Re: [-empyre-] clarifications on what women

Thanks Tim for the information regarding the exhibition "contact zones".
Reading about your experience, I thought it was the answer
to the question :
"How can I find artists from Latin America or Asia for an exhibition ?"
It gave me the idea to check the conditions to put works or creations
on-line and to extend the question to the countries where the standard of
living is not the north-american/european one.
The educational, technical, political, financial conditions and the
language are to be considered.

1-the use of a computer :
First of all the access to a computer is necessary. In many countries (for
the majority of the population) it's just impossible.
Other conditions : education. You have to be educated to use a computer.
When you know that nowadays officially 10% of the population in our western
countries is illiterate, what about the situation in third world countries ?
The access to education is there inequal in term of gender.
Many governements (regimes?) don't want their folk to get access to a "free"
or let's better say other/broader information than the official one (see the
trials against internet users in China for instance).
Back to education :  even if people are not illiterate, they received an
education in their own language. As you know traditional softwares are not
localized in all languages (I'm not quite sure but windows XP is translated
in 33 languages, KDE linux in some more).
To "play" with a computer requires to learn a foreign language.
Already an incredible number of hurdles to overcome before having the
possibility to discover how a computer is working.

2-internet access :
Now what are the other conditions for an artist living in such a country to
have his/her creations on-line.
As an artist you have to learn much more, ie to create with grafic
softwares. Here again : how to have access to these softwares ?
Even if the 2 conditions are fulfilled the artist is still off-line.
The next steps are :
-to put works on-line
-to make know that your works/creations are on-line
Works on-line mean supplementary conditions, as everybody here knows !
Even if the works of the artist are on-line, the chances to discover the
creations are very limited.
The problems :  
-english which is requested as communication language on the website
-the search engines. To be listed depends of : the weighting system (the
search engines prefer websites/pages with huge volume of hits) and probably
some other criteria which are not favorable for the discovery of artists in
"exotic" countries.

Conclusion :
Back to the experience of Tim : the only way to find more contacts is
through a local actor (I'm not surprized you had really good contacts with
Regina for Latin America, she is the kind of artist I would like to find
more frequently) or through personal contacts (what happened through your
travels in Asia).
I had a look on the results of the call launched in 2003 by 2 south-american
artists : Clemente Padin and Isabel Aranda ( An
english version of the call was sent. Today 28 artists are exhibited : 10
from Latin America (36%), 5 from european latin countries : Spain, Italy,
France (18%) and 5 US american, mainly from California (18%). I found it
great to see a call from Latin America and I would have expected more
artists from the "north" to participate (otherwise what does networking
mean ?).


am 13.12.2003 6:17 Uhr schrieb timothy murray unter
> The global issue remains to be tricky, which is why, I suppose, I'm
> less inclined to be hypercritical of Judy's book and appreciative of
> the contributions it does make.  I was looking again at the online
> catalogue of the exhibition I toured from 99-01, Contact Zones: The
> Art of CD-Rom ( and recall the
> complexities and surprises of curating this show, which included a
> strong percentage of contributions from women artists. In '98 when I
> was planning this exhibition, there remained (and I think it still
> exists) a fundamental problem of access and outreach: listserves and
> web access seemed to cut off Asia and much of Latin America from
> English centered websites (still a major problem and challenge).  The
> result was that, even after extensive efforts to solicit works from
> Asia and Latin America, I received only a few from Japan (none from
> Hong Kong, China, Tawain, Southeast Asia and South Asia) and only
> some works from Mexico (but not from Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, etc
> which now, thanks to efforts by Regina and others, are more present
> on the web).  I've since been able to establish very exciting
> curatorial exchanges in China and Japan and Latin America (again,
> thanks to Regina) for the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art but I
> realize that the Asian connections happened because of personal
> contacts (read travel and financial costs) outside our web circuits
> due to translation problems.  Similarly, thanks to Priamo Lozada in
> Mexico City we were able to stage Contact Zones at the Centro de la
> Imagen, and translate the website into Spanish, but still had
> problems placing the exhibition in other Latin venues.
> I guess I'm spinning this tale primarily to open discussion up to the
> complexities of dissemination, exhibition, and inclusion due to
> limitations that have tended to be built into our own communitarian
> systems.  This, I suspect, is the kind of point that Diane means to
> be raising about the American prevalence of work in Judy's book.  And
> it certainly raises important issues about the digital divide which
> many critics believe is exaggerated by a gender divide as well.
> Perhaps Judy might have something to say about these challenging
> problems, particularly as she faced them in assembling her book.
> Tim

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