Act 13

March 31, 2008

Resistance is Fertile—Photoshop Brushes
I am a big user of Photoshop. While I find it has its own language that is not very intuitive to beginner users (as compared to, say, ms word) I find that once you learn that language the program makes a unique kind of sense, and it is so amazingly packed full of features that an experienced amateur such as myself can continually find new ways to use it. Another thing I like about it is the many parallels the program has to traditional paper and textile crafts—for example the layering, which seems to be the most confusing part of Photoshop for beginners, makes a lot of sense when you think of it in terms of layering physical craft objects (transparent papers, paint, stamps, fabric) on top of each other. One use of these layers that has become particularly popular with user icon makers is adding layers marked with the Photoshop brush tool. I am particularly interested in this usage, because although I suspect the brush tool started out as a tool for creating lines with the users desired thickness and textural properties, it seems to have evolved into use as a stamp like feature. Icon makers in particular will commonly use the brush tool like a stencil or stamp for adding detail and decoration to an image, rather than using it as a *brush* to spread pixels around with. Another exciting aspect of this brush/stamp phenomenon is that brushes are easy to share, and people do share them—check out the brush_fantastic community on live journal as an example of this, and there are many more that can be found by doing a search for brushes on LJ.

This week I have designed a set of brushes to share. I wanted to do something organic and representative of growth and emergence—I drew inspiration from this photo I found on flickr by doing a search for images tagged with ‘organic’ and ‘fertile’

image by hfabulous

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Act 12

March 21, 2008

Watching Women Street Art

re-view 1--Mona Lisa

Act 12 is a mix of a work I have had brewing for a while, given new inspiration by the HollaBack Australia web site (see Act 10). While it is not directly connected to the HollaBack site, the idea of the use of cameras as a tool/symbol for reclamation of power is directly taken from there. Before HollaBack, the original idea was to create sticker/stencil art of ‘watching women’ to be distributed in areas that are traditionally considered less than safe, with the intention of there then being a ‘mother figure’ watching the area. Areas like dark alleyways are given extra scare power by their covert nature—because no one is watching it is easy to imagine predators believing it is okay to behave in a manner they might not otherwise choose when under scrutiny—I wanted to put someone watching in these places. I wanted to put ‘watching mammas’ in these places, knowing that it is hard to behave badly knowing that your mother, or even someone else’s mother, is watching you. The idea has moved on from there, and for now I have taken it in a slightly different direction, with the intention of returning to the mother figure idea at a later date. Read the rest of this entry »

Act 11

March 17, 2008

Internet as cyberfeminist distribution tool – HollaBack Australia flyer

Act 11 is a real world flyer to advertise the HollaBack Australia site. These are PDF flyers designed to be downloaded, printed, and distributed widely (for example in uni women’s department rooms and public toilets etc.) across Australia. I love this act because it is important in terms of real world feminism and cyberfeminism and it brings the two together, utilizing the spirit of action that is so important to both movements.

The PDF is A4 sized, black and white, with 2 to a page (finished flyer size is A5). Would be great printed on coloured paper!

hollaback oz flyer

Act 10

March 7, 2008

Hollaback Australia – anti street harassment blog

After hearing about a friend’s recent experience of public harassment,  Lauredhel (of Hoyden About Town) identified the need for an Australian version of the successful American anti-harassment blog Hollaback NYC. So together we are moderating the new Hollaback Australia, a place where people can share their stories of sexual harassment experienced in the public spaces of Australia.

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