Colorado Womens College, 10/7 – 12/1/2015
Nay to VAWA Reauthorization
computed image on photo paper,
polyptych 11 panels, each 15.5” x 39.5”, 2015
During the deliberations preceding congressional reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2013, conservative members of the house and senate questioned extensions to protect LGBT women, native american women, and immigrant women. The 22 senators in this work voted against reauthorization. Images are based on their official portraits as found on wikipedia in September 2015 and are made up of text from their vote explanation statements.
computed image on tyvek
One indication of the value of women versus men in our social landscape is how often “his/him” versus “her” appear in printed books. The “Google Ngram Viewer” was used to find the percentage of “his/him” versus “her” for all printed books in the google books english language corpus. The six panels show the percentages in 1908, 1928, 1948, 1968, 1988, and 2008
Family Planning Advocates
computed image on tyvek,
triptych each panel 36”x48”, 2015
In the first half of the 20th century family planning rights was an uphill fight driven by Margaret Sanger and assisted by many including (then) Representative George H.W. Bush, aka “Rubbers”. In 1970 the senate unanimously and the house overwhelming approved Title X. In 2015 it family planning and women’s health is under attack, putting organizations like Planned Parenthood on the defensive. Images are created computationally using a base image and text from a speech by each advocate. Base image photos were pulled from speakerpedia.com, biography.com, and wikipedia.com for Sanger, Richards, and Bush respectively. Speeches were delivered by: Margaret Sanger, November 18, 1921, Park Theater, NY George H.W. Bush, aka “Rubbers”, 1968, US House of Representatives Cecile Richards, September 29, 2015, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Half The Shes Are Missing
t-shirt yarn, window blind fabric, ink, wood, and paint
One indication of the value of women versus men in our social landscape is how often each appears in the news. For this work approximately 500,000 words were extracted from the NY Times website on January 20, 2015 by web-scraping eight levels deep. Considering the number of occurrences of the words “he” and “she” reveals textual gender bias. There are approximately two “hes” for every “she” present. How does this reflect societal values? Without data collection and analysis this bias is invisible given the limited amount of text we see at one time while reading a news site page. This work makes this bias tangible, where “he” and “she” occur in direct proportion to that found on the website.