Osborne response - Cyberfeminism


Subject: Osborne response - Cyberfeminism
From: Elizabeth Hinkle (ehinkle@unt.edu)
Date: Wed Jan 05 2005 - 16:05:36 EST


And if you haven't already gotten tired of responses....here is
William's response to MY response (from WAVE_LIST). E H-T

Thanks, Elizabeth for the extensive response to my posting about the
new
book by women in the visual digital arts. You also sent your post to
the
IAWM list, though I had not posted my comment there.

(You might need to forward my original post to the IAWM list, so that
they
will know what you are talking about.)

I would agree with your comments, though this one might need a little
more
research:

>To the representation issue: I just think that this is a false
impression. Women are not better represented in the digital visual
arts
than they are in the digital musical arts....they just currently have
a
'little bit better press.'<

Better press, of course, would be better representation. Also, I have
not
done a formal count, but based on the various gallery and festival
listings
I see, there might be a higher ratio of women included than on concerts
of
digital music. Women seem to represent about a third of the listings
in
the visual arts, while in music the usual ranges from about a tenth to
a
sixth. Again, that is just a rough, informal impression. An exact
study
would have to be made.

In my review of the 2000 ICMC in Berlin, I included the stats for the
membership of women in the ICMA. It was only 8%.
If I had to guess, I think the membership of women in comparable
organizations for the digital visual arts would be higher -- maybe
even
significantly higher. Again, that is just a guess.

It is true that the visual arts have historically set trends, since
the
cognitive nature of the human mind is more visual than aural. But the
higher representation of women in the visual arts might have
additional
causes. Music might be more sexist because it has had a different
history
and function in society. Artists, for example, usually work alone,
while
musicians often work with very hierarchical and authoritarian
ensembles
that are distinctly patriarchal. Another example would be that
composers
assumed nationalistic roles that were not as strongly assigned to
visual
artists. Think of the nationalistic reception of composers such as
Wagner,
Verdi, Dvorak, and Shostakovich. Nationalism and patriarchy walk hand
in
hand. Music seemed to carry an even stronger burden in this area.

It is not that women in the visual arts don't face problems. For an
example, see my review of the 2000 Ars Electronic Festival which was
centered around the titled "Next Sex." It was one of the most
brutally
sexist events I have experienced. Even organizations like the Vienna
Philharmonic do not rationalize things like rape while having
presentations
such as "sperm races." [See: http://www.osborne-conant.org/ars.htm
]

To add a new topic: As we all know, music and visual arts are
increasingly
overlapping a under the general rubric of media arts. Musicians are
increasingly becoming visual in their work, and visual artists are
increasingly becoming musical. This seems to have something to do
with
both field's common origins of production by computers. The computer
lends
both areas increased facility for intermedia work. Abbie and I, for
example, are finding that work with Photoshop, video editing, and
harddisk
recording software forms a seamless continuum that allows for kinds of
musical/visual/theatrical creations that have hardly existed before.
(See
the video on our website -- though we have a lot of new stuff I
haven't
uploaded yet.)

A good way to keep up on the latest thought in the media arts is to
join
lists such as Rhizome and Nettime. (Both have digest forms -- which I
recommend-- and you have to pay a small membership fee for Rhizome.
Address can be googled.) The theoretical discussions for the visual
and
media arts are often directly analogous to ones that might exist in
music.
The discussions also often seem a bit more varied and lively than
those
found on musical lists. They are often very political, and the
membership
very international, so there are a lot of perspectives Americans
usually
don't hear. Nettime is based in Holland, and has a clear European
orientation. I miss this in the music lists -- especially those for
women
-- since I think such discussion and membership are very needed. They
are
also huge lists, with membership in the thousands.

William
William Osborne
100260.243@compuserve.com



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