The major issues facing feminism and digital art go far beyond a numbers game. Seeking a male-female ratio in exhibitions is just one part of an overarching discussion that’s centered around how to present femininity within digital art and how to carve out a space online and IRL, in-print and on blogs, about feminism’s future. In an attempt to move the conversation off Facebook, I surveyed dozens of young artists, curators, and writers who’re actively engaged with the digital art world, and asked them about the major issues facing feminism in the digital art world today. From private Facebook groups to list-servs, there’s plenty of talk about feminism and digital art online, but you might not know about it; you’d have to be privy to these virtual salons.
“The truth of the matter is that there is no one way to tackle queerness, and there is no one way to tackle queer art making,” Evan Garza, co-director of the Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), told me during my visit to the residency last week. Now in its third year, FIAR is the only artist residency in the country dedicated exclusively to queer, emerging artists. FIAR co-director Chris Bogia followed Garza’s sentiment, stating, “I always know that there is going to be some nugget of queerness in anything the residents do. The fun thing is seeing how it operates differently.”
“I think it was two months after [the Fukushima meltdown], I got an email from a friend in New York saying you gotta see this,” Columbia grad student Nat Andreini told me on Tuesday night. “I was just totally blown away. I had been living in Japan for a couple years, and there was nothing quite like Chim↑Pom.”
Nat was referring to a series of street performance videos by the collective of six young Tokyo-based artists. Their series of public actions around the fallout site in Soma City polarized public discussion around the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and resulting Fukushima nuclear meltdown, the worst since Chernobyl.