Laila Shereen Sakr (a.k.a. VJ Um Amel) is Assistant Professor of Media Theory & Practice at University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCSB, she has co-founded Wireframe, a new digital media studio that supports critical game design, data visualization, VR/augmented realities, digital arts and activism. Her current book project theorizes the “glitch” at the intersection of digital protocols (rules that seek standardization and stabilization) and exploits (interventions that seek to upstage/subvert protocols for their own agendas, most often associated with the realms of hacktivism and piracy). Shereen Sakr has shown in solo and group exhibitions and performances at galleries and museums including the San Francisco MoMA, National Gallery of Art in Jordan, Camera Austria, Cultura Digital in Brazil, DC Fridge Art Gallery, 100 Copies in Egypt, among other venues. Her journal articles appear in Middle East Critique, Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier, Networking Knowledge: Journal of the Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies, Parson’s Journal for Information Mapping, Thoughtmesh: Critical Code Journal, and Feminist Debates in Digital Humanities (forthcoming).
Over the last two decades, she has been a leading voice in the open source movement, in particular for Arabic localization. She is Co-Editor for the open access journal: Media Theory, and also for After Video published by Open Humanities Press. In addition, she is Research Collaborator in the Global Media Technologies & Cultures Lab at MIT. Professor Shereen Sakr holds an M.F.A. in Digital Arts and New Media from University of California, Santa Cruz, an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a PhD in Media Arts + Practice from the University of Southern California. Reviews of her work appear in The Wall Street Journal, Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Voice of America, The Monocle, Art Territories, Digital Media and Learning, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Jadaliyya, and The Creators Project.