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 33

November 12, 2008

Watching Women Street Art–Part 2c WOC Edition–Turkish Gold

One of the biggest offenders in the gender ads WOC gallery seemed to be cigarette advertising. The Virginia Slims ads are particularly bad using stereotypes to sell the sexiness of their cigarettes while using the tagline “find your voice”. Firstly, cigarettes have long been proven to damage and actually remove your voice, secondly, using a stereotype and calling it individuality is just plain baffling.

I chose to use this camel cigarettes advert as the basis for my third and final stencil in part 2 of the series. It seems representations of Middle Eastern women are either belly dance/mysterious/spicy/sexy or completely veiled. It is the virgin/whore trope taken to extremes.

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Act 32

November 12, 2008

Watching Women Street Art–Part 2b WOC Edition–Reebok Geisha

Following on from the Aunt Jemima stencil I became interested in other representations of women, and particularly women of colour, in advertising. I found GenderAds.com which is a fantastic resource, particularly useful was their WOC exotics section. I was inspired by this old reebok ad depicting a shy geisha girl stereotype wearing reebok sneakers.

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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 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 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

Act 22

September 3, 2008

Response to Spam–Part 1, Found Poetry

It would be disingenuous to discuss the way women are represented on the internet without paying some attention to spam. Spam is fairly easy to overlook, I get flooded with so much of it that it reaches a kind of critical mass and I no longer see the images or hear the words–until another, more shocking piece breaks through the white noise and I am disgusted all over again.

This task was a real challenge for me, I set out to make some ‘art from spam’ a few times, but each time I wasn’t quite ready and had to back off and put it aside for a time when I was feeling more mentally able to cope. There are some days spam evades the filter and makes it to my inbox, where I see it before I get a chance to delete it–some days I just shrug and it bounces off my invisible ‘whatever’ barrier, but other days it gets through, and in that brief instant between where it catches my notice and I hit the delete key it makes it’s way into my brain like a subliminal frame cut into a film and I feel like I have been verbally and visually assaulted. Some days I really do find spam to be more than just an annoying wast of space and bandwidth–sometimes I find it a violation.

So in response I wanted to take these soul destroying email intrusions and create something beautiful.

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Act 20

July 1, 2008

Dr Frankenstein’s Daughter–Anonymity and Pieces of Women on the Web

Frankenstein's Daughters

For the next several weeks I really want to look deeply into the question of ‘how are women represented within web 2.0’ and I started this week by hitting the ‘random journal’ button on Live Journal (which I believe disappeared the day after for some mysterious reason, but never mind, it served me well) and observing the kinds of default icons people have with depictions of women in them. One thing that struck me–apart from the fact that people seem far more likely to have an image of a woman as an icon than an image of a man, particularly if it appeared to be a self portrait–was that it seems to be very common for womens bodies to be pictured as pieces cast a drift from the whole.

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Act 17

May 20, 2008

The Real Open Source Boob Project Pt II–Boobie Hat! a Flickr tutorial

Due to assorted RL stuff I am a little bit behind on my 52 Acts write ups, so you might be lucky and get a few extras over the next few weeks. Today I have for you a follow-up to act 16, the crochet boobie pattern, to which several people responded that a boobie beanie would be a wonderful thing. I decided to go with that idea, but play around with it a bit as is my way. So here, by popular demand, I give you The Boobie Beret!

Boobie Beret x2

To keep with the open source objective I have written up instructions for the hat (or rather documented how I made it up as I went along). This time I chose to do the tutorial in flickr rather than write it as a huge long post directly on this blog. See the full tutorial here, along with more photos of the finished beret, in the flickr photo set. (Click on ‘detail’ to see all the images and instructions on one page, or scroll through each image using the ‘browse’ buttons)