Queens Hall Digital

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Science And Magic At Work

The fertility tracking app ‘Glow’ has 15 million users alone, who all daily log the most intimate physical, emotional and mental details of their lives, to view the resulting data, graphs and instruction the apps impart. These apps, that are littered with pastel emojis and cute icons (with loading slogans such as “magic and science at work”) are designed and made by the male dominated tech industry, with little consultation or input from women. Within my work I have been drawing parallels between these tech based systems of control and surveillance, and the witch hunts of 15th century Europe. The women persecuted at this time were the source of medical knowledge relating to women’s healthcare: treatments around fertility, abortion and midwifery were carried out in communities. This knowledge was built up over generations of women learning from their environment and exploring how nature could be used, linking the spiritual and the scientific. Through the condemnation of individuals that practised these traditional ecological remedies, knowledge was taken away from women and authority seized by the patriarchal Church and State. The disparity that this caused between a women and autonomy over her body is still present today, continued by the way tech mystifies bodily processes, avoiding any medical language or explanation, with a patronising disregard for ‘women’s issues’.

About Hazel:

Through my practise I explore the space between perfected, edited representations proliferated by our constant connection to pervasive advertising, with how we experience our own personal realities. With this sense of detachment and disorientation I examine our intimate communications and relationships, how the influence of global capitalism affects these, and whether technology and techno feminism has the promise to emancipate women. Using video installation I strive to immerse and engage the viewer with a physical experience of the work, and play with repetition, appropriation and absurdity to break down the hierarchies and pedagogy surrounding engagement with contemporary art.  


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Keywords for: Hazel Soper

Queen's Hall Digital, art, digital