Re: [-empyre-] chipping in

hi marc,
you raise quite a lot of issues here ... technology definitely has opened up new spaces for emergent groups to become more visible, but at the same time it requires resources that many groups have limited access to. emergent white male western net.artists start from one place, other marginal groups start from their own histories. to refer back to maori artists, statistics in areas like education, property, income, etc show that although maori are improving, they are still well behind pakeha (non-maori nzers). however this doesn't mean that maori aren't represented in cyberspace.

here are some examples of how the internet is being used by/for maori (not necessarily arts related): - an extensive education site, provided in maori & english, with resources for teachers & schools - an online iwi (tribe) register; it's tied in to the nz electoral register but also to do with settlements under the treaty of waitangi - maori arts portal - "a registered trade mark of authenticity and quality used to promote and sell authentic, quality Maori arts and crafts"

& some iwi sites:,,, (this one has sound) - most but not all iwi have web sites now.

again, i'm not the most qualified person to comment on maori in cyberspace ... i'm cc-ing this to the ada list to see if more is forthcoming from there.

as regards to gender & technology, i agree to a certain extent with sadie plant. women have gained a lot from technology & been able to move into powerful positions as well as develop vibrant networks & find all kinds of other uses for the technology within their specific spheres - but at the same time a lot of attitudes are perpetuated and carried into the new spaces, of which the massive porn industry is the most extreme example. specific opportunities that the internet has given us include visual anonymity & the ability to work from home & be more flexible in working hours, for certain types of work. but i don't know whether this has resulted in a reduction of discrimination & harrassment in the workplace.

it's a matter of the slice of the web you choose to see: there is heaps of really great, positive, world-changing stuff out there ... but there's also a hell of a lot of really vile stuff, & i choose not to go there. in many respects, cyberspace is not so different to the physical world ... we just have to keep chipping away - in both worlds!

h : )

Hi Helen,

Thank you for those answers...

I have various articles stored on my computer and discs - regarding Cyberfeminism going way back now, and this article immediately sprung to mind which was written in 1999, (there is a snippet of it below) in respect of what Sadie Plant says, which kind of means something to me personally from my own personal perspective as an emergent net.creative activist, claiming technology as a way of creating new space for potential progress, hopefully expanding beyond less fluid-rigid trappings.

Sadie Plant says "It occurred to me that a long standing relationship was evident between information technology and women's liberation. You can almost map them onto each other in the whole history of modernity. Just as machines get more intelligent, so women get more liberated!"

Do you think that this also applies across the board for other emergent groups as well as yourself, if so who?


The rise of women's liberation can be correlated with the coming spike of machine intelligence. Plant researched and discovered that the more intelligent machines become the more liberated women are. In her interview with 'Geekgirl' ( editor Susie X, Dr. Sadie Plant explains: "It occurred to me that a long standing relationship was evident between information technology and women's liberation. You can almost map them onto each other in the whole history of modernity. Just as machines get more intelligent, so women get more liberated!"

It also occurred to Plant that women have long been seen as the machine parts for malestream society. That is that women were seen as the reproducers- reproducing the species, reproducing communications- which is clearly quite similar to the role machines and tools play in society. It is this that makes use and implementation of machines a 'natural' process for women, as it is merely an unseen extension of their constructed gender roles. Although it is the pushing of the boundaries of women's gender roles, which makes Cyberfeminism a theory that holds many possibilities.

Whether or not Plants theories prove correct is beside the point. What we are seeing now is a direct revolution to the 'toys for boys' ideal. The fact that women are becoming major players in machine intelligence is a subversion of the expectation of ones gender. It is by this subversion which can come freedom. A freedom to express oneself without the restriction of a previously constructed role. Author: Delanie Woodlock Published on: August 1, 1999


hi marc,
definitely there are maori & pacific island artists working in new media, here in nz & overseas. i have to confess that at the moment my brain is working slowly & not many names are jumping out, but one who does spring to mind is maru nihoniho who is a games developer; she manages her own company now but her background is in 3d modelling, animation etc. one of her games, the guardian ( has a female maori main character.

there are a lot of maori visual artists whose work incorporates digital, also in the music industry & vj ... perhaps someone can help me out with some names here? there are a number of maori art web sites buti haven't found one that deals specifically with maori digital art (there probably is one ... )

if you do a search for maori art & artists you are more likely to find traditional art forms, & i think (correct me if i'm wrong, someone) that the focus of funding for maori & pacific arts has tended to be on the traditional (eg carving, traditional performing arts, language etc). the renaissance in maori art & culture is still fairly recent so still tends to be driven by the desire to preserve arts & crafts that were potentially going to disappear.

there's also a distinction between maori (who are the tangata whenua, indigenous people of aotearoa) & pacific island / polynesian peoples who are not indigenous but who have brought strong artistic practices with them & have had a strong influence on arts & culture, particularly in the north parts of the country.

h : )

As you say, Polynesian & Asian cultures have a strong influence in NZ. I was wondering if you know of any indgenious people living in New Zealand who who are curently practising in New media themselves, or anything close to it at least?


empyre forum


helen varley jamieson: creative catalyst

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.