough, xtine. “Mediations on a Digital Workforce.” Leonardo, vol. 49, no. 5, 2016, pp. 436-7.  The abstract is on Leonardo.

Lion’s Breath

Lion’s Breathe from xtine on Vimeo.

Lion’s Breath is a participatory, generative installation that amplifies the complicit role humans play in the sixth extinction. This immersive project reflects the role and impact of humankind on the loss of species in a global environment with reduced biodiversity. In the installation, we choreograph time to create an experience in which participants degrade an audio representation of the sixth extinction by contributing a single breath. The soundscape translates biodiversity to sonic variety—the taxonomy of animals is used to design musical structures that, with each breath, becomes sparser and more monotonous. It begins with a multilayered, wild orchestration of the lives of animals undergoing extinction. A part of the aural landscape is removed with each breath until the installation transforms to silence. Upon entrance, the projected image displays a blue sky with white clouds. Adding a breath to the installation animates a single-channel projected image to darken until the sky is black. In Lion’s Breath, breathing—essential for life, reduces the soundscape and fades the scene to black. Mass extinction requires no extraordinary activity on behalf of the individual. We present a poetic representation of human impact in a changing global landscape.

Rehearsal for a Revolution: A Song for Occupations

Rehearsal for a Revolution: A Song for Occupations from xtine on Vimeo.

This semester students in my Emerging Media Studio I grad class collaborated with students in Professor Starnaman’s Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts and Humanities: “Fantastic Bodies,” and Professor Hanlon’s Modern Dance II to create a multimedia performance of (Parts 1 and V of) Walt Whitman’s A Song for Occupations.

Presenting at NWSA today

This morning at 11am in room 518B Sabrina Starnaman and I are presenting the pilot project that we developed in the classroom before arriving at our ongoing project, The Laboring Self, at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference. In “The Korl Woman & the Crowd: The Laboring Body as a Site of Digital Resilience/Resistance” we relate the invisibility of immaterial laborers to the recovery of a text that was near-invisible for a century, Rebecca Harding Davis’ Life in the Iron Mills. 

If you would like to follow along, you can download our presentation.

A Vigil For Some Bodies in the IDEAS exhibit at iDMAa

A Vigil For Some Bodies, full view

This has been a work in progress for the last year. The fabrication of the vigil (made almost entirely of repurposed Amazon boxes) would not have been possible without Amanda Marder in the UT Dallas FabLab. This was my first time at the iDMAa conference, which I submitted to as an exhibiting artist because Christiane Paul was one of the jurors (and I trust her judgement). The exhibit is full of inspiring work.  You should check out the list of artists and their websites on the iDMAa Exhibition webpage.

A Vigil For Some Bodies

Here is the artist statement for this installation:

A Vigil For Some Bodies reimagines’s virtual job platform, Mechanical Turk (, as a site for recovering memories and investing in the human modality of the crowd worker. The shelf in this exhibition is fabricated from repurposed Amazon boxes. It holds artificial candles dedicated to the loved ones remembered by virtual workers. The sculpture, like Amazon boxes, is modular and can be constructed to fit various dimensions—in this format it is approximately 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide and 17 inches deep.

As a series of humanist, solidarity activities, I have been hiring digital laborers on Mechanical Turk since 2008 to realize their embodied selves in jobs where they are paid to perform athletic events (as in my previous project, Mechanical Olympics), meditate (in my participatory exhibit Mediations in Digital Labor), or chant “Om” for an ongoing video project, Endless Om. This project started as a Mechanical Turk job request in which I asked workers to light a candle in memory of a lost loved one. Fifty workers responded to my job by sharing details and memories with me by way of Amazon’s crowdsourcing platform. This interaction took place during the weekend of Halloween in 2015.

Shortly thereafter, Amazon advertised temporary job positions in their Fulfillment Centers during the November-December holiday season. I transformed my crowdsourced vigil into a series of modified battery-operated candles (purchased from labeled with the names of those lost and remembered and the worker IDs of the Turkers who shared their memories. Then I applied for a job in a Dallas-area Amazon Fulfillment Center (AFC). I photographed the candles throughout the hiring process inside and outside the two AFCs I visited. The candles presented in this exhibition of A Vigil For Some Bodies have traveled to an Amazon Fulfillment Center, to Hong Kong during ISEA, and now to Winona for iDMAa.

burrough and Starnaman Deliver (virtually) at Digital Frontiers

sabrina and xtine digital frontiers

This month Sabrina Starnaman and I delivered a presentation of our ongoing project (now called The Laboring Self, which was a 21st Century Korl Woman in its first iteration) to the Digital Frontiers conference audience from my classroom at UTD. This was the first time that I brought a class with me to a conference by presenting electronically from my home-podium. It was not difficult and my students enjoyed hearing a conference presentation from the seats they occupy each week.

While we couldn’t see our peers in the room at Rice University, we were delighted with their engagement in our Twitter feed. Thank you Frontiersfolk—hope to see you in person next year!

The Women of El Toro in the OC Register

dan and xtine for OC Register
Assistant professor of digital media Daniel Sutko and former CSUF associate professor of communications xtine burrough created a free App called ‘The Women of El Toro’. The App shares the stories of female veterans and military wives who lived and worked at the former El Toro Marine Corp Air Station (now Orange County Great Park).