Mark Dery

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Born 1959. American author, lecturer and cultural critic. He writes about "media, the visual landscape, fringe trends, and unpopular culture" and teaches media criticism and literary journalism in the Department of Journalism at New York University.

He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, Lingua Franca, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Spin, Wired,, Cabinet, and others. Much of his work has dealt with the area of cyberculture and other computer mediated communication.

An early writer on technoculture, Dery helped inaugurate cyberstudies as a field of serious inquiry with the anthology "Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture" (1994), which he edited. Flame Wars kick-started the academic interest in cyberfeminism and afrofuturism, a term Dery coined in his trailblazing essay "Black to the Future" (included in Flame Wars) and a key theoretical concept driving the now-established study of black technoculture.

Dery is also known for his 1993 essay "Culture Jamming: Hacking, Slashing, and Sniping in the Empire of the Signs", in which he popularized the term "culture jamming," a form of "tactical media", or guerrilla media activism, with roots in Situationism, '60s street theater, the agit-prop photomontages of John Heartfield, pirate media, punk 'zines, and the media hoaxes of Joey Skaggs. Widely republished in print and on the Web, "Culture Jamming" helped spark the media activism movement associated with Naomi Klein and Adbusters magazine (to whom Dery, as a columnist, introduced the concept). It remains the definitive theorization of this subcultural phenomenon.