[iDC] Gender, Race, and Ethnicity

Christiane Robbins at Jetztzeit cpr at mindspring.com
Tue Apr 18 14:20:30 EDT 2006

In response to Trebor's call, I am forwarding 2 urls for the Race in Digital Space Conference, v1.0 and 2.0 - 2000-2003, of which I was a co-organizer.  


I don't believe that many on this list are acquainted with these conferences - despite the possible recognition of some of the participants and notation by Trebor of v.2.  In any case, I trust the notations of both conferences will offer a degree of backstory.  Within the frame of this discussion, it is important to note that these conference received academic support ( MIT, USC, NYU, UC-SB) as well as funding from the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, to name two prominent funders.  This funding and academic support appears to have had a shelf life of just a few years ... which may contribute to the current statsis of that growing momentum ... that may have had its moment - so to speak.  Again, this is indicative of the current cultural framings suggesting a very real ( and, subsequently, virtual)  narrowing of the bandwidth going on in the States - in academic, cultural and social insitutions these days.

But then again, that very same criticism has been levied toward the field of New Media for some time now ... and, obviously, the issue remains the elephant in the middle of the room.  As Trebor states:  "Such a lazy attitude that simply refuses to look harder, is inexcusable.  A lack of curatorial effort is many times also reflected in the under-representation of women in new media conferences and media art exhibitions. "

With that said, my on-going hope is that we can acknowledge our role(s) and move forward on these issues - rather than covert assume that their shelf life convieniently expired in 2001.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Trebor Scholz <trebor at thing.net>
>Sent: Apr 18, 2006 5:30 AM
>To: IDC list <idc at bbs.thing.net>
>Subject: [iDC] Gender, Race, and Ethnicity 
>Discussions about race in the university all too often assume inherent
>racialized research interests. African American scholars  are frequently
>expected to have an Afro-centric subject position,  a set of
>fascinations that directly corresponds to Africa. 
>In U.S. academia Chinese Americans are all too often thought of as 
>experts on Chinese art. How about a Chinese scholar whose intellectual
>passion is German folk dance? What about an African American who
>finds herself drawn to Japanese music?
>At new media events the near absence of minorities is often defended
>with a small number of visible minority artist theorists in the field.
>Such a lazy attitude that simply refuses to look harder, is inexcusable.
>A lack of curatorial effort is many times also reflected in the
>under-representation of women in new media conferences and media art
>exhibitions. Some slow progress needs to be acknowledged (see below).  
>Another often stated argument is that of quality. ³We only care about
>quality and competence-- we don¹t concern ourselves with racial
>backgrounds.² In a deeply pluralistic cultural context it would be naive
>to think that our socialization is devoid of racial, ethnic, or
>class-related notions and prejudices.  Equally, we cannot be fully aware
>of this conditioning. Notions of quality and accomplishment are not
>formed in a social vacuum. None of this is surprising or new. None of
>this suggests any moral high ground. However, these questions have to be
>posed over and over again.
>It¹d be great if people on this list could expand on the following
>Nils Zurawski, excerpt from: Virtual Ethnicity. Studies on Identity,
>Culture and the Internet.
>Where am I and who are 'we'?: Self-representation and the intersection
>of gender and ethnicity on the Web by Linda Leung
>The writings of Lisa Nakamura including:
>Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet 	
>Where are the African Women bloggers?
>Race in Cyberspace Exhibition
>Gender, Race and Ethnicity in Media
>Provocative discussion starters:
>Black People love us
>Racial Profiling on Google
>Blackness for Sale on ebay
>iDC -- mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity (distributedcreativity.org)
>iDC at bbs.thing.net
>List Archive:

" ... the space between zero and one ... "
                 Walter Benjamin

        Los Angeles _ San Francisco

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