Stefanie Wuschitz @ paraflows7 (paraflows.at)
Since 2009 Miss Baltazar's Laboratory (MBL) tries to generate an environment in
which women and trans can share their tech skills. Recently we have started
our own space in Vienna based on the format hackerspace and equipped with
workshops to produce interactive art. MBL is focusing on specifically feminist ap-
proaches towards technology.
It seems as if there was hardly an artform in which the connection between
tool, workspace and agent is closer related as within interactive art. The ap-
plication or code generated to create a piece becomes an essential part of the
art work. There is a continuous demand for knowledge, technology and access
in order to be able to realise a concept. Therefore many artists in this field turn
to tools that run under the GNU license or other FLOSS distributing systems.
Here, the only thing that can stop the artist from getting access to a software is
her decision to make it her own or not. Mostly this decision is taken based on
her self-concept: Can I learn it? Is there someone like me who does it?
Self-empowerment becomes the main requirement for access to Open Source
Miss Baltazar`s Laboratory wants to create a space that makes the decision
easier, by giving support, offering a safe and nurturing atmosphere, by gener-
ating new self-concepts in discussions, lectures, reading groups, friendships
and most of all hands-on workshops.
This implicates new forms of social interaction and collective living. How can we
provide child-care during workshops? How do we deal with different expecta-
tions towards our aims? How about individual concerns about authorship, com-
petitive thinking, artistic careers?
Tools, space, participants inform each other and this development is consciously
supported by MBL's concept and structure. People are encouraged to take risks,
collaborate, support the DIY spirit, start their own way to build things. This way
we hope that people socialised as women can get out of isolating positions
generated by invisible censorship, precarity, self-employment or motherhood
and embrace the access open source technology can provide.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?