Technology is not Neutral Symposium

Year: 2016
Running Time: 3 Dec 2016, 11am - 6pm

About this event

The ‘Technology Is Not Neutral’ project was inspired by the desire to counteract the frequent under-representation of the achievements of women in the field of digital art. Whereas the touring exhibition showcases the quality and diversity of the work of female digital artists, this symposium addresses the causes and effects of the problem, and opens up a space for challenging the status quo and the presumptions on which the history of digital art is written.

Many of the causes of the current situation are not specific to the area of female digital art, but are also linked to the wider socio-political effects of technology, and technology, as the project title declares, is not neutral. The speakers, all female, will include curators, digital artists, media activists, academics, and feminists, and will therefore offer a variety of perspectives relevant to the central issue. The questions addressed may include, among others:

– How does the current state of affairs affect female digital artists and their practices?

– Has there been any improvement in the representation of women in digital art since the discipline began?

– What are the approaches and strategies that they apply to engage with these issues, and which are most effective?

– What is the relevance of cyberfeminism today to female digital artists?

–   Are female digital artists facing a glass ceiling syndrome, so common in many other professions, when it comes to curating major exhibitions and evaluating and documenting the past?

The closing plenary session of the symposium will offer a space for artists, speakers, and the audience to review and discuss the experiences and lessons from the symposium and the exhibition. This structured discussion will also act as a starting point for the project to formulate and disseminate a strategic guide for the future development and promotion of women working in the digital arts.

Timetable for the day:

11.00 Irini Papadimitriou: Welcome

Chair: Irini Papadimitriu
11.10 – 11.40 Gordana Novakovic: Introduction to the project
11.45 – 12.15 Melanie Lenz
12.20 – 12 50 Julie Freeman
12.50 – 14.10 Lunch and gallery break

Chair: Gordana Novakovic
14.15 – 14.45 Hannah Redler
14.50 – 15.20 Josephine Berry
15.25 – 16.00 Cornelia Sollfrank (via Skype)
16.00 – 16.30 Coffee break

Moderator: Bronac Ferran
16.30 – 18.00 Plenary discussion with speakers, artists, and audience


Confirmed speakers:

Dr Josephine Berry, Goldsmiths University of London,
Melanie Lenz, Patric Prince Curator of Digital Art, V&A 

Julie Freeman, artist,

Hannah Redler, art curator,

Dr. Cornelia Sollfrank, artist and Cyberfeminism pioneer (Dr. Cornelia Sollfrank will join the symposium online)

Bronac Ferran, writer, curator and researcher,

The symposium is a free event but tickets must be booked in advance. An express lunch will be available for £5.50 from the Guru Tandoori Kitchen, with a curry, naan, rice and side salad.

Supported by the Arts Council England, Computer Arts Society, UCL Department of Computer Science and Women Shift Digital.

image credit: Nina Kov ‘Dancing with Drones/Copter’. Photo by Tamas Olajos

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