[-empyre-] what women

Hello List,

(apologies to the mods for my messy mails)

Thank you, Judy, for replying to my mail, though maybe my questions need to be stated more clearly. Isabel, you raise excellent points, especially geography and language!

Judy, one of the things that I found problematic about the book was that nearly all of the texts came from authors living in rich countries, almost exclusively North America. While you listed quite of few of them in your response to me, the kinds of work that have just been mentioned here on Empyre indicate an extensive practice outside of the US and Europe, even inside of poor countries. And what about Asia! For me, this is not a comment on the value of those texts or the work of the authors in the book- but it does make me wonder how you selected the texts; what criteria did you use when evaluating the collection as whole? This also relates to the question I posed about the categories of seminal and classic texts. After reading the entire book, I still didn't understand how these terms were being applied, and it seemed like an important point I wasn't getting.

This also reminds me of another point about technology and how it gets discussed in general. If we just take the last 25 years, there have been tremendous changes in what I'll call *media art* for the moment - and very specific technologies that relate to bodies of work - Maggie Morse went into this in her essay. It looked to me like most of the texts did focus on works that are recognized more in *technology* based art fields than in say, contemporary art, so that to me it appeared that the line of technology being followed in the Women, Art & Technology is closer to *media art* than to art. Sheila Pinkel's introductory essay being the exception because she focused so much on art. It means, more of the actual artworks in the book would be shown at say, Transmediale than the Berlin Bienale (I live in Berlin). Simone Osthoff wrote about incredibly interesting projects by women in Brazil, and these were technology based art - but I had the impression that she thought they were not on the same level as whatever that fuzzy thing *media art* is. Senors and the like. And then there is this nice artist paper by Valerie Soe about low tech approaches. But if low tech approaches to art and technology are valid, there shouldn't be a problem including women doing innovative work from really poor countries because there are women artists doing really exciting and innovative work. It seems like a pity to not have had more on the artist papers level, from women like Simone Michelin. My question is how are we defining the role of technology in our work? What kinds of technological innovation count in which contexts?

Judy, in answer to your question about my plans for writing a book that expands, I'd have to say no. Some colleagues and I are definitely making plans to publish a collection of texts in the near future. More along the lines of the nettime book (I co-edited that one) that looks at how communication technology gets used in specific instances.

All the best,


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