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.

On Brands and Branding in Chapman’s 2013 Design Symposium Branding Issue

x with chapman journal
Chapman University 2013 Design Symposium: The Branding Issue, Vol. 1, Issue 1

Chapman University published its first design journal to accompany their 2013 Design Symposium. Though I wasn’t able to attend the symposium, my article, On Brands and Branding was included in the journal—a beautiful, hard-cover issue that also includes contributions from Brittany Rosenblatt, selections from the 2013 Orange County Design Awards, Iridium Group, and Armin Vit.

keep calm and carry on in pixels
From footnote 21: Remaining quiet and immobile creates a mass audience that remains passive and more easily manipulated.

My article, “On Death Brands and Dying Branding” is a selective remix of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ 1969 book, On Death and Dying. The words “brand” and “branding” are substituted in salient quotes from Kübler-Ross’ text for the words “death” and “dying.” The Swiss-born psychiatrist developed her “5 Stages of Grief” hypothesis to help the medical industry understand the emotional processes undergone by patients suffering from terminal illnesses. By substituting “brand/branding” for Kübler-Ross’ primary target (death/dying), I suggest a culture in which brands and branding are the norm will enact a process of grieving akin to that of the terminally ill.

“On Death Brands and Dying Branding” appears on pages 39-47, but the bulk of the investigation is within the footnotes, pages 44-7.

Net Works Review in Visual Communication Quarterly

I visited my office mailbox for the first time since last December and was delighted to find a super review of Net Works by Karie Hollerbach in the Visual Communication Quarterly April-June volume. It would be a copyright infringement for me to post the review in its entirety here, but my favorite snippet is this:

“The result is a lively and successful interplay that clearly relates theoretical constructs to the actual practice-based act of creating new media projects.”

Visual Communication on the Web

Paul and I are happy to see Visual Communication on the Web, our new book collaboration, in print. Here’s the short and sweet blurb, followed by the text on the Routledge website:


Visual Communication on the Web Cover
Visual Communication on the Web is available as a soft cover and e-book.


We made this book for students in xtine’s web art and design classes. Lester’s introductions weave quirky introductions to theory, principles, and histories that relate to exercises in Dreamweaver/code developed by Burrough. Throughout the book, the reader develops one web page. It takes a semester (or quarter/class) to learn the ins and outs of web development and Burrough sets up the students for possible errors and mistakes throughout the text. This book allows the “web design” teacher to teach the art and craft of code to a wide range of students with little prior knowledge.

If you teach web art/design or review books such as this, please order a free exam copy.


  • Each printed book comes with a one-year free subscription to the e-book 
  • YouTube videos for every chapter introduction and featured exercises
  • A “classroom in a book” for artists and designers who want to learn how to create a visually organized composition for the web  and how to develop code


Most web design books developed for the trade market are a series of exercises without a theoretical, aesthetic, or historic framework. In this book, Visual Communication on the Web,web design exercises are accompanied by concise introductions that relate history, design principles, and visual communication theories to the practice of designing for the web.

Specifically, Visual Communication on the Web teaches the reader to develop one dynamic web page over the course of 14 chapters. Exercises build upon each other so the reader creates and revises the work while learning new code or tools. Predictable mistakes are purposely included so that readers learn how to ‘fix’ the project while working on it—a much-needed skill for anyone interested in coding. By the end of this course-in-a-book, readers will have created a web page with a centered container div, a Lightbox image gallery, and an external style sheet using HTML, CSS, and copy-pasted and modified code.

The Interactive eTextbook provides concise videos of burrough detailing some of the more complex step-by-step instructions and original chapter introductions by Lester. Users of the eTextbook may also engage in a traditional assessment exercise to test their knowledge of new material. For those who aren’t reading electronically, many of these resources are freely available on the blog,

With its easy to follow instruction and witty introductions, Visual Communication on the Webmakes an excellent companion to xtine burrough’s Digital Foundations and Net Works as well as Paul Martin Lester’s Visual Communication: Images with Messages.

Includes a free one-year subscription to the Interactive e-Text version.

Let’s Go Crazy: Lenz v. Universal in the New Media Classroom

My article, co-authored with Dr. Emily Erickson, has recently been published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. I have been working with students on remixes and parodies of Stephanie Lenz’s original Let’s Go Crazy #1 video on YouTube since 2008. Our class created a website for the project, and other classes (on-campus and at other universities) have joined in the fun. This was a long process, but I am really excited to have this article in-hand (or online). Thank you to Dr. Erickson, who did a stellar job in sorting out the law, and to so many students for creating these goofy videos.

Article Abstract:

This article examines the Lenz v. Universal case, demonstrating how it can serve as a unique vehicle to teach students about fair use and the creative transformation of copyrighted content. The authors—a visual communications professor and a media law professor—discuss the ways the Lenz case highlights a gap between First Amendment rights found within fair use doctrine and current practices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They argue that what Lawrence Lessig calls today’s “remix culture” makes it imperative to provide students with a strong grounding in both copyright and fair use, as well as a savvy understanding of how copyright owners are approaching unauthorized uses of online content.


Book Launch and Panel: Net Works at Eyebeam

Net Works book cover

On Thursday October 13 at 6pm Eyebeam Center for Art+Technology presents the launch of Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design edited by xtine burrough. xtine will be speaking alongside contributing artists Ethan Ham, Michael Mandiberg, and Robert Nideffer. Eyebeam is located at 540 W 21st St. New York, NY 10011 (map). This is an open/free event with refreshments provided by Routledge. View this event on Facebook.

Net Works book launch at Machine

Net Works book cover

On Tuesday July 26 at 7pm Dorkbot presents the launch of Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design edited by xtine burrough. xtine will be speaking alongside researcher, artist and writer Jonah Brucker-Cohen as well as the Canadian digital artist Jeremy Rotsztain. Machine Project is located in Echo Park. This is an open/free event.