[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 115, Issue 26

roger malina rmalina at alum.mit.edu
Sun Jun 29 00:01:07 EST 2014


I have been following this discussion with interest- since the
question of gender
and technology is an important and complicated one

recent statistics on gender and engineering careers remain scandalous
( in our own computer science department only 17% of the students are women)
we are part of the problem

in recent years there has been much discussion on how to change education
to address these deep biases

this year there was an interesting workshop  on “Advancing STEM
Through Culturally Situated Arts-Based Learning.”


which addressed head on the issues of gender and ethnicity

certainly in the art and technology field there is no reason the
histories cant do a better job
if including major women figures that have been mentioned in these
discussions on empyre
( some years ago Judy Mallloy published in our leonardo book series
the Book Women
Art and Technology  http://leonardo.info/isast/leobooks/books/malloy.html )

as the editor of leonardo journal the issue of gender is embedded in a
larger issue of
biases of 'the center and the periphery'

since histories are mostly written by people in universities, histories tend
to empasise the role of people in universities- independent artists
and techologists
have a hard time being included- yet our community is perhaps unusual in the
particiular role of independtn artists and technologists ( robert
thill maintains
a list of pantents filed by artist and few of these artists had
university positions)
= and given than university faculties are male dominated in most fields there
is a double bias

the other issues of center cs periphery is that artists and technologists
outside the main art work hubs -NY paris etc -in our fields there has
been amazing
work in south american that often doesnt get included for instance-
ironically because of natural consevatism of institutions, much of the
work in art and technology generally started outside the academy and the hubs
so the biases re inforce themselves

this is not unique to the art/music/technology field but its clearly
very problematical
since we are part of the problem


On Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM,  <empyre-request at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au> wrote:
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> than "Re: Contents of empyre digest..."
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Today's Topics:
>    1. Re: Week 4: Feminism Confronts Audio Technology - Day 1
>       (Asha Tamirisa)
>    2. Re: Week 4: Feminism Confronts Audio Technology - Day 1
>       (Rachel Devorah Trapp)
>    3. Re: Day 1 #2: Feminism Confronts Audio Tech - Gendered
>       rhetoric (Asha Tamirisa)
>    4. Re: Day 1 #2: Feminism Confronts Audio Tech - Gendered
>       rhetoric (monisola gbadebo)
>    5. Re: Day 1 #2: Feminism Confronts Audio Tech - Gendered
>       rhetoric (Lyn Goeringer)
>    6. Week 4: A Feminist (Humanist) Reconstruction of the Canon-
>       Day 2 (monisola gbadebo)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:39:03 -0400
> From: Asha Tamirisa <ashatamirisa at gmail.com>
> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Week 4: Feminism Confronts Audio Technology -
>         Day 1
> Message-ID:
>         <CADBzaoQQDVczesycwcuWxE_j7QDMoySb3F9yjBgAn8Cb3v45EA at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> I?d be curious to hear more thoughts on pedagogy, both as educators and as
> students. As educators, how do you think about gender and race as you
> develop syllabi? What happens when we are asked to teach someone else?s
> syllabi that might not have as much diversity as you had hoped? How do we
> work with textbooks that may not have much historical information about
> women, or perhaps use gendered and racialized language in technical
> diagrams? I wonder about using supplementary text and how this might appear
> as an appendage to the information presented, rather than as canonical (but
> of course, better this way than not at all). As students, what do we do
> when we are shown syllabi with little or no gender or racial diversity? How
> do we involve our colleagues as we make these decisions such that these
> ideas and concerns spread to our larger community? What do we do, even
> after voicing our point and taking direct action, patterns of exclusion
> persist?
> I know these are quite basic questions that are certainly dependent on
> context, and generally, the answer is to facilitate dialogue on gender and
> race, to have diverse syllabi and resources available to students, to speak
> up and to keep speaking up... But perhaps posing these questions will spark
> sharing good resources or some anecdotes that could be helpful to all and
> applied in other contexts.
> Also,very excited to see NIME include this panel this year!
> Gender, Education, Creativity in Digital Music and Sound Art:
> http://nime2014.sched.org/event/b29e012f6aa292b32d70ca5f24967602?iframe=no#.U6brG5RdWKs
> On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM, Asha Tamirisa <ashatamirisa at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Rachel- thanks for this! A few things quickly come to mind: Tara Rodgers,
>> in both Pink Noises and in her chapter in Sound Studies on Feminist
>> Historiographies, talks about patrilineal language in electronic music
>> history--- e.g. Max Mathews as the father of computer music, in the movie
>> Modulations, Stockhausen is referred to as the godfather of electro (which
>> I find kind of strange anyway). To the fault of our culture, the cultural
>> weight of being a mother doesn?t carry the same sense of authorship as
>> being a father, so we tend not to ascribe the same types of formal titles
>> to artists and thinkers such as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Daphne Oram, or
>> Laurie Spiegel. The collective handle and understanding of patrilineal
>> language perpetuates the glorification of male figures.
>> But I think you are pointing towards something else, which is that it is
>> not just the formal titling of so-called inventors, but actually knowing
>> their biographical history that allows us to see them as people and better
>> see ourselves as participants of the field. I remember asking exactly these
>> types of questions when learning about Pauline Oliveros, Pamela Z, Laurie
>> Spiegel, Suzanne Ciani? wanting to know where they studied, who they
>> studied with, etc. I think Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner?s and Tara Rodgers? work
>> is important for this very reason, hearing the stories of women in the
>> field, but wouldn?t it be great if these stories were more integrated into
>> the texts and syllabi commonly used in Intro to Computer Music courses!
>> Also, Jacob Gaboury is doing incredible work on parallel ideas in comp
>> sci-- A Queer History of Computing:
>> http://rhizome.org/editorial/2013/feb/19/queer-computing-1/
>> Lots more to say about this, but trying to keep it short :)
>> On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 12:42 AM, Rachel Devorah Trapp <
>> racheldtrapp at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> Hello everyone and thank you to Renate, Tim and Asha for inviting me!
>>> Asha's points about pedagogy are ever-present in my mind. Many of the
>>> narratives that we weave about our discipline eschew what might be
>>> perceived as ?irrelevant? elements of race, gender, and class. Yet
>>> this detritus is important. People create music; people are the agents
>>> in the creation of ideas. An individual's cumulative experience stands
>>> behind the sound.
>>> As the love child of music and technology, electronic music in its
>>> current state is exploding with creative uses of computer code. So if
>>> we turn our attention to a computer science course, we quickly see
>>> that these courses are often devoid?probably for the sake of time and
>>> efficiency?of discussions about agents: the people who made the code,
>>> functions, or scripts and their histories. Frankly, for computer
>>> scientists, an employer probably does not care if a job applicant the
>>> history of Bjarne Stroustrup and C++.
>>> The stories of innovators such as Leon Theremin and Robert Moog are
>>> written into our histories of development, but are only included when
>>> they are necessary to chronicle the basic evolution of the
>>> technologies. By disavowing the human history of our field, we leave
>>> behind real, important detritus: the valuable information about our
>>> innovators from all backgrounds. These stories are necessary to the
>>> study of electronic music because they provide paradigms for students
>>> who are in the process of becoming the next generation of innovators.
>>> All artists at one point in their career have read a fact or detail in
>>> a biography (or heard a story/urban legend) about a luminary in their
>>> field that inspired them. Even more powerful are these histories for
>>> students who might not have shared experiences with their mentors or
>>> cohort. Students benefit from identifying with the stories of
>>> innovators who came before them, and the usefulness of identification,
>>> of course, is not exclusive to race, gender, and class.
>>> My analysis is one of a practitioner and student of electronic music
>>> not a historian, so I freely admit that
>>> this is a surface look which does not fully account for wider cultural
>>> implications.
>>> I look forward to all of your thoughts!
>>> Rachel
>>> racheldevorahtrapp.com

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