[NetBehaviour] technological sorcery | Technology is Not Neutral

marc garrett marc.garrett2 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 17 12:39:21 CEST 2016

Hi Johannes,

Thanks for your response,

It is reassuring that the 'Technology is Not Neutral' show has been
happening in Brighton and I wish that I'd to the time to be there. But,
like yourself I've been too busy what with doing Furtherfield things, and
my PhD.

> It includes significant and newly commissioned work by pioneering
>and contemporary female digital artists, spanning a wide range of
>themes and approaches.

Usually, I bulk at words like 'pioneering', they tend to m,ake me feel ill
isnide -- but, if you've been kept down by: totalitarianism, sexism,
hegemony, suppression, or an established elite - getting around these
blockages means you're definitely worthy of upmost respect, as well as
being seen as pioneering ;-)

Getting back to your comments regarding the Ars Electronica 2016 Review by
KissMyArs on Furtherfield. Featuring it on the site is a risk because we
are not rich and do not have the institutional power or resources that Ars
Electronica has. And, many of the traditional groups out there may see this
as a step too far. However, as one individual said on Twitter "Thanks
#KissMyArs for writing on @furtherfield what many of us have been
whispering 4 years about..."

And, this is part of the point which is also a big problem that, too many
are too quiet until it's too late to do something about it, and when
someone (or many) does speak out about these matters, they are more likely
to get attacked because to them it feels like you're being unjust, rude or
horrible. It was the same when the Sex Pistols & peer punks challenged the

Of course, the review and its critique on ars Electronica is a bit like an
ant bumping into a tank.

They'll survive, the establishment is banking on it ;-)

Wishing you well.


On 16 September 2016 at 18:42, Johannes Birringer <
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

> dear all
> oh, are the techno-sorcerers at it again in Linz?  the alchemists of our
> time?
> thanks for sharing this review with us, I was not aware (of the writer)
> but glancing at the review i see the critique spelled out in the last
> segment --
> >
> The lack of social awareness and engagement of issues surrounding our time
> have begun to impinge on the festival itself, and an awareness campaign
> called #kissmyars is voicing concerns over the lack of female
> representation at the festival, particularly in the prix art prize which is
> awarded to men 9/10 times. The gender diversity in technology sector should
> no longer be ignored; this is one example of a socio-political issue not
> only overlooked at the festival program but also exacerbated by the
> organisation itself. I hope that the #KissMyArs campaign will not only
> rebalance the gender inequality at the event but also encourage the
> organisers to address other alarming realisations that operate within and
> around the application of technology in the social, political and economic
> sphere...
> >>
> Can I, in this connection, mention an exhibition that a curator friend,
> Gordana Novakovic,  drew my attention to:
> >>
> Technology is Not Neutral
> 2 – 25 September 2016
> Presented in partnership with Phoenix Brighton as part of Brighton Digital
> Festival 2016
> The show highlights and investigates the work of a group of women artists
> in the field of digital arts, where women are often underrepresented. The
> title refers to a quote by Donna Haraway taken from her Cyborg Manifesto.
> It includes significant and newly commissioned work by pioneering and
> contemporary female digital artists, spanning a wide range of themes and
> approaches. The exhibition features work by Ghislaine Boddington, Susan
> Collins, Laura Dekker, Anna Dumitriu, Bhavani Esapathi, Julie Freeman, Kate
> Genevieve, Sue Gollifer, Luciana Haill, Nina Kov, and Gordana Novakovic.
> >>
> I missed it as I have been on the continent, but shall catch up with it
> when the show comes to Watermans in London later this fall.
> regards
> Johannes Birringer
> ________________________________________
> furtherfield [furtherfielder at gmail.com]
> Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 4:58 PM
> Subject: [NetBehaviour] The tireless enchantment of technological sorcery
> | Ars Electronica 2016 Review.
> The tireless enchantment of technological sorcery | Ars Electronica 2016
> Review.
> By #KissMyArs - http://bit.ly/2ctU82g
> A participant asks how Ars Electronica, one of the longest standing and
> biggest media arts festivals in the world, has found itself so far
> distanced from the political concerns surrounding technology?
> "The alchemists of our time, or as I like to call them 'Dumb wizards', are
> continuing to design and exhibit technological achievements in
> self-fulfilling speculative words that have very little concern,
> consideration or critique with any relevant social issues of our time.
> Excluding the CyberArts exhibition (curated by Genoveva Rückert), which I
> thought was a top selection of some of the best media art works of the last
> years, Ars Electronica is predominantly occupied by interactive spectacles
> that neglect to examine the social & political impact of technology."
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> NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org
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Marc Garrett
Co-Founder, Co-Director and main editor of Furtherfield.

Furtherfield - A living, breathing, thriving network
http://www.furtherfield.org - for art, technology and social change since

Furtherfield Gallery & Commons,
Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ
T +44(0)208 802 1301/+44(0)208 802 2827
M +44(0)7533676047
www.furtherfield.org <http://www.furtherfield.org>
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