This paper surveys both pioneer accomplishments and contemporary works by Brazilian women media artists since the early 1960s. Their works range from electro-acoustic music to neon light, holography, cinema, experimental film, video, photography, kinetic and multimedia performances and installations, virtual worlds, and Web-based cultural activism. Beginning with a discussion of the controversial issue of gender in Brazil, the essay weaves social, aesthetic, and epistemological concerns. As a general rule, these artists did not explore women’s issues as a project nor were they interested in feminist questions per se. Nevertheless, women artists contributed to the advancement of media arts with both personal and critical perspectives. This overview, despite the inclusion of a large number of artists (more than forty), is by no means a complete survey, but rather an early assessment, which will hopefully instigate new research.
- Simone Osthoff (BR/US), Associate Professor in the School of Visual Arts, Penn State University, focuses her research on new media art and historiography. She is the author of Performing the Archive: The Transformation of the Archive in Contemporary Art From Repository of Documents to Art Medium, 2009.
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