[ISEA2018] Panel: Eugenio Tisselli, Jill Scott, Stefanie Wuschitz, Patricia Reis & Nan Kolè — Mediated Empowerment: Using Media and Technology to Amplify the Voices of Local Communities

Panel Statement

Keywords:  Socially engaged media art

How can media and technology be used to amplify the voices of local communities? Various groups are now forming to provide local communities with new media art opportunities for visibility and empowerment. These communities are micro communities or micro-cultures, often with immaterial infrastructures or unorthodox approaches. The organizers are interested in media art as a voice for autonomy and collaboration, and all focus on small scale human-centered activities that promote anti-monopoly and community orientation. Their activities aim to empower local users with hands on experience and technological understanding. They focus
on curiosity and confidence through demystification and intersectional participation, indeed they value the very need to share and learn about each others differences. All all cases, the voices of the members from local communities are seldom heard and need to be recognized, celebrated and amplified. In this panel four representatives from current media-based initiatives talk about their own deep engagement with their respective communities. They explore the relevance of these initiatives within their local and broader contexts, and focus on both the different and similar ways they engage with actors: artists, scientists, technologists and activists. They reflect on how these socially-engaged transdisciplinary collaborations may bring about empowerment and investigate the long-term potentials of the media and technologies that are put to use. Specific topics will be addressed like access, visibility, empowerment, feminism, the commons, ownership, colonialism and post-colonialism, appropriation, and reciprocity. The diverse disciplines of the communities represented in this panel – small scale farming, street music, feminist hacking and visual impairment–guarantee a rich discussion, backed by the depth of their theoretical approaches and the solidarity of hands-on and on-the-ground experiences for each community.

  • DJ and label owner Nan Kolè is a natural-born musical activist. A long-time advocate of
    contemporary African music and trans-national cultural exchange and runs the label Gqom Oh!     residentadvisor.net/dj/nankole
  • Jill Scott is a media artist, educator and writer. Her focus is on Art and Science research and she works with creative teams of programmers and AI experts to explore neuroscience, ecology and sensory perception.     jillscott.org/artwork/current_e_skin.html
  • Stefanie Wuschitz works at the intersection of research, art and technology, with a particular focus on Critical Media Practices (feminist hacking, open source technology, peer production. In 2009 she founded the feminist hackerspace Mz* Baltazar’s Laboratory in Vienna, encouraging technology that is developed from a female perspective. She is collaborating with scholars in the fields of Human Computer Interaction, STS and Digital Art. mzbaltazarslaboratory.org/about/
  • Patrícia J. Reis is an installation media artist based in Vienna (AT) whose practice encompasses different formats and media to examine how interactive technology is shaping humans bodily and politically. She is a board member of the collective Mz* Baltazar’s Lab, a feminist hackerspace based in Vienna that aims at generating a culture of fearless making and empower creativity.  mzbaltazarslaboratory.org/about/
  • Eugenio Tisselli is a media artist and programmer. He is the director of the ojoVoz, a socio-technical platform for the collaborative creation of community memories. ojovoz.net

Full text p. 406 – 409