Bio · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Human-ities · Vital-Edible-Health

Your Breasts Are Trying To Kill You

Lindy West: I don’t have any children yet, so my breasts are still more aesthetic than functional. I mostly use them as a food shelf, a cellphone case, and an in-flight pillow. When I was young and single and had less self-esteem, I used to joke that my breasts were “all I had” (good one, unhappy baby self!), but now that I’m older, I don’t have to rely on them to feel beautiful—for the time being, they’re just parts of me that fill my clothes and make my back hurt and, sure, make me feel pretty sometimes. I just don’t think about them that much anymore. Thanks to Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, a surprisingly emotional book by Florence Williams, though, that’s all changing. All of a sudden I can’t stop thinking about my breasts. Because it turns out they are total jerks.

In Breasts, Williams, a contributing editor for Outside magazine, attempts to offer a comprehensive social, cultural, medical, and scientific history of the human breast, a la single-word-titled best-sellers like Cod or Salt or Stiff—though not, alas, Balls. (In an act of one-word-wonder solidarity, Stiff author Mary Roach blurbed Breasts, citing Williams’ “double-D talents.”) Though that genre of sweeping, single-topic histories can wind up feeling hasty and reductive (it’s hard to write the history of one thing without touching on the history of all other things), Williams’ writing is scientifically detailed yet warm and accessible. She also stays firmly away from the juvenile (BOOOOOOOOO!!!) and isn’t afraid to delve into her personal life, making Breasts a smart and relatable, if occasionally dry, read.

Excerpt of an article written by Lindy West, at Slate. Continue HERE

Art/Aesthetics · Digital Media · Education · Human-ities · Social/Politics · Technology · Videos

Unexpected Development: Decolonial Media Aesthetics and Women’s ICT4D Video

ICT4D (Information Communication Technology for Development) powerfully frames women’s grassroots video production in the Global South, much of which is distributed widely through YouTube. Often, these videos reproduce racialized and gendered discourses – legacies of colonialism – in their narratives of economic, social, and technological progress. However, there are also videos by women’s groups that defy both the historical linearity and spatial fragmentation of the ICT4D framework. These videos instead remix, reclassify, and globally reconnect women’s experiences in the contemporary moment. Culled from hundreds of online videos produced by ICT4D programs, including those in countries classified as having “Low Human Development” according to the Gender Inequality Index of the United Nations Development Program, these media represent powerful instances of a decolonial aesthetics, an altogether unexpected development. These ICT4D videos make compelling claims for other historical narratives and visions for women’s future lives, identities, and uses of information communication technologies.

Unexpected Development: Decolonial Media Aesthetics and Women’s ICT4D Video
Dalida Maria Benfield, Berkman Center Fellow
This event will be webcast Tuesday, April 17, live at 12:30 pm ET.
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor

About Dalida:

Dalida María Benfield’s research addresses artists’ and activists’ creative uses of video and other networked digital media towards social justice projects. Her work is focused on the transformational capacities of media art across different scales. As an artist and activist, she has developed production, education, exhibition, and distribution initiatives focused on youth, women, people of color in the U.S., and local and transnational social movements, including co-founding the media collective Video Machete. She received her Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of California-Berkeley in Comparative Ethnic Studies with Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation, Apparatuses, Globalities, Assemblages: Third Cinema, Now, chaired by Trinh T. Minh-ha, considers contemporary media art theory and practice, including work by Cao Fei, Michelle Dizon, and the Raqs Media Collective, in relation to the Third Cinema movement. As a Fellow at the Berkman Center, she is studying race and gender in the online presence of ICT4D programs, as well as working on collaborative projects with the Networked Cultures Working Group, the Cyberscholars Working Group, and metaLAB(at)Harvard.

Text via Berkman Center

Digital Media · Performativity · Social/Politics

Being Social

‘Angry Women’ by Annie Abrahams, 2011. (From photograph by Michael Szpakowski)

Since the mid-90s computers have changed our way of being together. First the Internet then mobile networks have grown as cultural spaces for interaction – wild and banal, bureaucratic and controlling – producing new ways of ‘being social’. Visitors are invited to view art installations, software art, networked performances and to get involved with creative activities to explore how our lives – personal and political – are being shaped by digital technologies.

Being Social is the opening exhibition at Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park in North London. Furtherfield has established an international reputation as London’s first gallery for networked media art since 2004. With this exciting move to a more public space Furtherfield invites artists and techies – amateurs, professionals, celebrated stars and private enthusiasts – to engage with local and global, everyday and epic themes in a process of imaginative exchange.

This exhibition brings together artworks by emerging and internationally acclaimed artists: Annie Abrahams, Karen Blissett, Ele Carpenter, Emilie Giles, moddr_ , Liz Sterry and Thomson and Craighead.

Via Furtherfield