Carnegie Mellon University
January 19, 2017

Miller Gallery Hosts Exhibition of Feminist Art + Tech, Jan. 28 – Feb. 26

By Margaret Cox and Pam Wigley

Skawennati, EPIPHANY, 2013

The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University will present “Hacking / Modding / Remixing as Feminist Protest,” an exhibition featuring 22 artists, designers and developers working at the intersection of art and technology, Jan. 28 – Feb. 26. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

An opening reception with curator Angela Washko, a visiting professor of art at CMU, and other select artists will be held from 6 - 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27.

The exhibition features visiting artist lectures by Skawennati and Annina Rüst at Carnegie Mellon’s Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, as well as a screening program of artists intervening on television called “Talks Back” at the Andy Warhol Museum. A full schedule of events can be found on the Miller Gallery’s website.

Washko said the principals in the show are working at the intersection of art and technology “to intervene on dominant voices in tech and popular culture, producing critical works that bring visibility to women's perspectives and experiences that have been marginalized, ignored or dismissed.

“Women have been relegated largely to the consumer end of technology for a long time,” she said. “Even today the statistics are jarring — a 2013 study by the American Association of University Women showed that only 26 percent of the positions in computing jobs in the United States were held by women. Taking an intersectional approach to presenting feminist practices, the works presented in the exhibition span over 40 years of artistic production by artists from diverse experiences and backgrounds.”

Washko noted that women of color, especially, have been excluded from the development of technology and pop culture, largely because they experience racial and gender bias in these career fields.

Washko is an artist, game developer and organizer devoted to creating new forums for discussions of feminism in spaces frequently hostile toward it. Since 2012, Washko has operated The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft, an ongoing intervention inside the most popular online role-playing game of all time.

The artists in “Hacking / Modding / Remixing as Feminist Protest” look at television, film, computer software, the internet, pop music, the medical industry, robotics, video games, corporate branding, digital mapping, laser disks and advertising as sites of intervention, creating new ways of looking at systems of oppression embedded in everyday objects, contexts and platforms.

The exhibiting and presenting artists are: Addie Wagenknecht (STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Fellow); Anne-Marie Schleiner; Annina Rüst; Cat Mazza, a 1999 graduate of CMU’s School of Art; Channel Two; Dara Birnbaum, a 1969 graduate of CMU’s School of Architecture; Elisa Kreisinger; Kathy High; Lynn Hershman Leeson; Mary Flanagan; micha cárdenas; Morehshin Allahyari; Myfanwy Ashmore; Olia Lialina; Rachel Rampleman; Rachel Simone Weil; RAFiA Santana; Skawennati; Soda Jerk and VNS Matrix; Sondra Perry; and Suzie Silver, a CMU art professor.