Women, Art, and Technology: Kelsey Halliday Johnson and Amy Beste in Conversation

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Riddles of the Sphinx, 1977, film still, directed Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen. Photo courtesy of British Film Institute.

The recent Center-funded exhibition, Making/Breaking the Binary: Women, Art & Technology 1968–1985, organized by Kelsey Halliday Johnson, surveyed a generation of pioneering female artists and related their work to the technology innovators who helped shape the information age. In conjunction with the project, we invited Johnson and media scholar Amy Beste of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to reflect on the influence of the work of such artists as Dara Birnbaum, Beryl Korot, and Joan Jonas, who were early adopters of what was then the burgeoning realm of video art.

In the conversation that follows, we asked Beste and Johnson to begin by talking about how they consider the issues around the recognition of women artists—then and now—in their curatorial work, and to consider why women artists have often only received serious recognition later in their lives and careers.

Halliday Johnson and Beste in Conversation: Content Block 1

Halliday Johnson and Beste in Conversation: Content Block 2

Halliday Johnson and Beste in Conversation: Content Block 3 (bios)

Amy Beste is director of public programs and senior lecturer in the department of film, video, new media, and animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kelsey Halliday Johnson is executive director of the multidisciplinary art organization SPACE in Portland, ME, and has held curatorial positions at the Michener Art Museum and Locks Gallery. In 2016, she received Center support to present Making/Breaking the Binary: Women, Art & Technology 1968–1985.

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