you raise quite a lot of issues here ... technology definitely has
opened up new spaces for emergent groups to become more visible, but
at the same time it requires resources that many groups have limited
access to. emergent white male western net.artists start from one
place, other marginal groups start from their own histories. to refer
back to maori artists, statistics in areas like education, property,
income, etc show that although maori are improving, they are still
well behind pakeha (non-maori nzers). however this doesn't mean that
maori aren't represented in cyberspace.
here are some examples of how the internet is being used by/for maori
(not necessarily arts related):
- an extensive education site, provided in
maori & english, with resources for teachers & schools
- an online iwi (tribe) register; it's tied in
to the nz electoral register but also to do with settlements under
the treaty of waitangi
- maori arts portal
- "a registered trade mark of authenticity
and quality used to promote and sell authentic, quality Maori arts
& some iwi sites: http://www.ngaitahu.iwi.nz/
(this one has sound) - most but not all
iwi have web sites now.
again, i'm not the most qualified person to comment on maori in
cyberspace ... i'm cc-ing this to the ada list to see if more is
forthcoming from there.
as regards to gender & technology, i agree to a certain extent with
sadie plant. women have gained a lot from technology & been able to
move into powerful positions as well as develop vibrant networks &
find all kinds of other uses for the technology within their specific
spheres - but at the same time a lot of attitudes are perpetuated and
carried into the new spaces, of which the massive porn industry is
the most extreme example. specific opportunities that the internet
has given us include visual anonymity & the ability to work from home
& be more flexible in working hours, for certain types of work. but i
don't know whether this has resulted in a reduction of discrimination
& harrassment in the workplace.
it's a matter of the slice of the web you choose to see: there is
heaps of really great, positive, world-changing stuff out there ...
but there's also a hell of a lot of really vile stuff, & i choose not
to go there. in many respects, cyberspace is not so different to the
physical world ... we just have to keep chipping away - in both
h : )
Thank you for those answers...
I have various articles stored on my computer and discs - regarding
Cyberfeminism going way back now, and this article immediately
sprung to mind which was written in 1999, (there is a snippet of it
below) in respect of what Sadie Plant says, which kind of means
something to me personally from my own personal perspective as an
emergent net.creative activist, claiming technology as a way of
creating new space for potential progress, hopefully expanding
beyond less fluid-rigid trappings.
Sadie Plant says "It occurred to me that a long standing
relationship was evident between information technology and women's
liberation. You can almost map them onto each other in the whole
history of modernity. Just as machines get more intelligent, so
women get more liberated!"
Do you think that this also applies across the board for other
emergent groups as well as yourself, if so who?
The rise of women's liberation can be correlated with the coming
spike of machine intelligence. Plant researched and discovered that
the more intelligent machines become the more liberated women are.
In her interview with 'Geekgirl'
editor Susie X, Dr. Sadie Plant explains: "It occurred to me that a
long standing relationship was evident between information
technology and women's liberation. You can almost map them onto each
other in the whole history of modernity. Just as machines get more
intelligent, so women get more liberated!"
It also occurred to Plant that women have long been seen as the
machine parts for malestream society. That is that women were seen
as the reproducers- reproducing the species, reproducing
communications- which is clearly quite similar to the role machines
and tools play in society. It is this that makes use and
implementation of machines a 'natural' process for women, as it is
merely an unseen extension of their constructed gender roles.
Although it is the pushing of the boundaries of women's gender
roles, which makes Cyberfeminism a theory that holds many
Whether or not Plants theories prove correct is beside the point.
What we are seeing now is a direct revolution to the 'toys for boys'
ideal. The fact that women are becoming major players in machine
intelligence is a subversion of the expectation of ones gender. It
is by this subversion which can come freedom. A freedom to express
oneself without the restriction of a previously constructed role.
Author: Delanie Woodlock Published on: August 1, 1999
definitely there are maori & pacific island artists working in new
media, here in nz & overseas. i have to confess that at the moment
my brain is working slowly & not many names are jumping out, but
one who does spring to mind is maru nihoniho who is a games
developer; she manages her own company now but her background is in
3d modelling, animation etc. http://www.metia.co.nz/
one of her
games, the guardian (http://theguardiangame.com/
) has a female
maori main character.
there are a lot of maori visual artists whose work incorporates
digital, also in the music industry & vj ... perhaps someone can
help me out with some names here? there are a number of maori art
web sites buti haven't found one that deals specifically with maori
digital art (there probably is one ... )
if you do a search for maori art & artists you are more likely to
find traditional art forms, & i think (correct me if i'm wrong,
someone) that the focus of funding for maori & pacific arts has
tended to be on the traditional (eg carving, traditional performing
arts, language etc). the renaissance in maori art & culture is
still fairly recent so still tends to be driven by the desire to
preserve arts & crafts that were potentially going to disappear.
there's also a distinction between maori (who are the tangata
whenua, indigenous people of aotearoa) & pacific island /
polynesian peoples who are not indigenous but who have brought
strong artistic practices with them & have had a strong influence
on arts & culture, particularly in the north parts of the country.
h : )
As you say, Polynesian & Asian cultures have a strong influence in
NZ. I was wondering if you know of any indgenious people living in
New Zealand who who are curently practising in New media
themselves, or anything close to it at least?
helen varley jamieson: creative catalyst