.: Introduction / Presentation :.
DIGITALES >> 4-7 December 2002
Full days (9am - 9pm) of meetings/participation on work, knowledge, skills,
experiences, dreams and questioning; this time of technological and feminist
activity and continual exchange could give birth to a virtual network.
The place: Interface3, Rue du Méridien 30, 1210 Bruxelles and
Amazone, Rue du Méridien 10, 1210 Brussels
Contact and info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Digitales 2002 will continue to reveal, initiate and analyse by exploring women's
image, role, place, tools, work and art in new technologies. This event combines
professional, reflexive and artistic practices to feed political action.
Women and machines have a long common history. Women created machines, named
them or were named after them : computers, the Spinning, perforatrices
(punch card operators), etc The machines were adapted to women and vice versa,
women appropriated the machines and sometimes identified themselves to them.
However; this common history has been largely overlooked. Digitales tries to
discover this history with those who lived through it and with sociologists
and historians, in order to understand the present better and to imagine the
Where is the body biological, gendered, foreign in technology and
raising the issue of racial discrimination in new technologies sector.
What is it that the machine and machine-woman images have ignored and still
deny: our female body, our skin, its colour? Digitales is inviting local and
international artists, theoreticians and technicians who are reintroducing the
idea and images of the body, skin and origins into machines and technologies
which have often been thought as virtual or abstract.
Sociologists and historians will also be invited to take us back to the reality
and the images of work and labour in the past for a better understanding of
these things today.
What kind of machine behaviour do employers, trainers and vocational training
organisations want us to adopt, integrate and carry forward ? Do they actually
foresee the same jobs, motions and gestures in the future workplace ? Employers,
women workers, labour researchers and vocational guidance organisations have
been invited to speak of their present circumstances and debate about their
expectations. What are machines, the tools and the trades for tomorrow's women
? The debate is open with the social partners.
We must also introduce the context, the end product, the computer tools used
and the data to be processed, by discovering what a database, a research engine,
the public domain, the peer-to-peer, a portal, free and free access software
and language are. Will our strength come from property rights over the object,
the language and the information rather than from sharing, dialogue, information
processing and analysis and the network ? Digitales will invite lawyers , artists,
economists, programmers, policy makers and civil servants who think about their/our
tools, their/our language, their/our production in the context of the public
field and cultural
How can we influence the rules of the game? Would changing the "operating
system", tools, software, having access to source codes of technology,
be a means of interaction between work, product and workers and users ?
Digitales keeps "traces" of the days of meeting, discussion, workshops
and lectures, organising the records and their distribution, creating its own
audio and visual archiving spaces and tools. A radio web will be installed by
the Interface 3 trainees in collaboration with members of Brussels free radio
stations and with links to web radios run by women in vocational training and
integration centres in Europe. It will also be an opportunity to have access
to Digitales 2001 traces.
Digitales also provides an opportunity for inter-generation and inter-training
meetings: it makes room for neighbouring schools and the children and mothers
of women in work placement and training schemes.
Finding a common language to provoke thoughts and to work out a practice which
will stimulate women's action in contemporary society and bring awareness of
the concept of gender to the debates on new technologies through:
- technological and creative initiation
- understanding of the work tool
- the critical analysis of new technologies
- the discovery and the construction of new images and interactions
- constructing history, means of transmitting experience
Bringing together those who:
- have or want to use technologies to earn their living and to provide for the
needs of a family
- have professional and technical skills on the cutting edge of information
and communication technology and alternative systems
- undertake university research in various disciplines and in various countries,
- create their artistic work by using 'traditional' or 'new' media (film, video,
Internet, digital support)
- are interested by feminist thought on contemporary society.
The Digitales project is part of the ADA
Belgian network which aims to create an exchange, thought and action network
on the subject of women and NTICs. Led by Interface3
asbl in partnership with women's training organisations in computer information
technology, @ron, ATEL,
NFTE, this project is supporte by the Belgian ministry of Labour and
Employment and the ESF, and involves a wider collaboration with companies,
guidance centres, schools, etc.