April 06, 2004

girls.girls.girls

I dragged my hung over (still drunk?) ass out of bed at the crack of dawn on saturday in order to go further uptown than any rational human being would usually do and attended the Twenty-Ninth Scholar and Feminist conference which was actually lots of educational dorky fun.

There were a lot of high points, including a morning panel on queer representation in the media with the brilliant (and beautiful) Anna McCarthy (NYU Cinema Studies), ueber smart video artist and writer Richard Fung and suprisingly Christine Vachon (who produced boys don't cry, i shot andy warhol, and my all time fav. movie tod hayne's safe. I would summerize, and add my own thoughts, but I was still really hung over when the panel started and my notes are totally illegible.

The afternoon panel; The Future in Pixels: Feminist Art & New Media, was _the__shit_. A lot of the disucssion focused on how information is used and structured - who controls it and how it can be used in less patriarchal ways. Wynne Greenwood (Tracy and the Plastics), threw down some knowledge on identity/multiplicity, and the lovely Elizibeth Subrin was as always well spoken and smart when talking about refinding identities that have been lost or forgotten (and when destroying some simpleminded questioner that prattled on forever in asking a stupid question about pornography; ES in response: "ummm, wasn't there a whole symposium on that same topic here at barnard like thirty fucking years ago".

My fav. new find however was "design engineer and technoartist" Natalie Jeremijenko a Rockefeller Fellow and former Xerox PARC researcher who is doing some of the most amazingly obsessive and wonderful art that I have seen in a while. There are a bunch of projects she has been involved in here and her artist statement wherein she calls into question what information "counts" and who makes those determinations. She is a firm beliver in making data (information) both tangable and open-ended.

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Her project Feral Robotic Dogs, in collaboration with the experemental product design lab at Yale is truely stunning. Taking the best aspects of hacking, social responsability and open data structures the Feral Dogs Project manages to be deeply meaningful in its critical gaze but also whimsical in its asthetics. The "feral dogs" are cheap childrens robotic toys, that are hacked in such a way so that they act in pack's using individual sensors to measure enviormental toxins in public parks and public schools and then making topological graphs of the concentrations of enviormental toxins. The site has full instructions which allow any of us to duplicate and improce upon the hack. Amazing.

Janeane Garofalo, giving the keynote, was a total letdown after that panel- she was funny and ueber cute but her political rambilings, most of which I agree with, seemed really silly and poorly reasoned- which is my basic critique of air america radio (in case you cared)

Posted by thickeye at April 6, 2004 04:09 PM | TrackBack
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