[-empyre-] Forward from Diana McCarty: What Women?

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From: Diana McCarty <diana@b.lab.net>
Date: Sun, 07 Dec 2003 21:51:31 +0100
To: empyre@lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
Subject: what women?

Greetings Empryists,

I'm new to the list, though I've followed some of the debates via the
archive with great interest. The high quality of the exchanges is really
impressive. Hopefully, the following will be taken as it is intended, which
is in the hopes of exploring some of the more controversial aspects of a
book like Women, Art & Technology.

My colleague, Vali Djordjevic and I recently wrote a review of the book (we
are waiting for the go ahead from the publisher, MUTE, to post it here). As
both of us found the collection of texts rather problematic, I'm especially
pleased to have the chance to pose questions directly to Judy Malloy. I
should add that both Vali and I are co-moderators of the faces mailing list,
which is a platform for women in media [www.faces-l.net], and that our
colleague,  Kathy Rae Huffman, mentions the list in her text, which is also
in Women, Art, & Technology.

Without going into detail, I found the book troubling. My first questions
concern the selection criteria. Judy, you have already mentioned your goals
in allowing for different entry points to the book, which can be picked up
through different texts - but I'm curious to hear about how you selected
these texts. As the discussion here is already going in the direction of
what are women doing now, it might be worthwhile to qualify that, with which
women are being addressed? It seems that there is a universal notion of
woman, yet the book itself is concerned almost only with women in North
America, a few Europeans, and then a few texts that mention or address women
in the *third world* and *poor countries*. As there are few books that focus
on women and media, I found it really disappointing to find texts and artist
papers that came only from artists working in rich countries  - appearing to
be representative of women in general.

There was also the point of seminal and classic artist papers & texts - I
just didn't understand how these terms were understood in conceiving the
book. What was it about these works that gave them that status? How was that

All the best,


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