Event 2 Blog Post
For my second even I attended a lecture by Angela Washko, at the UCLA Game Lab in Broad Art Center. I did not know what to expect when attending this lecture but I was blown away. This lecture was incredibly informative and moving because the topic was very heavy and in particular resonates with females and how we are put down by degrading statements view as sexy symbols.
To start off I want to give you a back ground of Angela Washko her self. She is an feminist activist, and research based artists that creates performances and videos based on feminism and pop culture. On top of her research and art she is a part time professor at Carnage Melon and appears on radio shows as well.
Her first project that she talked to us about in her lecture was about her World of War Craft (WOW) project. She began by explaining that she first started out playing WOW and that this is what lead her to art research projects. She played WOW for 10 years and after finding that the communication that was occurring on the game portal was very racists and sexists she created a counsel within the game where she started to ask questions about the communication that was occurring throughout the game between different gamers. Her findings were pretty shocking, but not surprising she said because of the anonymity of the game itself--people don't have a true identity and cannot be held accountable for their comments or actions within the game (no physical world).
So her mission was to create a safe place within WOW where people could be comfortable sharing their experiences and she took screen shots of these conversations to create an art project, and movement really. She collected discussion for four years and the conversations have began to improve she said.
Her second project that she told us about was pretty disgusting and sad. It is called BANGED, and with this project she attempted to get as many women to come forward and say they have slept with a man named, Daryush Valizaeh. She started this project because of what Daryush stands for repulsive and she wanted to spark a conversation about it. Daryush is a misogynist blogger who has made statements about females that include how he believes that rape on private property should be legal so women have 'learning experiences' and that he believes that men should never stop having sex with a women even if she says no, because deep down she wants it, and many other disturbing comments like that.
After she had started her project she thought it would be a good idea to reach out to Daryush himself and she communicated with him for two months, following his rules, until she got to have a Skype conversation with him. This conversation lasted 2 hours and she recorded the whole entire thing. After all of her research of BANG (his books) and interviewing him she created a show room where you can find all their conversations, his books on display and their interview. Hearing the whole process she had to go through was mind blowing.
The portion of her lecture that I can connect back to the class is the Math + Art portion of the class because gaming and technology have a lot of math involved within it and creating a video game takes a lot of math to create something so complex and beautiful so I would have to say that that is what resonated most with the course material.
Here are photos from the event: