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My work adapts the forms and software normally used to create 3d shooter games. It transposes discussions about digital technology and a critique of the media through a feminist lens. In the context of ideas about a technology that has replaced nature by threatening to eclipse and permanently alter it, I argue that contemporary ideas about technology are not a rupture but a reflection of very conventional ways of thinking.
Technological culture is still functionally an all-male engineering culture - what the historian of technology David Noble has identified as “a world without woman.” He describes the high-tech ethos as actually emerging from medieval Christian monasteries and describes it as still being driven by an unconscious millennial desire to recreate the world afresh, without women and outside of nature. I have experienced something similar on a personal level in the vocational schools where I taught 3D animation for eight years before coming to Chicago and the School of the Art Institute.
In the absence of women, the masculine culture of technology, colored by what Noble has connected to Christian Millennialism, defines the impulse behind much of technological development, from atomic weaponry and space exploration to cybernetics and robotics. This impulse is one of both annihilation and of purification. Equally religious values pervade the technological research of the military/entertainment complex and influences its visual manifestations, particularly in relation to the body. An example of this is the typically hyper-erotic femme fatale populating mass-culture representations.
By creating virtual images that are sensual but not pornographic within mechanized, clockwork depictions of the natural, I try to subvert earlier dichotomies of woman and nature pitted against a civilized, “scientific” and masculine world of technology. In my own way, I am staging a romantic rebellion against technocratic and bureaucratic culture.