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Title: Intersectionality and New Media Art: Your Ethnic Apparel is Still Downloading
Authors: Jim, Alice Ming Wai
Issue Date: 5-Jul-2016
Series/Report no.: Practices: Tactics, Ethnicities, Matters;07.11.2015 Session 7B
Abstract: This paper examines the implications of intersectionality theory and critical race studies on the politics of representation of people of colour and Indigenous people in new media art. Specifically it proposes an intersectional analysis of online self­representations through conscious ethnic fashion decisions made by artists in the creation of born­digital identities, or avatars. What are the political dimensions, psychological effects, boundaries and meanings of these aesthetic choices? The paper is part of a larger study on what I call ‘virtually self­fashioning’ and intersectionality in new media art. The study seeks to reveal how multiple variables, such as ethnicity, race, class, gender, religion and world views, can in theory and practice, transform the ways in which otherness and difference, racial inequality, oppression and privilege are addressed in contemporary art. Projects explored include: Adeline Koh’s Trading Races, a paper­based historical role playing game set in an imaginary University of Michigan campus in April 2003; American new media artist of mixed Japanese/German ancestry Tamiko Thiel’s The Travels of Mariko Horo (2006) and, in collaboration with Iranian­American writer Zara Houshmand, the interactive 3D virtual reality artwork, Beyond Manzanar (2000); and DSL Cyber MoCA in Second Life by DSL Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art and New York­based, Beijing new media artists Lily Xiying Yang and Honglei Li (Lily & Honglei). The paper’s title is inspired by Georgie Roxby Smith’s 2011 mixed reality performance and Huckleberry Hax’s 2012 novel by the same title: Your Clothing Is Still Downloading.
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