Luck Be A Lady (2010)

Curated by Simren Bolaria
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Digital media and technology often seems to be predominantly associated with men. Even in class, it is less often that a reading or observed piece of digital media is attributed to a woman. Nonetheless, when browsing the Rhizome ArtBase by artist there seems to be just as many women as there are men behind the artworks presented. This pattern of female exclusion in digital media and technology correlates with Jennifer Light's writing about the unseen and unacknowledged women in computer history. Similar to Light's motives to recover these unseen contributions, these artworks intervene with gender politics by presenting women and their digital artwork, instead of that of men, as the dominant force. Each piece is made by a woman and about women; two aspects often missing from the digital media on which the public chooses to focus. “Outskirt”, by Lacie Garnes features footage from a camera placed between Garnes’ legs, capturing a viewpoint from what seems to be within her body. A prime example of the importance of the female presence in digital media, “Outskirt” is a piece that could not have been executed without a woman, as the camera is placed up Garnes’ skirt. Additionally, the artwork further emphasizes on uncovering a female point of view through digital media in that it provides a sense of what it looks and feels like to be a woman in an everyday situation. “World of Female Avatars” by Evelyn Stermitz also brings attention to digital media created and contributed to by women. The artwork focuses on women in relation to their body images by presenting a database consisting of female body pictures and personal statements supplied by women from around the world. With this database, images are put together to produce new female avatars. Once again, this piece brings attention to women as the creators of digital media, as well as focuses on what it is to be a woman. The use of personal statements solely provided by women prioritizes the female perspective and opinion of the body and their role in digital media. Annie Abrahams’ “PeurS FearS, Annie Abrahams and the All Star GirlsBand” presents Parisian women emerged in art and technology coming together to perform a poem written by visitors of Paris’ E-Poetry festival in 2007. Also created by a woman, this art brings light to feminine superiority in digital media by choosing all female digital media artists to perform the text. To add to this, it brings together several women in digital media resulting in a collective and more apparent feminine dominance in the field. This author chose not to ask both males and females to perform the text for a reason. “Pieces of Herself” by Juliet Davis is another female produced artwork centering on the woman’s role in society. The artwork allows the user to drag and drop objects associated with an environment onto a female body causing an audio clip to play. This piece also addresses the social conception of the female body. With personal quotes from women and an overall feminine perspective, importance is put on the female mind as the contributor to the piece. The inscriptions of the female body and the overall creation of the artwork can be ascribed to women once again. “Linux Virgin” by Klara Hobza presents a series of videos that display a seductive mistress teaching a schoolgirl to build a computer. There is also a male character that periodically watches as they interact. The sexual context of the videos presents the idea that women are often pigeonholed as solely serving the purpose of a sexual being to watch. However, this is juxtaposed by the fact that both are females and are constructing a computer—a task often associated with men. With this, the stereotype that women are not efficient with computers is addressed and lampooned. Ultimately, the artwork is created by a woman and made to bring attention to women’s ability to work with computers while poking fun at the stereotype that they always need to be portrayed as “sexy”, thus devaluing it. Collectively, these female produced digital artworks about women uncover the female presence in digital media as well as their ideas and perceptions.

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