Mother Cyborg

She // Her // Hers

[ID: Mother Cyborg, a young Latin woman with shoulder-length black hair, poses in front of a colorful street wall in cyborg-like white shades, a black sleeveless T-shirt, and neon colored printed arm bands.]

Multimedia Artist, Educator, and Organizer
Detroit, MI
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the USA Endowment Fund.

Diana J. Nucera, a.k.a. Mother Cyborg, is a multimedia artist who uses music, performance, DIY publishing, community-organizing tactics, and popular education methods to elevate collective technological consciousness and agency. At the age of eight, Nucera taught herself piano and cello. After leaving audiences in tears with her performances playing live music to abstracted videos of thunderstorms and sunrises, she realized the power of art, media, and technology to facilitate collective emotional experiences.

She approaches community organizing, popular education, and relationship building as precious forms of art and craft. Her alter ego, Mother Cyborg, weaves together science, technology, and art to create opportunities of mutual aid and curiosity between and among individuals, technology, and the natural world. She takes on and shares the science of mixing records, open data, community wireless networks, how the Internet works, and artificial intelligence. Pressure Systems, Mother Cyborg’s 2017 debut album, is an opus to self-transformation, telling the story of a cyborg coming to consciousness.

Her art draws from and includes eleven years of community organizing work in which she wrote guides and devised organizing models to fight digital redlining in Detroit by teaching residents of low-income neighborhoods how to build and run their own Internet service providers. Her seventeen zines, including The Teaching Community Technology Handbook and Opening Data, document community technology in practice. In 2019, Nucera was recognized with a Kresge Literary Arts fellowship, and in 2020, she received the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab Civic Media Fellowship.

Portrait photo by Trilogy Beats.
  • Artwork by Mother Cyborg
    Mother Cyborg, 2017. Photo by Ara Howrani.
    [ID: Mother Cyborg, a Latin woman with cyclops glasses and neon armbands on is surrounded by glowing streams of colorful light that she seems to be manipulating.]
  • Artwork by Mother Cyborg
    Beat Match Brunch documentation, 2017 – present. A community-building and music program for women to learn to DJ with vinyl records.
    [ID: Four young women watch an elder Black woman DJing with vinyl records. The DJ has headphones on and drops the needle onto a record.]
Artwork by Mother Cyborg Artwork by Mother Cyborg