I had the great pleasure of being present at the opening of RAW/WAR on January 20, 2010 at the Sundance Film Festival. My videos and images have been downloaded to the site and I can be assured that my work is stored in their archives and will not be lost. Women and their histories must be acknowledged and heard if we are to gain the collective strength we need to prosper as a vibrant and whole society.
About RAW/WAR from their site:
The RAW/WAR project is generated from the idea that history is about access and authorship and that we, as a global digital community, can now all participate in its creation and change the way history itself is constructed. Using new technologies, current and future generations can create their own histories, breaking the cycle of omission and erasure.
RAW/WAR takes the form of an interactive, community-curated archive and an accompanying installation that provide a forum in which users can come together, share their stories and collaboratively contribute to the history of women�s art.
The project emerges from the documentary !Women Art Revolution. While the film provides a personal perspective of feminist activism in a national context, RAW/WAR opens up this dialogue to a global audience, connecting women and their histories worldwide.
An ongoing partnership with Stanford University Libraries (SULAIR) houses the !Women Art Revolution Collection in a publicly accessible online archive for study and research. The collection, acquired in 2008, holds the interview footage and transcripts from the film. Because of the retrievability of this information, there are no outtakes, subverting traditional notions of filmmaking. RAW/WAR is about continuing this ongoing lineage into the future and allowing users to add, and ultimately, remix, their own stories.
RAW/WAR is self-curated. This is achieved by rating and meta-rating and is intricately linked to the whole thesis of !WAR: shedding light on who is left out and why.
The RAW/WAR installation is a live participatory environment that allows users to �bring light� to the lost or invisible histories of women in art with virtual flashlight controllers accessing the interactive, community-curated archive.
The RAW/WAR project is a project by Lynn Hershman Leeson, in collaboration with Alexandra Chowaniec, Brian Chirls, Gian Pablo Villamil and Paradiso Projects.
One can only imagine the entrance to Sarah Palin’s Parlor. Likely it is homey, filled with the smell of freshly cook jam, and the stuffed and mounted relics of her gamesmanship – perhaps like the picture featured below.
The photograph was taken in the parlor of the Chateau Tivoli in San Francisco while shooting film trailer for scene in “The House on Black Lake”. In novel protagonist Alexandra Brighton is ushered into the stately summer home of Ruth and Ramey Sandeley and is aghast to see the lineup of exotic animal head trophies and artifacts decorating the elegant room. Ruth tells Alexandra that her husband believes when you look into a powerful animal’s eyes and take its life you are bound forever. Of course, this is not a good omen for Alexandra.
Most hunters keep a souvenir of victims when they kill for sport, and not for survival. Yet, rarely do women lust for blood. “A woman gives life, and God, the father, takes it”, Ramey informs Alexandra. In the course of her journey she is betrayed by women with a thirst for second hand power and ultimately led into a patriarchal trap. Sarah Palin’s hunting partner is not her mother, sister, or girl friend – it is her father. In her videotaped journey she finds a pioneer soul sister squatting in the depths of the Antarctic, who sews her own flesh wounds and professes to love blood and guts in the manner in which other woman covet jewels. She is not a not bold feminist in a frontier land, but rather a conservative leader in a modern world. She does not shoot for sustenance, but rather for the glory of the kill, and the camera that records the killings seeps a taste of the barbaric into mainstream experience. A female who gives and takes life for sport is clearly an anomaly, in all of nature. Dominance cannot succeed without its hand maidens, and there are rewards for those who are willing to play the game. What the protagonist in the story does not realize is that she is the trophy. In the course mankind’s recorded history the display of a sacrificed victim has always been a symbol of power and domination.
Perhaps it is time for Sarah to clean her parlor of the relics of domination and fill it with trophies of empowerment. When she puts down the rifle and embraces mother earth, all creatures will feel more secure. A female role model that embodies the unique powers of the feminine, while igniting the loftier attributes of the male, carries the hope of a remarkable new world order.