[-empyre-] Interstallation and immersive works re women artists : doubt redux

A quote from zoe, found online:


"I would like to conclude with some speculations as to why installations and
interactive works might be of particular interest to feminist and women
artists. Various stereotypical experiences of femininity and maternity might
inspire women's interest in these media. Years of 'girl talk' (minutely
dissecting feelings and relationships) and practice at deciphering and
manipulating the actions of pre-verbal infants and inarticulate men are
probably excellent preparation for experiments in interactivity. And as
homemakers and shoppers, women in consumer culture could be seen as
practicing a homely kind of installation art that involves selecting and
combining items from arrays of objects and making meanings by arranging and
transforming them within domestic confines. Room-sized 3D installations
provide an appropriate medium for poetic investigations of domesticity and
its unheimlich disturbances. Being treated as housing or furniture
(receptive, accommodating) and defined as space (occupiable, pregnable,
nurturing) are experiences that could cultivate a woman's sympathy with the
secret resonances of objects and an understanding of space as an active
agent with which to collude in constructing and transforming the bodies and
events within.15 For other women (or grrrls), cyberspace provides an
opportunity to escape conventional definitions as 'mere' body and to
represent oneself as disembodied text, voice, constructed persona,
viewpoint. Feminists may be attracted to practicing art in areas relatively
unencumbered by canonical histories of white male masters: video, computer
graphics and animation, 3D installations and Internet sites are relatively
new fields, fields that women can enter 'at ground level' with a reasonable
chance of being exhibited (often under the curatorship of women), getting
noticed and influencing the evolving art form. Finally, there might be a
philosophical interest in artworks/networks that allows exploration of
non-Cartesian forms of subjectivity (i.e. emergent, core and intersubjective
selves) in which the old binary distinctions of reason and feeling, body and
mind, subject and object are no longer so salient (for example, when
visitors find their bodies acting as cognitive agents16 to experience and
produce effects independently of their conscious intention). But
irrespective of why women might be drawn to these contemporary art forms,
the fact is that works are getting made. I hope the brief suggestions made
here will encourage others to take more notice of the ways in which women
artists are playing within and beyond the narrow confines of extractive
interactivity. "

© 1996 Zoë Sofoulis

 Are there "white male masters", almost seven years later: of course we can
throw up a straw man for these; it is convenient and may be true enough, as
far as it goes;  or: are we at a  point where all gestures are resonant and
empty of signification at the same time, simultaneously, thus giving rise
the doubt that Regina has mentioned and that I too feel?

 If  cyberspace as a collective 'feminine' zone of felt space and
disembodied presence, is a fait accompli, the meaning of that space, n,
might auger something neither  xx  nor xy. The net topology translates a
shift terrain, n, no longer a fixed point where we can stand and say, this
is feminine/feministe (as in the above text): n becomes n-1, something about
which there is a lacking, a taking away, or an absence. .. This in itself a
'feminine' archetype: thus in loops we are in some kind of tautology.

 This becomes interesting: what is not stated, between the resonances.
Between the 'objects' on the net.  Slipping between the cracks. After A
Thousand Plateaus:  "--always n-1 (the only way the one belongs to the
multiple: always subtracted).  Subtract the unique from the multiplicity to
be constituted: write at n-1 dimensions." (Deleuze and Guattari 1980)




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