Act 40

March 18, 2009

Feminism and the fluid body–a feminist friendly dress tutorial

In January 2008 I created an instructables tutorial for a skirt that respected the changeability of women’s bodies. Now that a year has passed and my waist is once again in rappid expansion mode I thought it might be timely to expand my feminine/feminist friendly wardrobe with a new dress design.

goddess wrap dress

This is a simple wrap and tie dress made from two rectangles of fabric. It is compatible with, and flattering to, most body shapes including pregnant bodies. I have shared full instructions for the dress over on the instructables website.

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Act 39

February 18, 2009

So you want to be a cyberfeminist—re-writing Bukowski

Hello and welcome back to 52 Acts. I have had a lovely Internet-free (after working through withdrawals) holiday and thought a bit of re-worked poetry might be a nice gentle way to kick things off for the year.

Recently I was sent a copy of Charles Bukowski’s poem So You Want to be a Writer via an email list I am part of. Now, the only thing I know about Bukowski is what I learned from a Modest Mouse song, the key lyric being “yeah I know he’s a pretty good read, but God who’d want to be, God who’d want to be such an asshole

Well I read it over a few times and couldn’t quite work out if it was meant to be taken at face value or rather if it was a tongue in cheek exploration of the way that people see artists as conduits for divine inspiration. The above lyric makes me think probably the former, so I decided to re-work it to my way of thinking.

So you want to be a writer

if you wait until it comes bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
you won’t do it.

if you only want it to come unasked out of your

heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.

if you think sitting for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your typewriter
searching for words makes you a failure,
don’t do it.

if you’re doing it for money or fame,
you may well be disappointed,
but don’t let that stop you,
you might find something even more valuable on the way.

if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
again this may not work,
but you might meet some interesting people on your journey
and heh, some may just end up in your bed.

if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
please, please do,
editing is as important as getting the words out in the first place.

if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
start it now.

if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
don’t worry,
you are just like the rest of us,
we all have idols
but you will find your own style soon enough.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of you,
you may be waiting a very long time.
better to give it a kick start by going through the motions anyway,
it will roar out eventually
but you need to help it.

if it never does roar out of you,
do something else,
like go for a walk and then come back and do a
creative writing exercise and see if that helps.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
make sure they are people who are likely to be encouraging and give
you good editing advice.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who write but are afraid to call themselves writers,
or worse, are afraid to write at all.

don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious,
just be yourself.

the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep over your kind,
waiting for your book because you waited for inspiration.
don’t add to that.
write it now.

sometimes it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
but being still won’t
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
sometimes you need to be still to allow the ideas to come.

you need to fuel the fire so the sun inside you
burns your gut,
it doesn’t happen on its own.

it is truly time,
and you have been chosen,
but it will not do it by
itself
you need to will keep on fueling it
until you die.

there is no other way.
and there never was.

***

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Act 38

December 12, 2008

Act 38 is Cherished, originally by Emily Maquire, the last of my remix my lit remixes for Viola’s Bookshelf. This is my favourite of all the remixes so far, I loved the original story to begin with, the beautiful way it uses so few words to craft a picture of self love and acceptance. But I love the remix even more because it completely queers it, and for this reason I find the self aceptance and comfort the stories subject has being in their own skin even more profound.

Act 36

November 28, 2008

The New Feminine–Flickr group and tagging project

Organic Farmerunder the umbrellaNatasha

As we are coming to the end of the year and I am beginning to wrap up the 52 Acts project I have been looking back on some of the previous Acts and thinking about some of the ways in which I have wanted to further the knowedge I have gained from them. Early on in the project I had a look at Flickr images and the way in which they were tagged (see Acts 5, 6, and 7. I feel this was an important element of my work because the idea of ‘tagging’ (attaching several descriptors to an item for the purposes of searching) rather than categorising is central to the concept of web 2.0.

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Act 34

November 23, 2008

Living in a networked world–Failure to connect

Yesterday I opened a ‘floating art gallery’ in the middle of my city. I took with me my bluetooth enabled phone loaded up with miniature jpg versions of previous 52 Acts art works, a note pad and a pencil.

The idea was to find a central location, sit myself down, start beaming out images to other visible bluetooth devices, and see if I could interest any networked city dwellers in some free random art.

floating art gallery 2

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Act 31

November 12, 2008

Watching Women Street Art–Part 2a WOC Edition–Aunt Jemima

Back in March I worked on Act 12, Watching Women Street Art, a set of three images that I shared on the Internet for use as street art stencil and sticker templates. The images were created using iconic images of women in western art, women whose images were created purely for the pleasure of the viewer. Inspired by the recent creation of the Hollaback Australia site I had repurposed the images as viewers themselves.

In the comments of Act 12 Mehitabel Moody Moss Said:

In my city we would need some African-American iconic women for such a project. For the US I’d suggest Queen Nefertiti, Aunt Jemima, Angela Davis.

I decided that I really wanted to take this on board and to include some images of women of colour in my next watching women street art set (I had always intended to do three sets of three images for this project).

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Act 29

October 15, 2008

Another Hairy Legged Feminist Icon

beware hairy monster

Unfeminine hairy monster icon inspired by the discussion about feminism’s hairy image at Hoyden About Town.

Act 28

October 4, 2008

Putting Us Back Together Again–Cyber-Flip-Doll

I am stoked with this weeks act. I am really happy with it because it fulfills one of the goals I set for 52 Acts which is to use conventional items or programs in a way which they were not directly intended. To creatively misuse technology.

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Act 27

October 2, 2008

Representations of Feminism–Hairy Legged Feminist Icon

Here is the blog icon I promised in Act 25

Hairy Legged Feminist

In Act 25 I said “Most of the time my legs and pits are hairy, sometimes not depending on my mood, but really who the fuck cares?” and while I still hold by that I have been thinking more on it and decided it requires a little more clarification. Because *I* care.

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Act 26

September 26, 2008

Cut-Up

Commentary eludes me today. This is a work looking further into the phenomena of cutting ourselves to pieces with photography. Make of it what you will.


It was created using Animoto, a neat web app that lets you add your still images and turns them into an animated slide show either with music from their free use music library or from music you upload yourself. It is very cool, and allows unlimitted free 30 second mini shows–which at first I found a little frustrating, but then came to enjoy the challenge as it made me really think about how to get my message across in a condensed time frame. Big thanks to Aphd31 for her help talking me through the ideas with this one.

All images used in this work are used with gratitude to the original artist who made them available under creative commons licences. A list of URLs for all the original images used in this project and the previous Frankenstein’s Daughter image is available here