Our Editor-in-Chief Renee Marchol comes from a musical family. Well more accurately a music and medical lineage. That could be why Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) resonates with her as a technology journalist. The same did for her Futurist great grandpa who was a surgeon and conductor in China. Earlier this summer Cannes-recognized Documentary Filmmaker Shanice Johnson interviewed Renee about her interest in technology, diversity and social justice and her great grandfather’s “hardcoding” resurfaced. Advocacy with technical expertise might be in her DNA.
It follows that our blog would send Renee to ask fine arts and interactive media Women in Technology. Exactly! This week, Regina Larre Campuzano met with us via Skype.
The Mexico City born artist took the video conference first on an outdoor patio of a coffee place at our Editor-in-Chief’s homebase in Seattle. That way our reporter could hear abstractions and imagine visual soundscapes. That’s not sarcasm. The Skype call only moved indoors when the call dropped. Then it was a live object lesson of SmartyGirl Regina’s training on microphones and the difficulty of some mono-directional mics picking up a few feet of weirdness because of the bounce back from walls.
Where did we hear about Regina Larre Campuzano? The previous week we spoke with Alan Chatham of the Spokane Washington fine arts and tech Laboratory. Regina is one of the selected artists-in-residence at this one-of-a-kind effort to blend fine arts with high tech to develop and nurture professional artists in this new field. Think a field of lasers or virtual reality (VR) used to create an inner journey for the museum visitor. Trippy, yeah?
This expectation has become a common one since the Internet of Things and Wearable Technology became more than just Google glass. As Regina Larre Campuzano explains museum docents are rethinking programming of exhibits because the public is so eager to consume a “walk through the mind of the artist in a 3D interactive experience” at a faster turnaround. Our rate of consuming memes might translate to our appetite for fine art using the latest technology to express a human feeling or constellation of emotional stories. Regina Larre Campuzano gave artist Yayoi Kusama as a primary example of women artists who are earning the attention of men and women who seek an immersive interactive experience. Like the male and female readership of SGL, Regina cares about egalitarian futures for careers for all genders.
The most common barriers for women artists, as experienced by storyteller Regina Larre Campuzano?
- the societal burden of being the “first” and therefore beginner mistakes being a condemnation of the perceived incompetence of a gender rather than the natural learning curve of an individual getting up to speed. In short, the unfair pressure of not being allowed to fail fast and frequently to improve but having “one shot” to justify belonging with first-time out perfection
- the internalized pressure of wanting to be respected that one fears delegating resulting in the exhausting responsibility of trying to perfect what goes on behind-the-scenes and public-facing performance. In brief, a woman has to do-it-all (100% self-reliant for all technical aspects) or be perceived as merely decorative
Regina Larre Campuzano uses the following analogy:
Flower painted by women assumed to be about gender, a flower painted by black artists assumed to be about slavery, but the same flower painted by a white male artist is free of those assumptions, and can be seen as simply a flower.
In other words, bias assumes there is only one story for an individual from an underrepresented minority to tell and that the public has already heard it.
As our reporter listened, talked and laughed with SmartyGirl Regina Larre Campuzo to ask about her upcoming visit to San Francisco as animator for her work for the nonprofit benefitting prisoners of conscience in China it’s clear Regina has many less often heard narratives to share. Stories that are funny, universally relatable and fresh. Need an example? She describes her faux phobia of this business trip while she meets with her client because her partner, a lovingly-described tech geek, might come back transformed from Burning Man. Her partner willingly experiences demonstrations about makeup to develop empathy for choices that Regina makes as an individual who enjoys her femininity as much as she relishes her right to express violence (not towards her partner) as a human emotion in her art. As Regina Larre Campuzo says so well: I can think about bombs while wearing a dress. Preconceived notions about faux biology limitations of women is another barrier. Women have the capacity. The willingness to learn technical aspects of creating interactive art won’t change if Regina decides to become pregnant. Embracing femininity as a feminist interpreted by Regina does not preclude professional development in sound engineering.
If you need another example of Regina’s optimism despite barriers, take a peek at her team collaboration with men and women to produce Impotence: A Love Story written, filmed and edited in three weeks. Note: Without spoilers, this is respectful and winsome
For more of Regina Larre Campuzano’s work, you must hear and see it for yourself at http://www.reginalarrecampuzano.com