From March 2012

The next thing

It is bittersweet that the year in the AoV program is winding down. Tonight the Soap Factory hosts the remaining three artist talks, and while I’ve gotten to know these artists and their projects quite well, I’m looking forward to listening. I felt like there was a cohesion that came together in how I thought about my piece after “living with it” in the gallery. I found it interesting, during Aaron’s talk last week, to get a sense of the reactions and questions from people who experienced the piece in its current form without a front-row seat during several months of our conceptualization and process of revision. I imagine it will be the same tonight with Drew and Mike and Anthony’s pieces.

But, it is also exciting to move on to the next thing. The next thing for me is a site-specific reboot of my current project for the Northern Spark festival – so, the same base, but very different in terms of location and logistics. It should be a fun challenge. I have my first site visit this afternoon.

Northern Spark was one of my favorite nights of the year last year, playing the headphone concert at the Walker before heading out into the night to experience what other people had come together to create. I’m excited to be a part of it again in a new way.

Women in tech

Wow, this guy’s got a lot of gear!

She’s a girl, actually.

This was an observation of someone at the opening, peeking behind the curtain at Status Update’s tangled guts of wire and amplifiers and clicking relays- and the response of one of the other fellows, who told me about it later. When he told me about it, I laughed, pleased at the idea of altering someone’s perspective.

Being a woman working in media and using tools that tend to be something of a boys’ club is an interesting thing to me, though it’s a thing I’ve spent little time analyzing. Why did that exchange spark the reaction that it did? Would the assumption or reaction have been the same if I were a painter or a photographer or a choreographer or an actor? I’m not any of those things, so I really can’t say.

I do get a certain satisfaction from being something unexpected, but I’m also a bit disheartened that the assumption my piece was created by a guy may have been a common one.

The people – mostly guys – I’ve met in the electronic music/circuit bending/hardware hacking world are people with whom I clearly share common interests, and tend to get along well. I’ve found this niche of the music/art/tech world one that is incredibly welcoming and inclusive – but there is a lingering sense of female-ness as a novelty. It’s a feeling paralleled to a certain extent in the community of science fiction and fandom, with which I also self-define.

While I don’t really mind living with that self-consciousness (and appreciate it in some ways) I do wonder how it can or should or will effect my work or process, and if or how the knowledge that I’m a woman can unintentionally frame someone’s perception of what I’ve made.


AoV 3

The opening was fabulously attended and fantastic, if a bit overwhelming. Thanks to everyone who made it out! Everyone involved through the whole process- the artists, directors, mentors, critique panelists, all the staff and volunteers at the Soap Factory- have been great to work with. While the slow return of a more normalized, post-opening existence brings a certain relief, I will be genuinely sad to see such a focused-yet-experimental and motivating group environment come to a close. Thinking about projects I can delve into while I still feel some momentum.

A short photo summary – thanks to Dane McFarlane for the images.

My installation, Status Update

Drew Anderson’s Near the Ghosts of Sugarloaf

Mike Hoyt’s PoHo Posit

Anthony Tran’s Wire Less

Aaron Westre’s City Fight! 

(In this photo it’s my first game, against its creator. I did better than I expected!)