Ada Lovelace Pledge

As a part of the Ada Lovelace pledge, I’ve decided to feature some of the women in technology that have influenced my thinking in one way or another. I will be adding to this post throughout the week.

*******Laurie Anderson*******

Laurie Anderson, jack of all trades, hacker, pioneer and techno-shaman: “Big Science. Yodellayheehoo. Hey Professor! Could you turn out the lights? Let’s roll the film.” In 1984, I saw her United States Live tour, and was humbled to witness it. Thank you Laurie Anderson for being an unconventional storyteller.

*******Steina Vasulka*******

An early pioneer of the electronic arts, Steina, often in collaboration with her partner Woody Vasulka, pushed the aesthetics of technology and video to its outer limits. In 1974, she taught at the Center for Media Study at the State University of New York, where she was the only female faculty member at that time. Through the years her work has played with the limits of technology while simultaneously embracing those restraints for their visual qualities. One particular example of this kind of approach is Machine Vision. Dating from 1978, the work can be found here. Thank you Steina Vasulka for being a pioneer on so many fronts.

*******Joan Jonas*******

Many years ago I was fortunate to study with her, and later I performed in one of her works. She is funky storyteller who has the capacity to weave together the rinky dink and the technological. She is a cross between a magician, a medicine man and a one-woman dog and pony show.
View a snippet of Vertical Roll with its wonderful glitch aesthetics. here. Thank you Joan Jonas for making fantastically quirky and insightful work.

*******Donna Haraway*******

Author of A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century, she has a way of situating technologies within history, science, bodies and everyday life. Thank you Donna Haraway for envisioning the future of technology while embedding it firmly the human soup of the now.

*******Avital Ronell*******


(This talk is on stupidity. I couldn’t find a video of her discussing The Telephone Book.)

Ronell, the author of The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech, is a mental broad surfer par excellence. Not only has she theorized about technology, but also stupidity, addiction and literature. Thank you Avital Ronell for making rogue connections and radical assertions.