Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24th: women + technology

I received an invitation to announce The Ada Lovelace Day, an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Find out more at findingada.com.

For me personally, this is easy, since I'm so obsessed about technology myself, but recently I was invited to give a paper at a conference in Bremen on gender and ICT and there I met many amazing women from Costa Rica to the Philippines and quite a large number of women came from Scandanavia. In the spirit of openness that I'd like to think is a feminine characteristic (yes, men have this quality too :) most papers can be read or downloaded here. And so this blog is dedicated not only to those who organized this conference but to all (the men as well! - feminisim works to address gender imbalance afterall) who attended and participated in the
5th European Symposium on Gender & ICT
"Digital Cultures: Participation - Empowerment - Diversity"
University of Bremen, Germany, March 5 - 7, 2009

Now you might ask about the connection this image has with all of this. This is a reworking of a design for Kath Tait's song "Leaky Umbrellas" I recently submitted for a London show on artworks inspired by music. Made using photoshop and illustrator and a rather old mouse (I still haven't gotten around to using a pen) on my trusty computer, Huianui. Yes in our household we personalize our computers!

In making the pledge to mention some women involved in technology, I came across the pledge for praising those over 40. Being over 40 myself, well that's easy too :) Actually 40 seems so young since I'm closer to 50, but there's a lot of good work being done by us over 40 year olds. Here's a link to Kath's music as one example:

And I had a look at some of the responses to the Ada Lovelace Day.
Sign this pledge at PledgeBankSee Suw Charman-Anderson's blog about why she created this pledge.
UK artist, designer, educationalist, Christine Wilks made a flash animation, Binary Kitten (who's blog has some interesting links) posted about LornaJane one of the women in PHP women, which I must check out, since PHP is something I would like to get at. Roxanne wrote about Sandra Lerner, co-founder Cisco Systems and mentioned a number of other contemporary woman involved in technologies. Nice it was about someone living, Ada Lovelace, one of the world’s first computer programmers, died at the age of 36 in 1856. I loved bone's blog on Laurie Anderson.
And if you want more the list of blogs is here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

waka huia :: new art work by Sen and myself

I'm still struggling with a persist flu but have managed to get into the swing of things. This is a new work for a show (if it is accepted) that will travel from London to Venice called "Travelling Light" (and most likely to other locations as our work often ends up doing).

Here is our write up about the work:

Waka Huia (Feather Boat)

by Sonja van Kerkhoff + Sen McGlinn (Aotearoa | New Zealand | The Netherlands) www.sonjavank.com/sensonja

A “waka huia” is a container for holding valuables, but the name also
means “feather boat” in New Zealand Maori. Our work is a transculent vessel bearing a cargo of lightness. A cargo of the spirit.

Our ‘vessel’ is formed from the image of a feather from an extinct bird, the Huia
(Heterralocha acutirostris) combined with drawings by Sonja.

The Huia bird was last sighted in the 1920’s but its feathers and body have travelled the world, following the trade routes of colonialism. Seven skins are in the Leiden Natural History museum, the city where the artists live. These were acquired from a museum in Germany, from an auction house in London and from museums and auction houses in New Zealand.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Feb 1 :: Climbing Mt Taranaki with my sister

>> View of Mount Taranaki and my sister, Linda.

We intended on an early start but it was 8.45 by the time we started our walk at the DOC (department of Conservation) North Egmont carpark. Then it was almost 2 hours of steep trekking till we got to the Tahurangi Lodge. And then the stairs, and then the scoria (a killer), but with Linda and only 5 or 6 others on the mountain there wasn't any dust and I could stop and video and take photos while catching my breath. Linda made the climb much easier for me by supplying the walking sticks, a good backpack and leading me up.

It was about 3.30 by the time we got to the top and it was extremely windy on the summit.

>> Linda in the crater

We both grew up in the shadow on this mountain in the heart of a red-neck farming area seeing it from the west with Fanthom's Peak in front.

Jeff had lent me the book Taranaki Whenua which I read later. It is a catalogue that went with an exhibition in Te Puke Ariki (Museum in New Plymouth) in 2008, which was beautifully illustrated with work by artists, photographs, survey maps and artefacts from the Puke Ariki collection. I learnt that in 1962, Moa bones had been excavated at the beach (Kaupokanui Beach) where we went as children.

Listen to this stunning song by Brenda

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sonja visits Aotearoa - New Zealand

Part one: 21-30 January

I arrived in Auckland on January 21st at 5 a.m.! My aunt Sue met me and we spent the day together. It was fantastic to be home again.

>> Detail in the Manuwera Sculpture Gardens

Still adjusting to a different time zone, I went to Jane's birthday party on the 22nd and on the left are a few photos of some of the music that was happening.

I spent the morning of the 23rd meeting a few old Tahorites and then headed off towards the Auckland Folk festival site. Jeff had warned us to take a different route because someone had been shot by the police on the motorway.
It felt like a scene out of a Western.

>> Jam session at Jane's party

Arriving at the site, I found it to be much bigger than I realised. So in the end just found a spot for the tent under some trees. Enjoyed my time at the festival wandering from place to place. A jam session (me on clogs) with Peter, Simon, Fiona, Richard and others late one night was particularly memorable. I also spent a lazy afternoon at Jeff's, drinking coffee and sorting out a paper that had been accepted for a conference.

Funny to see so many vaguely familiar faces and it was lovely to catch up with old friends.

>> Taranaki's Gumboot Tango perform their own stuff at the Auckland Folk Festival

I also videod vigorously and took heaps of photographs, for possible future art projects and with my current video project on migration in mind.

A day after the festival Michael took me to breakfast on the back of one of his Harley-Davidsons. What a blast zipping along Devonport.

Above: The Penman Family (David, Chris, Thiea and Jack) perform at the Auckland Folk Festival (They have a cd out - a fab English trad collection!)

Left to Right: Auckland Folk Festival:
Blue Grass musos jam along with Tracey, a loose group of Tahorites jam, session with Peter, Fiona, Simon + Richard and others, and Tracey Haskell performs on stage.

Jeff at work

On January 28th I went over to Waiheke Island to see the Headland Sculpture exhibition.

Naturally I thought Jeff's was one of the better works!
His is this water tank containing a choreography of debri (waves were created by the solar panel at the top). Jeff had salvaged this debri from the sea below this location after a boat fire a year or so ago.

Met up with Paul Cullen, an artist I'd met in South Korea in 2004 and then spent the evening with Elizabeth discussing film. On my final day I met with various gallery people and thanks to Hilary heard James Luna's inspiring talk before driving in Jeff's car to Hamilton. At Hamilton met up with an old friend Chris experiencing family life with hens and a huge backyard!

Filipe dropped in on his way north, showing me some images of his latest work for the New Plymouth Natural History Museum.

Then while driving at 80 kph, the bonnet flipped up smashing the windscreen. Fortunately it was an easy car to drive, so I could slow down and stop and managed to use the edge of the jack to fix the bonnet shut again. It was a nerve racking drive for the next half hour or so, while I looked for a place to ring my sister from. But after that I realised that the windscreen probably wasn't going to get any worse and then sped up again and took the "Forgotten Highway" route via Tahora to Taranaki. It was a magical drive even though driving on loose gravel isn't my cup of tea.

Part two: 1-20 February 2009

Canoeing and cycling along the Whanganui River: 10-16 February