As part of cyborgs discussion I found Ray Ceasar, a Toronto-based artist to be a fascinating example of hyperstition. Not only he invented his own origins claiming he was born a dog, but the whole world inhabited with bizarre creatures, cyborgs in fact. Notably, he got much of his inspiration from working in the children’s hospital in Toronto as a medical artist where he was capturing all medical procedures conducted on children and the results of those procedures. I think his works could be interpreted in Haraway’s way as illustrations of human fusion with biology and technology that results not only in distortion of the body but also in fractionation of identity (Ceasar himself had been diagnosed with disassociative identity disorder which he calls “a bliss”).
C’est près de 100 millions d’Américains qui visitent Wikipédia chaque mois (Schuessler). Devenue l’une des références les plus consultées, et possiblement parmi les plus accessibles, elle fait partie du processus d’apprentissage de plusieurs. Elle est si formatrice de notre compréhension de l’environnement que si un sujet ne fait pas partie de l’encyclopédie, on pourrait croire qu’il n’existe tout simplement pas. Nos relations et notre orientation sociale se voit indirectement influencés par l’interface, de telle manière qu’elle devient une routine habituelle. Elle devient l’index de ce qui mérite d’être su.
Seulement, n’oublions pas qu’un tel instrument, aussi important pour la conception de la connaissance personnelle soit-il, est balisé. La particularité de Wikipédia reste que le site est alimenté par des volontaires désireux de partager leur savoir. Pourtant, 10% des 120 000 contributeurs sont des femmes, une statistique loin de refléter ceux ayant accès au site (Schuessler). Les premiers symptômes apparaissent ici : ce qui ne se retrouve pas sur la plateforme serait donc sans importance pour eux et donc, pour tous les autres utilisateurs? Il faut savoir que la majorité des contributeurs sont des hommes blancs et que leurs champs d’intérêt peuvent diverger de ce qui importe d’être divulgué à des fins éducationnelles.
La discrimination des artistes femmes s’étend dans les musés, galeries et même dans les écoles d’art. Cette distinction s’applique non pas seulement lors d’expositions artistiques traditionnelles, mais sur le web aussi. Le projet Art + Féminisme souhaite combler le manque de créateurs de contenu et d’éditeurs féminins sur Wikipédia. En outillant des femmes de certaines connaissances techniques, celles-ci pourront alimenter l’encyclopédie de données sur le sujet des femmes relatif à l’art. À partir de cette espace considéré publique, elle chercher à redimensionner l’espace qui leur est accordé. Celles-ci s’engagent à faire de cet espace un endroit qui ne les exclut plus, car l’environnement et les corps se coproduisent (Lefebrve 289).
Ces femmes s’assurent que la place qui leur revient dans ces pages de l’histoire soit créée et justement éditée; elles s’assurent de se sentir “confortables” (Ahmed 155). Ces édite-o-thons permettent aux artistes féminines d’élever leur voix et de prendre leurs places. Se permettant de célébrer un modèle moins homogène et dicté par ceux qui gouverne la structure d’apprentissage. L’encyclopédie comme une plateforme en formation, un espace de contre-culture où il est possible pour les groupes sous-représentés d’avoir une voix et de la partager. Cet « espace différentiel » permet ouvrir ses horizons, acquérir de la soif de connaissance et d’être en contact avec de nombreuses idées qui se confrontent (Lefebrve 293). Même s’il est trop optimiste de dire que cette plateforme est libérale, on peut du moins y combattre la discrimination en alimentant les pages de savoir.
Pourquoi il y avait, et a toujours, moins de femmes qui écrivaient? Se sent-on moins en possession de ce pouvoir?
Selon vous, est-ce que parler d’artistes féminines dans d’importantes sources référentielles telles que Wikipédia pourra encourager les musées à exposer plus de leurs œuvres? Ou bien encourager plus de femmes à créer?
Travaux cités :
Ahmed, Sara. (2007) “Phenomenology of Whiteness.” Feminist Theory 8(2): 149-168.
Lefebrve, Henri. “The Production of Space.” In Gieseking, Jen J. And William Mangold, (Eds.), The People, Place, and Space Reader. (289-293). London: Routledge.
Schuessler, Jennifer. ‘’MoMA to Host Wikipedia Editing Marathon, to Improve Coverage of Women in the Arts”. The New York Time. 6 mars 2015. En ligne. 30 mars 2015
By: Gabie Allain, Evan Smith, Garrett Lockhart, Fiona Schlumberger and Danica Pinteric.
Theresa Senft’s chapter “Keeping it Real on the Web: Authenticity, Celebrity, Branding” offers an introductory exploration of all things camgirl. Senft begins by describing the shutdown of The JenniCam (operated by and starring Jennifer Ringley). The JenniCam (live 1996-2004) was a website centered around digital images captured by a webcam set up in Ringley’s home which were uploaded to the web periodically. Senft recognizes this as the beginnings of online celebrity as a concept, citing the public’s fascination with ‘reality as entertainment’ as a reason for this phenomenon (16).
Senft first explores the concept of ‘reality’ in relation to camming. Senft quotes Ringley saying she wanted to “show people that what we see on TV—people with perfect hair, perfect friends, perfect lives—is not reality. I’m reality.”(16). Senft agrees that “homecamming” is in fact quite a candid and unedited practice. However, Senft also critiques Ringley’s statement- reminding readers that Ringley herself was a young, white, “conventionally attractive” (16) woman while The JenniCam was live (16). This critique relates to themes of previous classes: particularly Gill Valentine’s discussion about the reality of who is really represented/excluded in “public” settings. Ringley presents herself as a “real” girl, but we must consider if this identity was but socially produced through what offline society had deemed real, or, “acceptable.”
Senft also describes the technologies/services required for camgirls to run their websites, demonstrating how quickly costs accumulate. Camgirls running their own websites do not necessarily generate large profits. Senft explains that paid memberships with added features reduce the costs of producing camgirl content (20). Rather, camgirls sell ‘memberships’ to reduce costs and continue running their sites (Senft 20). This relates to our discussions in class about certain public assumptions that female sexworkers (in physical or digital worlds) do not enjoy their work and only do this kind of work for a profit. Towards the midpoint of the chapter, Senft explores LiveJournal as a platform for expressing individuality through a number of techniques including posting academic work, personal photos and ‘screenshot writing’. Senft also introduces the concept of the “Friends List” as a way of attracting attention online.
In the second half of the text, Senft addresses popularity, the ‘micro-celebrity’, branding, and provides a case study of LonelyGirl15. She explains that quantifying popularity on the web is difficult to measure, given there are three different ways to do so: either by hits, page views, or unique visitors (Senft 24). Senft also argues, through personal experience, that media attention can translate into popularity on the web. The term ‘micro-celebrity’ is introduced in the text; Senft uses it to describe an internet celebrity, and how their popularity depends on the connections they make to their audience. She is also quite clear when explaining the importance of self-branding—either you brand, or you die (Senft 26). Senft uses the concept of post-modern branding to explain how camgirls are able to brand themselves in different ways (see ‘Suicide Girls’) (27-28). At the end of her chapter, Senft introduces readers to a case study of LonelyGirl15, a twenty-something posing as a fifteen year old girl named Bree who made bedroom videos. The videos were a project that was later supposed to become a Hollywood film.
A link from an interview with Jennifer Ringley (Letterman)
“Girl Geeks Discuss Their Place on the Web” is a back and forth dialog between Mara Johnston and Christine Castro, two women who have found voices in feminist discourse through online blogging. Maura is the head of Maura.com, an independent culture publication and Christine the creator of Maganda.org, her blog featuring her personal chronicles. “Girl Geeks Discuss Their Place on the Web” features successive emails between Christine and Maura, in which they discuss the consequences and conflicts they experience through their internet personas.
Christine admits that she was always introverted, far from the “prom queen” she has become online. The internet gave her a new space to voice her opinions and thrive, sometimes too much to her liking. Maura accords, and adds in that she is constantly surprised by her avid viewers. Who are they, where do they come from, and why do they care? Both Christine and Maura’s online voices provide safe spaces for women to define themselves in non conforming ways.
Christine explains that her web audience is predominantly teenage girls and young women, so she feels as though she is a big sister figure for many. Though she embraces this, it is also troubling to her at times because it creates feelings of pressure. She created an incredible outlet for young women to express themselves, but with boundaries. Knowing that she has loyal readers, some of whom could be people who she knows personally, causes her to censor her material. She feels self conscious of the people it is reaching, the feelings she could hurt, secrets she could give up, and so on. Her blog, which is meant to be personal, becomes a place where she can’t disclose real, genuine feelings and truths: “heaven forbid i come across as slutty, bitchy, or whiny.” Maura agrees with this, adding that her work is also dictated by the people who might be viewing it.
“how empowering is it when you censor yourself because you don’t want to give off the wrong impression? how strong a woman am i if i can’t even be honest in my own expression?” In the end of the dialog both women find meaning in their work in that it has spread love and acceptance to many young women. Christine and Maura also acknowledge the significance of their friendship which they established online and allows them to open-up on a personal, non-censored level.
Jillian Mayer & Ana Voog
The work of multimedia artist Jillian Mayer examines the lived experiences of participants of internet and digital culture through their interactions and existences in these respective realms. Mayer’s most recent series, 400 Nudes, is a compilation of 400 nude female selfies (obtained via online sources like girlfriend revenge websites) in which she has re-photographed her own face and applied it to the bodies of each woman, whose ages, races and bodies vary. 400 Nudes aims to deconstruct and examine sexual image consumption and photographic authenticity in our contemporary age.
Ana Voog broadcasted her home life through 24/7 webcams for 12 years, for a project entitled anacam and is credited as the second of its kind. It deals with issues of “female sexuality and sensuality” in the public/online sphere, as well as examining gender performativity through a feminist lens. Voog received criticism for her openness to share her everyday life, especially for uncensored sexual activity.
Question 1: In her chapter, Senft explores the realities we create for ourselves via the personal content we produce and share (example: via blogging, homecamming) How much of the content that you display online do you think is a ‘true’ or ‘real’ depiction of your day-to-day self? Do you think that in 2015 we are more candid online than in 2008? Why/why not.
Question 2: How do we strike a balance between honesty and responsibility in our actions online?
An interesting collaborative analysis of environment and the relationship between spaces and bodies through images. Inspiration for final project.
Below is a selection of “a photographic collaboration between photographers Timothy Burkhart and Stephanie Bassos. This double exposure project allows us to step back from having full control of the image making process and trust in one another while allowing coincidences to happen naturally on film. Stephanie exposes a full roll of 35mm film of only “people,” and Timothy reloads the film again into the same camera, to imprint only “places” and locations to the same roll. These images are all the end result of our ongoing series and are unedited negatives straight from the camera.”
a mapped review of Drake on Pitchfork.
by: Jamieson Cox, 5 March 2015
Toronto contains multitudes: rivers of asphalt underneath a rapidly expanding skyline, old neighborhoods increasingly run over by latte peddlers and yoga studios, an immense shoreline studded with beaches and bluffs, leafy avenues and massive suburban manors—all lit by a harmonious orange sodium glow. These are all views from the 6—a reference to two of the city’s area codes, 416 and 647—and scenes from a place that’s shaped the music and lyrics of Aubrey Drake Graham ever since he started rapping. For Drake, Toronto is more than a hometown. It’s a battleground, a kingdom, something worth fighting for and celebrating. With last month’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, the 28-year-old takes his unofficial Toronto ambassadorship to unprecedented levels, offering ever-finer details on the characters, roads, and language that define his worldview.
His intense civic boosterism isn’t particularly novel in itself: Rappers have been writing love letters to their cities and building rose-colored landscapes in their music for decades, from Dr. Dre’s dispatches from the streets of Compton, to OutKast’s sketches of a colorful, creatively vibrant Atlanta. No MC has ever attempted to play tourism director on such a grand scale for Toronto, a city more renowned for its hockey players and indie rock collectives, but Drake’s mission is proving to be a success. Rappers and producers from the 6 are getting more attention, and a new generation of artists now have a career to emulate and a legend to chase. His mythological Toronto is a metropolis where everyone knows your name and exes are always lurking around the corner, a forest of penthouses with a panoramic view, a park-studded playground where the skies are free of ambient light and the highways are always clear. Like many hip-hop locales, it’s a city closer to the realm of theory—and fantasy—than reality.
That’s an important distinction, because the real Toronto has problems just like any other city: rising inequality, a budget that’s tougher to wrangle every year, infrastructure deficits and transit planning woes, and an identity crisis that’s bubbled beneath its surface for almost two decades. But Drake’s music puts forth a version of Toronto that transcends these headaches—a version of the city at its best.
Drake’s lyrical relationship with his city has shifted and grown over the years. On mixtapes like 2009’s So Far Gone and his debut album, Thank Me Later, his interactions with Toronto were vague and distant; any references to the city were typically oblique, and couched in either regret or nostalgia. On the woozy “Karaoke”, he tells a possible girlfriend back home, “Things have been so crazy and hectic/ I should’ve gotten back by now/ But you know how much I wanted to make it.” At the time, Drake was fighting for credibility and clout, spending time away from Toronto and working to achieve some semblance of legitimacy as a nakedly emotional and insecure lover in a genre full of street-wise fighters. He was willing to proclaim himself the city’s savior and leading light, but those proclamations were risky; had his early releases failed to impact the industry in any considerable way, lines like, “Shout out to my city, though I hardly be in town/ I’m the black sheep, but Chris Farley wears the crown” would have seemed laughable—or, perhaps more accurately, even more laughable. He didn’t yet have the power or profile to turn Toronto into his full-time base of operations, and he was still in his early 20s, drunk on experience, soaking up the rest of the world.
Related to next week's class --- who is included and excluded from spaces online? in what ways? what forms does censorship take? You can participate in this wonderful worldwide initiative to address the absence of women artists on Wikipedia.
Samedi / Saturday * 7 / 03 / 2015 *
CWAHI @ Concordia 10h-17h (Faculty of Fine Arts Slide Library 1515 Ste. Catherine St. West EV Building, Room 3.741) http://cwahi.concordia.ca/
(Garderie disponible! / Childcare available! 10h-17h @ Institute Simone de Beauvoir – 2170 Bishop, 2 étage)
Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well documented: in a 2010 survey, Wikimedia found that less than 13% of its contributors identify as female. (http://web.archive.org/web/20100414165445/http://wikipediasurvey.org/docs/Wikipedia_Overview_15March2010-FINAL.pdf)
We invite you to help address this absence at a Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 10am to 5pm at CWAHI Concordia (Faculty of Fine Arts Slide Library 1515 Ste. Catherine St. West EV Building, Room 3.741). We will provide tutorials for the beginner Wikipedian, and reference materials. For the editing-averse, we urge you to stop by to show your support. We also encourage remote participation; you can share your thoughts on the editing process in real-time on our Wikipedia Meet Up page and here on the Tumblr.
For more information / pour plus d’informations :
Le problème d’égalité de représentation des sexes à Wikipédia est déjà l’objet d’une riche documentation. Dans une enquête de 2010, Wikimédia a révélé que moins de 13% de ses collaborateurs s’identifient comme femmes. (http://web.archive.org/web/20100414165445/http://wikipediasurvey.org/docs/Wikipedia_Overview_15March2010-FINAL.pdf)
Nous vous invitons à contribuer à combler cette absence lors d’un « Art + féminisme Wikipedia Edit-a-thon », le samedi 7 mars 2015, de 10h à 17h à CWAHI Concordia (Faculty of Fine Arts Slide Library 1515 Ste. Catherine St. West EV Building, Room 3.741). Nous fournirons des tutoriels pour les débutants wikipédiens, et des ressources documentaires. Pour ceux et celles qui craindraient de prendre part à l’édition en elle-même, nous vous invitons à vous arrêter au moins pour montrer votre soutien. Nous encourageons également la participation à distance, vous pouvez partager vos réflexions sur le processus d’édition en temps réel sur notre page Wikipedia Meet Up et ici sur le Tumblr.
Notes on accessibility / Des notes sur l’accessabilité de l’évènement:
1. CWAHI est accessible et comprends des toilettes accessible / CWAHI is accessible and there is access to accessible washrooms.
2. La gardere est disponible de 10-17h à l’Institute Simone de Beauvoir (2170 Bishop, 2 étage). Ce lieu n’est pas accessible. Pour aide a ouvrir la porte, appeler au 514 848 2424 (x 2373). / Childcare will be provided for this event. The venue (2170 Bishop, second floor) is however not accessible and so parents needing assistance are invited to 514 848 2424 (x 2373) to arrange for child pickup at the building entrance.
3. Les ateliers et discussions seront presenter en français et anglais. N’hésiter pas à demander pour un traduction en tout temps! / All workshops and talks will be presented in English and French. Please ask for a translation if needed!