[NetBehaviour] Furtherfield in Support of Ada Lovelace Day

Aileen Derieg a.derieg at eliot.at
Sat Mar 28 16:45:22 CET 2009

Although I wrote a short blog post about my grandmother on our family blog for 
Ada Lovelace Day earlier this week, I am happy to take advantage of Ruth and 
Marc's invitation to mention some of the women who have inspired and 
encouraged me - this is the short version in comparison with what has been 
going through my mind:

My name: Aileen Derieg
I work as a translator with an emphasis on Contemporary Art and New Media.
My web site: http://eliot.at

Inspired by:

Judith Butler
Again and again, reading Judith Butler's books has helped me to feel not quite 
so powerless in a world that I do not agree with. The way she questions 
things that seem to be taken for granted, proposing radically different ways 
of understanding the world that make so much more sense – her books are 
certainly among the most important I have read in my life.

Faith Wilding
A description I read many years ago as a young student of Faith 
Wilding's "Invitation to a Burning" was what first captured my attention and 
awakened my interest in Faith and her work. Years later I was even more 
impressed to realize how she had continued to develop and evolve her work and 
ideas. When I first joined the Faces mailing list in the late 90s, I nearly 
fell off my chair when the first response to my introduction was a personal 
welcome from Faith. Having admired and looked up to this woman for so long, I 
was deeply touched by her response.
A few years ago, in the midst of a conflict, when I was feeling sad and low, I 
was standing at a window looking down on an empty space, which made me think 
of "Invitation to a Burning" again. I wrote to Faith then and told her how 
sad I felt, how I missed the kind of exhilarating actions that have meanwhile 
become part of art history. I was very grateful for and encouraged by her 
response. To me, she is not only a fascinating and inspiring artist and an 
intelligent and thoughtful writer, but also a wise woman.

Margarete Jahrmann
I first became aware of Margarete through the "Poptarts" section of Telepolis 
that she and Kathy Rae Huffman were responsible for, so I think in many ways 
Margarete was really the one who first introduced me to the possibilities of 
feminist digital art. What I especially love about her work is the way all 
the many layers are ultimately transparent. Even though some of her writing 
may appear confusing at first glance, there is a depth and fundamental 
coherence to it that I find fascinating. As engaging as her work is at a 
first look, as often as I come back to it and look again, I invariably find 
there is always even more to it.

Amy Alexander
Like Margarete, Amy is someone I admired first, long before I had the pleasure 
of becoming personally acquainted with her. The first time I heard of Amy's 
work was when she received an Honorary Mention in the Prix Ars Electronica 
for the "Multicultural Recycler". When we later met through the Faces mailing 
list, I thoroughly enjoyed her sense of humor and her delightfully geeky 
interests. As we have stayed in contact since then, this is what I continue 
to especially appreciate and enjoy. What I love about Amy's work is the way 
the humor, the not-so-serious view of things, is rooted in a very serious and 
well founded understanding of the issues at stake. She has an amazing ability 
to grasp complex issues and condense them into concise and witty statements.

Paula Graham
Some years ago there was an interesting thread on the Linuxchix "issues" 
mailing list about how the women subscribed to the list became involved in 
computing. All the stories were wonderful to read, but the one that 
completely blew me away was Paula Graham's. Not very long after that, I had 
the great pleasure of meeting Paula at the Eclectic Tech Carnival in Graz, 
and she has been very high on my personal list of most admired women ever 
I'm not sure whether Paula actually invented the term "accidental techie", but 
she is certainly the person I learned it from, meaning that when any kind of 
group reaches the point where they need to use technology, *somebody* has to 
figure out how to do it. Paula is most insistent about convincing other women 
to be self-confident and self-reliant enough – no matter what their 
background – to become that *somebody*. One of the most important lessons I 
have learned from Paula is that women don't always need to be "nice", and 
that can be quite a liberating insight.

In so many words: http://eliot.at

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