NEoN Digital Arts Archive
ROUND THE VIRTUAL TABLE
When: Day 1, 3rd May - invited guests, Day 2, 6th May 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm - open debate
Under the theme ‘Wired Women’, NEoN has addressed the digital gender divide and highlight the contribution of female and nonbinary artists in shaping the digital and technology-driven arts sector. This two-day event brought together artists and thinkers who work with technology while asking important questions about the hetero-patriarchy and cultural imperialism of the digital realm and the web.
Over two days, invited artists, curators, and arts professionals working within digital and technology-driven arts debated the future of the digital realm and the web. They discussed digital transformations. Putting a feminist view at its heart provided new avenues for empowerment, contributing to greater gender equality, giving all complete access to opportunities, greater access to knowledge, and creating platforms for creativity.
Joining us to start the debate were:
Lee Weinberg (England)
Ailie Rutherford (Scotland)
Sabrina Logan (Scotland)
Padmini Ray Murray (India)
Libby Odai (Scotland)
Skye Quadling and Karin Tan (South Africa)
Roxana Vilk (England)
Elinor Carmi (England)
Tsila Hassine (Israel)
Ofri Cnaani (England)
"How do we move beyond the patriarchal imperialist prism of the web 2.0 to build a new and better world online?” “What will a feminist internet look like?"
In the past decade, much has been discussed around the idea of a feminist internet. The Feminist Internet Manifesto 1.0 created by https://feministinternet.com/ in 2017 questions our bodies’ relentless commodification for capitalist profit motives. And The Feminist Principles of the Internet offer a gender and sexual rights lens on internet rights, drafted at first Imagine a Feminist Internet meeting in Malaysia in April 2014. Bot Populi has continued this work on digital justice with their Feminist Digital Futures series, asking what a new kind of feminist decolonial social media might look like.
So, where are we now?
In the last year, we have seen surveillance capitalism accelerate at an alarming rate through the pandemic, with corporations like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook accruing unprecedented levels of power and an ability to control people like never before. Alongside this, more & more people are becoming aware of the problems of data harvesting, understanding that this is mass surveillance and mass control by unelected and powerful institutions owned and controlled by white western men. We’re seeing more people choosing to leave Facebook-owned platforms to stop using apps that employ facial recognition tech to harvest our data for profit and control. Meanwhile, more and more open-source, non-profit alternatives are emerging.
How do we now build alternative ways of disrupting, occupying and connecting online? If the master’s tools will never dismantle the masters' house then let’s refuse to pick up the tools that are being used to oppress us and build the tools we need to move beyond the patriarchal imperialism of web 2.0 and create the feminist internet we’ve been imagining.
“As our every experience is commodified online and our inter-relationships are increasingly trackable, traceable, and data-mineable, the project looks at how we can take more care in our digital lives. If web 2.0 is a fucked up racist, transphobic, misogynist shit-show of extraction and exploitation, then let’s imagine the feminist tools of the new web. In these digital commons, we can pool our collective resources to build the systems we need to support each other. Space where we are not mind-controlled by state-corporate collaborations but able to collaborate with our peers in a way that can never be owned or co-opted or sold back to us.” Ailie Rutherford
About the Artists & Curators
Dr Lee Weinberg, Senior Lecturer and Tutor at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London (Culture & Enterprise), and at the Royal College of Art (School of Communication). She also works as a senior lecturer and digital strategy consultant at Shenkar College of Engineering Design and Art (Ramat Gan, Israel). Lee is the Editor in Chief of Visual Resources Journal (Taylor and Francis).
She completed her BAFA at Central Saint Martins and her BA Hons in French Literature from the University of Haifa. Worked as a curator of the Haifa Museum of Contemporary Art (Israel) between 2004 and 2009, and completed her MPhil and PhD at Goldsmiths, the University of London in 2015. Her thesis Curating Immateriality: In Search for Spaces of the Curatorial, proposed new theories for curatorial practice that could embrace the vast changes that the profession is seeing with the advent of digital technology.
An active researcher and curator, Lee interested in the intersections between culture, curation and technology. Her research looks at alternative historical narratives through which to re-examine cultural paradigms, deriving from colonialism, imperialism and systemic patriarchy, that define disciplinary divisions between art, design and technology; interested in the intersections of curating and the construction of cultural identity, as these are manifested within contemporary, digital spaces.
Ailie Rutherford is an artist-activist and freelance curator working at the intersection of community activism and creative practice. Her collaborative artworks bring people together in conversations about our social and economic landscape. She is currently working on String Figures (with Bettina Nissen and Bob Moyler), new collaborative software for collective working centred on the principle of mutual care and cooperation. Adapted from a print-block mapping toolkit designed by Ailie for her feminist economic work, The People's Bank of Govanhill String Figures allows local and trans-local collectives to collaborate in a non-profit online space, building de-centralised support networks through encrypted visual diagrams. https://ailierutherford.com
Sabrina Logan is an experienced community development officer, with a deep interest in expanding the accessibility to the arts. She has been involved in the charity sector in Dundee for over a decade, continually building networks and community outreach. After graduating with a degree in Computer Arts, she continued to be involved with the Bengali Arts community, working for the Dudhope Multicultural Centre, and with Amina MWRC. Sabrina co-authored and ran the Trainee Tour Guide Programme, in partnership with V&A Dundee; a project instigated for their official opening. V&A Dundee and Amina partnered to recruit and train Muslim, Black & Minority Ethnic community members to become Tour Guides for the V&A Dundee. Sabrina now leads on NEoNs outreach programme, focusing on community networks and women’s digital lives.
Padmini Ray Murray is the founder of Design Beku, a feminist collective that endeavours to place ethics of care at the heart of digital and design practice. As a creative practitioner, Padmini creates new media work which reflects her research and interests, such as ”Darshan Diversion”, a feminist video game about the Sabarimala temple controversy (2016) and a speculative comic on the personal data protection bill, ”Designing for Democracy” (with Paulanthony George). She is currently working on Reclaiming Our Times (RiOT) - a call to action and a manifesto to inspire people to rescue their archives from corporate platforms.
Libby Odai is a creative technologist based in Glasgow that has a background in developing and producing sculpture and performance with digital elements. Her programming work focuses on bridging the gap between digital concepts and the physical world, making technology more accessible. By blending traditional arts such as dance and crochet with high tech components, she hopes to bring tech to new diverse audiences, bridging the STEM gap and exploring the creative applications of new technology. Fundamental to her work is breaking down technology barriers, and educational activism around issues of digital discrimination is a core component. http://www.libbyodai.co.uk
Skye Quadling and Karin Tan are a two for one special! They are an artist duo based in Johannesburg, South Africa. They were born in 1992 and both graduated from the Wits School of Art with a BAFA. In their practice, they confuse jokes and fact to formulate and stage urban myths.
Their projects have taken the form of performative installations, websites, zines and public programs that include drives, screenings, or workshops. Digi Cleanse is a satirical example of a typical e-commerce wellness website and is a parody publication Skye + Karin found themselves being tired of feeling too busy and too tired, symptoms of digital overload. And thus, DigiCleanse was born. https://digicleanse.co.za/
Roxana Vilk is a multi-disciplinary British/Iranian artist and performer working across genres, in music, film, and live performance. Her creative practice often explores the themes of human rights, cultural identity, heritage, inclusion and migration. She has been commissioned to create work for MTV World, Amnesty International, BBC, Al Jazeera English, British Council, Commonwealth Games, Literature across Frontiers and We the Curious. She is currently an Expanded Performance Fellow at Bristol and Bath Creative R + D, exploring ways in which new tech can support expanding performances in music and theatre. Circle/دایره is a collaborative project between Roxana Vilk/Vilk Collective and Squidsoup exploring themes of inclusion, immersive experiences and shared spaces. This prototype will expand the distinct AudioWAVE technology, a system of networked light and sound devices into a unique spatialised tool for live performance. Focusing on distributed rhythmic composition, live voice spatialisation and the development of a new intuitive interface the collaboration will develop and test a new approach to performance. This project considers themes around liveness, togetherness, trust and empathy through an iterative, playful approach with an aim to unlock new experiences for audiences in the co-creation and composition of new and exciting work. http://roxanavilk.com/
Elinor Carmi is a feminist, researcher, journalist and ex-radio broadcaster who has a passion for technology, digital rights, and feminism. Her research is interdisciplinary and mixes fields of media theory, internet standards and governance, feminist technoscience, sound studies, deviant media and data literacies. Currently, Dr Carmi is a Research Associate at Liverpool University, UK, working on several projects: 1) “Me and My Big Data – Developing Citizens’ Data Literacies” Nuffield Foundation-funded project; 2) “Being Alone Together: Developing Fake News Immunity” UKRI funded project; 3) POST Parliamentary Academic Fellowship working with the UK's Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee on the project she proposed: "Digital literacies for a healthy democracy". In July 2020, Carmi was invited by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a scientific expert to be part of the closed discussions to establish the foundations of Infodemiology. Before academia, Elinor worked in the electronic dance music industry for various labels, was a radio broadcaster and a music television editor for almost a decade. https://elinorcarmi.com/
Ofri Cnaani is an artist and educator. She works in time-based media, performances, and installations. Her work appeared at Tate Britain, UK; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; Inhotim Institute, Brazil; PS1/MoMA, NYC; BMW Guggenheim Lab, NYC; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna. Cnaani is a PhD researcher and Associate Lecturer at the Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths. https://ofricnaani.com/
Tsila Hassine is an artist and researcher at the Sorbonne Laboratory for art media and a lecturer at Shenkar College. She earned a B.Sc. in Pure Mathematics, an MFA in Media Design and was a researcher in residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie. Her works were exhibited at the Jerusalem Science Museum, the Tel Aviv Center for Contemporary Art (CCA), Transmediale (Berlin), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Gasworks (London), Maxxi, Venice Biennale, and more. As of 2018, she is exploring the possibilities for artistic practice within the “real world” outside the museum. Thus she is the founder and CEO of the early stage ArtUp Shmoogle and is the CIA of ArtUp Escalator, the accelerator program for artupists, founded by ArtUp Nation collective. Realising that there is no single order, Tsila’s works obey the one and only true law: entropy can never decrease! http://www.missdata.org/
Wherever possible, NEoNs public events and activities aims to host using open-source technology.
Image Credit: Screenshot of Darshan Diversion by Padmini Ray Murray
This event has been supported by Creative Scotland.
We would like to acknowledge the work of Barak Ganor and the team from the Cultural Department, Embassy of Israel, London on this project and thank the team for introducing us to Israeli women artists working in digital and technology-driven work. This event is one of many and we look forward to working with many more women artists in the future.
Recording & Transcribing
A live transcribe, will be available during the event.
Online Code of Conduct
NEoN is dedicated to providing a respectful environment for everyone, both in our online programme and at any activities which require attendance in person.
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