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Dear LiveJournal

Dear LiveJournal,

it's not you, it's me. You have been very good to me over the last couple of years, your easy going nature and focus on social networks gave me the courage to start blogging and helped me develop into the web savvy person I am today. Sure, I was disturbed when you started deleting peoples journals for posting fan fic, and enraged when you started censoring breast feeding mothers, but to be honest, although I would like to say that I am being morally conscious, this is not about that. It's just that I have been hanging out with wordpress and I have found that it is more suited to the way I want to use this journal.

good luck in the future, if you need me you can find me over at http://diaryofaresearchartist.wordpress.com.


Brief Update

  • I have been working on my ethics clearance, which embarrassingly I forgot all about in the excitement of having my candidacy passed. As of a few days ago the form has been posted and is on it's merry way through the system (after a brief visit with neleh13, whom I would never label as part of "the system" :) )
  • Am very excited about the prospect of holding a mini con/cyberfeminist get together on the fringes of night's edge in november to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first cyberfeminist international that was held within documenta x.
  • DCA project is moving forward, current plan is to launch at cyberfem mini con/night's edge.
  • I am aware that my project has (as expected) become more finely defined and slightly deviated from original proposal, one of my objectives for the week is to write up a clear project description and post it here.
  • Participated in ANAT's still/open workshops on the week end and, although it was not quite what I was expecting, have come away completely inspired and met some excellent people. Expanded report to follow.
  • femmeconne is next week, full draft of the program has been completed and posted, now all that is left is to get on a plane and let the event happen.
  • Have been doing layout for Borderlands, waiting on confirmation of changes from a few authors, I expect to have it finalised while I am away for femmeconne.

Idea grazing with the Financial Review

Earlier, here, I talked about idea gathering while flicking through a women’s magazine and mentioned that I would try the same thing with a magazine aimed at men. I went back to the same cafe and looked through their stack of magazines, I didn’t find any magazines aimed specifically at men, e.g. Men’s Health, or Ralph etc., so I used the one that seemed the most male oriented out to the selection, The Financial Review. I found this interesting in itself, as there was nothing inherently “male” about the magazine, it is really a gender neutral topic, yet the look and feel of the magazine – in particular the advertising – appeared to be aimed at men. I think this illustrates the way that ‘neutral’ in western culture actually means ‘male’. Male is the default, this is particularly obvious when you look at clothing that is perceived to be gender neutral, it generally male clothing that women are permitted to wear. Even more interestingly, as I pondered this concept and scanned the contents page I noted that the majority of staff and contributors to the magazine are female. It is nice to have your assumptions shattered once and a while.

Like the last exercise this is just a stream of consciousness, random thoughts and ideas for further investigation and possible projects.Collapse )

I found that this time I wrote a lot more, with a greater number of high concept ideas, but overall with less clarity and less ideas that jumped out at me as must dos. The end result – I am left with a desire to be sculpted, in control, to be full of ideas and to have meetings and coffee. I feel like I want to record ideas on an ipod, to take notes and to make snap decisions. I want to work in a funky/minimalist/organic/retrofit/city central office.

It is all still about image, just a different one.

The bestest blog name in the world?

I am finding that my procrastination streak is coming out at the moment, I am all set to start doing the creative project, I am feeling creative and I am feeling motivated (despite a small lapse in confidence that lasted for a week or so) and I am ready to go. All that is holding me up is a name. Such a small thing, yet so powerful, as someone who has been inclined to change their name by depoll I understand very well the power of a name, whether it is other people who judge you differently or you yourself, a different name can make for a different life. But do I really really need the bestest blog name in the world? No. It just needs to be good enough.

A short list of names I am considering:
  • intimate and subversive (intimateandsubversive[dot]net): 'intimate and subversive' is how Sadie Plant describes women’s relationship with technology, I really like the sound of it and I think it describes the relationship very well, and since this project is about that relationship I think it fits really well.
  • machine mother (machinemother[dot]net): this I like as well, it has a nice set of layered meanings (and as you know it is all about the layers for me :) ), giving birth to machines and being a machine, and it sounds kind of hard rock :P and suggests creative birth as well. On the cons side it does sound a little simplistic and pretentious.
  • these days are numbered (thesedaysarenumbered[dot]net): as suggested by whooz_queen I love it, it is poetic and it is a lovely reference to both the timed nature of the project and also life itself. Cons, it is a little ominous and it scares me a little in terms of being confronted by my own mortality.
  • fiftytwo (most variants are taken): 52 is a nice 'tell it like it is' name for a 52 week project. Cons, most variants of the name are taken so it makes both getting a domain harder and potential for misdirection greater. Also, it is maybe a little too generic.
  • fifty two ways (fifty2ways[dot]net): fifty two ways to represent one’s self as a cyberfeminist online. The more I say it the more I like it. Cons, may be mistaken for this, maybe a bit too generic still.

any thoughts, comments, preferences or suggestions of other names please comment.

New Icon

about time really :)


Does art require an explanation?

I am finding many blog based art projects* less accessible than I would like, which means a reduced likelihood that I will return to these sites. This has me thinking about the idea of art rationales, the explanations that you often see in a gallery on the wall next to a piece or in a catalogue, I often find that I enjoy reading the rationale as much and sometimes even more than the art itself. The extra information – what the artist was intending, other influences that surround the work etc. – definitely enhance my enjoyment of the work. Similarly if there is a tour going at the gallery I will always join and I really get a lot of value out of those audio guides galleries sometimes provide. However, I am wondering if it is fair to always expect artists to explain themselves, part of the reader process is figuring this all out and drawing your own conclusion. Many artists deliberately do not supply rationales or even titles for this very reason (Mark Rothko for example). Is expecting an explanation just lazy on my behalf? Maybe, but if I am someone who is actively interested in new media art and *I* am finding these sites inexplicable then the chances of the average internet user enjoying the work are pretty slim.

Now, I don’t expect you to explain your every idea in great detail, however, if you give me a hint or two, just a little background or explanation the likelihood I will be engaged and interested enough to take a closer look and form my own opinion is much greater. I think this is probably even important for internet artworks since when I go to a gallery I already have a set of expectations, I have a place of reference and a framework to start with. Most people who enter a gallery will get there through the front door. With internet art people arrive from many different directions and they are seeking and expecting many different things. Of course the fact that people are expecting a certain thing within the internet is a good opportunity to play with those perceptions, and to use those perceptions against the reader in a judo-esque manner, yet I think that opportunity is often lost as it is as easy to leave a site as it is to stumble across one.

*the blog-art blog is a really good reference for art blog links.

Brainstorming for Art Ideas

I spent this morning brainstorming for art ideas, I am definitely keen to invest some more time into practice right now. I jotted down ideas as they came to me, and then jotted down some more as I sat in a cafe flicking through a ‘Marie Claire’ magazine that I picked up of the cafe shelf. Of course the magazine was really just a catalyst for jotting down ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while, an extraction tool of sorts, yet I am thinking about repeating this process on Friday morning, but instead of looking through ‘Marie Claire’ selecting a magazine that is aimed at men instead and see if/how the themes that strike me differ.

Some thoughts and themesCollapse )


Today's reading: Sollfrank and OBN

This morning was spent reading Conelia Sollfrank’s Cyberfeminism: Revolution; Tactical use of terms a presentation given in 2002; and the almost identical The final truth about cyberfeminism, and then having a general look around the OBN Reading Room. I will write a more comprehensive review and post to No Una Banana, but some quick notes that struck a chord with me:
  • Sollfrank mentions Sadie Plant’s description of women’s relationship to technology as "intimate and subversive" – I really like this idea. I may have to give Plant’s ‘zeros and ones’ another look now I have a bit more time.
  • DIY is an essential part of cyberfeminism – "The idea of taking the term Cyberfeminism and filling it with one's own vision instead of complaining about what predecessors had done wrong, was central. Cyberfeminism as something you cannot learn, you cannot read, you cannot understand, but that you invent and do yourself, brought back agency to many women/feminists who had felt they had arrived at a dead end." – this is something I need to remember when defining my methodology, I will need to make it explicitly clear that I am not defining ‘the’ cyberfeminist methodology, but rather ‘a’ cyberfeminist methodology. This is not a particularly shocking revelation for me, it is part of what attracted me to cyberfeminism in the first place, and I documented that in the candidacy proposal, but it is always good to have a reminder.
  • Sollfrank also talks about the essential nature of networking to a cyberfeminist practice. Again not a new concept for me now, but a good reminder. This is definitely my weakest point as a cyberfeminist and is something I need to actively work on.

      I have decided to start a mini project on No Unna Banana with ‘100 days of anti-theses’ in which I post the 100 anti-theses with a short discussion on each one, mostly for my own amusement :)

Conference Hunting and Mapping Frameworks

I have spent most of this morning (and a good deal of last night) hunting for potential conferences to attend and other related artistic opportunities. This sounded like an easy task, but proved to be more difficult than I had thought it would. I think the problem was one of not knowing the exact language to describe what I was looking for - this is a problem I am finding more and more frequently as I expand my areas of interest, there is much information out there, but unless you have the right map or phrase book it can be really really hard to find. I found some useful info at the Curtin uni library site, but still having limited success in tracking down conferences that relate to my particular field.

I have also been doing so more thinking on my last post about using 'a cyberfeminist approach'. There is an opportunity here for me to develop a cyberfeminist methodology as one of my objectives, a major objective in fact. It is what I have been doing anyway, but saying it like that makes it much more organised and focussed.