Chicks on Speed

From Timeout Sydney:

Visitors to the new Chicks on Speed installation environment SCREAM will be able to “control” various elements of the exhibition – a riot of projected images, words, sounds and rhythms – wielding and using the gallery-provided iPads like bizarre musical instruments.

The development of the new art-manipulating app, with the assistance of specialist arty-app-maker extraordinaire Jens Barth, was the next logical step in COS’s multi-disciplinary hyperactivity. The SCREAM exhibition reflects their interest in ideas of connectivity and old and new modes of communication. “I love how technology changes the way we look at the world,” says Logan, “and how we relate to animals and how our gadgets become similar to pets.”

From RMIT DesignHub:

SCREAM introduces a multidisciplinary, practice based approach to performance research, blurring the boundaries between pop-music, fashion, performance and film within an experiential interactive installation or GESAMTKUNSTWERK (a total work of art).

SCREAM will see Design Hub dramatically transformed by Chicks on Speed’s explosive collage of images, sounds and objects. The artists will construct a sonic sculptural installation that also acts as an ‘objektinstrument’ (a self-made musical instrument) – a stage, a canvas and playable installation.  SCREAM questions the role of the audience, by empowering the public with tools to participate in Chicks on Speed’s collective jam session. SCREAM’s interactive nature gives rise to several possible outcomes for the artworks, allowing the audience to be ‘co-authors’ in the mix.


WAXCHICK – Vasilia Forbes

Can a woman objectify herself?

WAX starts the discussion of the visual identity of capitalist selling through ‘mystification and production of glamour’, objectification of the body and the impact of historical images of vanity, as we see these images projected in large format across the London cityscape. The ‘photoshop-perfect’ WAX images take cues from historical portraits, (which reference the art-worlds usage of objects as presentations of glamour) and through this the objectification shown in Wax becomes directly sexual and immediately a comment on the ‘woman’s role’ and part she plays in advertising items, including within art works.

Vasilisa’s aim is to create a sensation of ‘power play’ with the historical ideal of how woman should be presented in an image, and the modern aspiration of young women, including the element of aggressive sexuality and male fantasy to fuel the actions behind the poses in the series. The WAX images raise questions in young women of ‘taking back ownership of the body’ and choosing to present it in various ways; against a dominating backdrop of idealised feminine beauty and fantasies. The female appears as the object of various ideals, subjected to impressions from the world of exterior perversions, ideals of feminine appearance, and the aspiration of the so-called ‘female body’. These works create questions through their subversive presence; can I – as a female artist – raise attention to female objectification in advertising and male-directed imagery of women by posing myself through such a light, in the various guises of male fantasy to raise a discussion on how we can alter, remove and bring awareness to this kind of mis-use of the female body.

HER – continues the discussion on female use of the body in a visual, fashion-focused culture; where female sexuality and vulnerability are dictated by the power of marketing. The HER images both question the industry’s suppression of the ‘real woman’ and the generation/usage of perversions or fantasies to dictate the woman’s role, perceived presence or personality. Her passivity vs her human involvement in a photographic image as subject is brought into question and posed to the audience. Many images in this series have received worried reactions – claims of sexism have been scrawled across the images while a feeling of guilt and discomfort has lingered in the voyeur. Do we immediately judge these images to be directed by a male eye?


The Righteous Anger of Girls

Daniel Handler,  the best-selling author of the Lemony Snicket series, writes about why girls are so furious so often—and where that rage goes when they grow up—for More Magazine:

The world is pretty hard on girls. It’s one reason I put so many of them in books. The narrative is more interesting if there are more obstacles. A man walking alone down a road at night may or may not be a good story; turn him into a 12-year-old girl, and it’s already gripping. The vulnerability and the danger—the wrongness of a young girl wandering about—are a shortcut to creating a good read.

Still, what’s exciting on the page is dismaying in real life. If we put aside the mountain of statistics on gender inequality—and it’s Himalayan—it’s immediately clear that the world demands more of girls. I’ve noticed it all my life. A good girlfriend should do the laundry and maybe plan a dinner party when her guy’s parents come to town. A good boyfriend just has to not make passes at her friends. A good husband should have a job and not get violent; a good wife runs the whole damn show.

As a children’s author, I meet a lot of young people, all of them crackling with possibility. But with the girls, it’s more likely that they’re also hemmed in by a wariness—am I good enough? pretty enough? polite enough?—that I see far less of in boys. It’s enough to make you get angry, except if you’re female, that’s another thing you’re not really supposed to do.

In writing my latest novel, I got to explore where anger goes sometimes and where it should go. In men I see the horrific results when it explodes out into the world, but more often I see the anger tamed, over time, into ambition and competition, two forces that usually get them ahead. In women it’s more complicated. We look at women who’ve channeled that energy similarly, who seem overly competitive or ambitious, and decide that somewhere there must be something wrong. Are they bad mothers? Bad wives? So girls’ anger too often goes elsewhere.

Where does the anger go? I ask my sister. “As it turns out,” she says wryly, “sitting in a place of anger, or resentment, or self-pity, just isn’t effective. It can feel really good for a while, like trying on an old sweater. Cozy and familiar, but then all of a sudden you’re like, Eww, this sweater smells bad—get it off me!”


How Slut Shaming Becomes Victim Blaming

Francesca Ramsey (chescaleigh) talks about her experience with date rape.

Policing women’s bodies and behaviours casts a far wider net than simply slut-shaming. These attitudes leads to blaming victims of rape for their own attacks.

“If someone rapes you, it’s the rapist’s fault, not yours. I wish someone had said that to me. I wish I’d had someone who told me that it wasn’t my fault and that I should speak up.”



This is not the “persecution of old men”. This is the prosecution of rapists, and we should applaud it

From Laurie Penny at The New Statesmen:

Over the past year, an enormous, global cultural shift has begun to take place around issues of consent, rape and violence against women, and it’s a cultural shift for which our institutions are clearly vastly underprepared. Some members of those institutions have responded with panicked self-justification. We didn’t know, we thought it was allowed, we weren’t there, we  didn’t see, they’re all lying sluts anyway and they should stop whinging and playing the victim.

For centuries, men in positions of power were untouchable, while women and children were anything but. One simply could not call a man like Jimmy Savile or Stuart Hall to account for his actions and expect to be taken seriously. One could not accuse a popular football player of rape and expect justice.  These things went on, but they went on in silence, with the complicity and of quiet armies of flunkies and facilitators.

The reason that these “old men” are being prosecuted – sorry, “persecuted” – right now is simple. They are being prosecuted because their victims are finally coming forward, and their victims are finally coming forward because society has reached a tipping point when it comes to rape culture.

For many, many generations, women and children were told: don’t let yourself get raped, and if you do, for god’s sake don’t whinge about it. Don’t act like a slut. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t ever assume for a second that you have the same right as a man to exist in public or private space without fear of assault and humiliation. That message is slowly, finally, starting to change, so that instead, we’re telling men and boys: do not rape. Do not grope, assault, bully or hurt women, children or anyone over whom you have temporary power. Doing so will no longer increase your social status. If you do it anyway, you will find yourself publicly shamed and possibly up on criminal charges. This is the age of the internet, and nobody forgets.

Confronting structural violence is intensely painful. It’s like squeezing out an enormous splinter you hadn’t realized was there. The pain comes, in large part, from the understanding that you yourself might be implicated by virtue of easy ignorance; that you yourself might have stood by while evil went on; that people you know and trust and respect might very well have done terrible things simply because they thought they were allowed to. Questioning the morality of slave-owning was, until comparatively recently in human history, a minority position. It would be crass and simplistic to equate rape culture with slavery even if there weren’t complex historical links between the two. There is one important similarity, however, and that’s in the reaction when dominant, oppressive cultures finally wake up to the idea that evil on an immense scale has been taking place right in front of them.

Sometimes that reaction is shocked disbelief, frantic apology, self-blame; more often it is angry, even violent. There is no rage, after all, quite like the desperate rage of those who refuse to acknowledge their own bigotry.