Sussex Gallery from Alex’s keynote

Alex Juhasz has put all the objects up (there were a lot of them) on the FOS site in the Sussex Gallery: http://www.feministonlinespaces.com/category/gallery/sussex

(hope you all take a peek).

Here is what Alex wrote:

I’d be interested and grateful to hear any of your thoughts, comments, concerns, criticisms about the “assignment” as a comment on the blog itself (or via email, or elsewhere), here’s where I asked you for it: http://www.feministonlinespaces.com/2013/05/how-can-we-understand-the-interconnections-between-radical-art-practices-and-cyberfeminisms/

I write more extensively about this tactic here in an article on Fembot, if you are interested in more of my thinking: http://fembotcollective.org/blog/2012/06/08/making-connections-making-things-making-the-feminist-internet/

“I hoped this process, and the site, would encourage feminists who I met in person to engage with me and my work more akin to how we might interact on the feminist-Internet (interactive, archived, accountable, mobile, resplendent with short little shared user-made objects). A room like the Internet; an Internet like a room. I love the many things that were made through these efforts, even as I can only think of them as exercises towards procedures of making feminist-things that I have yet to fully realize. The process was what mattered: the sense of excitement, shock, playfulness, worry, and community that was produced in each and every place along the road when I unmade academic protocol by asking audience members to respond to my scholarly talk by making something. Make they did, and many of the objects were quite extraordinary (especially given how quickly they were made), and all of them were generous and generative.”

Here’s the video I made for you all, too: http://aljean.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/queer-feminist-social-media-praxis-workshop-university-of-sussex/

Two interesting moments from this weekend – Alex interviewed by the The Visual Aids blog: ‘When ACT UP is remembered…other places, people, and forms of AIDS activism are disremembered’ and Sarah Shulman speaks at the Lesbian Lives conference.

Tonight Sarah will be answering questions at the screening of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP 6pm Dukes at Komedia, in Brighton. See http://www.facebook.com/events/147619178730187/

What is media praxis? Integrating theory, politics and practice

Alex Juhasz, the keynote speaker of the workshop Queer, Feminist and Social media praxis (University of Sussex, 17 May 2013) has an ongoing project called Media Praxis. The About page states:

MEDIA PRAXIS takes these truths as self-evident:

1. When used within a project of world or self-changing, media production benefits from conversation with media history and theory.

2. Theories of political media gain from a close interaction with media production.

3. The history, aesthetics and theories of media have been led by practices, analyses, and actions focused on social change; we have much to learn from this history.

For the site Alex Juhasz writes:

MEDIA PRAXIS theorizes and makes media towards stated projects of world and self-changing. This ongoing project, as old as cinema itself, links culture, theory, and politics, in the 20th century, through mediation technologies and indebted to Marxist theories. While I name this a radical web-site in that it directly refers to what Marx, in Theses on Feuerbach calls “revolutionary practice,” a project of interpreting and changing the world, this site is equally radical in that it presumes that we are all participants in making history. It asks you to both study and join the tradition of Media Praxis.

The site is organised around ten chronological histories of media praxis – where media is theorized, by someone who is making it, and as a vital component of political struggle. The site archives theoretical writing, video clips, and related web-based activity from ten periods in media history, commencing with the years surrounding the Russian revolution, then moving to the Popular Front in France, Germany and the US in the 1930s, to the beatniks and underground denizens of American bohemia in the New American Cinema of the 40s and 50s, and then to the cinema connected to the decolonization of the third world in the 60s, and in France and the UK in and after 1968, then to feminism and the black Atlantic of the 70s and 80s, AIDS and ethnographic film in the 1980s and 90s, and concluding with media organizing that occurs in and about cyberspace in our time.

For other explorations in media praxis see here and the Media Commons Digital scholarly project here.

Keynote profile: Dr Alexandra Juhasz

We are pleased to confirm the keynote speaker for the workshop Queer, feminist and social media, Dr Alexandra Juhasz, Professor of Media Studies, Pitzer College. Dr. Juhasz has written multiple articles on feminist, fake, and AIDS documentary. Her current work is on and about YouTube, and other more radical uses of digital media. She has produced the feature films, The Owls, and The Watermelon Woman, as well as nearly fifteen educational documentaries on feminist issues like teenage sexuality, AIDS, and sex education.

Her first book, AIDS TV: Identity, Community and Alternative Video (Duke University Press, 1996) is about the contributions of low-end video production to political organizing and individual and community growth. Her second book is comprised of transcribed interviews from her documentary about feminist film history, Women of Vision, with accompanying introductions (Minnesota University Press). Her third book, F is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing,edited with Jesse Lerner, is recently out from University of MN Press.

Dr. Juhasz’s innovative “video-book,” Learning from YouTube (2011), is recently published by the MIT Press. Her earlier digital effort is Media Praxis: A Radical Web-Site Integrating Theory, Practice and Politics. She blogs on this and other projects at www.aljean.wordpress.com.