Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
Formed in 2017, Woman Open Tech Lab (hereafter referred to as Woman Tech Lab) is based in Euljiro, where the urban manufacturing industry has grown spontaneously. It combines not only the physical space of Euljiro but also the keywords of ‘woman’ and ‘technology’ to challenge the gender biased and hierarchical culture that is prevalent within the technology utilizing fields such as makers’ culture and media art. Woman Tech Lab is trying to implement “technology from gender perspective – technological practice of feminism.” Through diverse activities such as workshops, exhibitions, seminars, lectures, and research groups, Woman Tech Lab nurtures women’s literacy in technology, and helps develop women to implement independent thinking and practice over technology from a feminist perspective. Main programs include technology research group, The Resisters, and technology education content development. From 2017, the technology research group has been running on a long-term basis (at least six months) with about ten woman artists or creators every year. Each group meeting selects a keyword topic, and participating members select a detailed research topic of their own interest that meets their bigger theme for their research and action. Based on the keyword, a forum is held where they discuss how technology combined with art is defined, mapped, filtered, and instrumentalized as a device. ‘The ‘Technology that resists, The Resisters’ is a program participating members can experience several technologies that are useful for art creation such as installation, sculpture, and media arts. It also fosters members to create new arts using their own interpretation of artistic expressions. In 2021, ten young (under the age of 29) woman artists were recruited. The goal was to induce technical independence of woman creators, to increase interest in technology, and to build a network among woman creators. The Woman Tech Lab also develops technology education content, and provides technology workshops and education for those with difficulty in accessing technology and for those with intention of enhancing technological literacy. The Woman Tech Lab developed an introductory kit, specifically designed for women, to offer comprehensive and basic skills of technology (E-Textile, physical computing, coding, DIY crafting, technical hacking, etc.) in creative ways.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
The first technology research group conducted a research on the theme of ‘basic electronic technology’ in 2017, and the second research group conducted a study on the ‘E-Textile’ in 2018. In October 2019, the third research group recruited new members with the theme of 'something for women made by women using technology' and held an online exhibition <Editing f in Encyclopedia> in April 2020. The fourth research group, which started in June 2020, kept with the theme of Circuit Bending, and launched a website called 'Kick-it Circuit’ to announce the research results in January 2021. The fifth research group held meetings to design and manufacture their own circuits (PCBs) under the name 'Circuit Breakers' in 2021. In June 2022, the sixth research group pursuing research in the theme of ‘Reading Technology Critically’. The Resisters was selected as Seoul Foundation of Arts and Culture LAB [Out: of School/Genre] project. Targeting young woman creators, The Resisters ran nine education programs and an online exhibition. As companions living in the same era and colleagues with the same problematic mindset, young woman creators met and experienced technologies together such as electricity, welding, hacking, and 3D modeling during the project. It was a place to set independent thinking, explore new culture in technology, and break down the hierarchy. The works of 10 artists who participated in the project were presented at an online exhibition <Click and Run>. The Woman Tech Lab also developed an E-textile introductory kit and MOM (body) kit as a technology education content. <E-textile introductory kit: circuit by sewing!> is a DIY kit to experience e-textile that combines electronic technology with textiles. It consists of BUL (LED) and BAB (battery socket), specifically designed for E-textile, a conductive thread that connects electricity, a needle, and a button. Participants can complete a circuit that turns on the LED by sewing. Anyone can purchase the kit and produce a circuit with the enclosed manual without even attending the workshop. The MOM (body) kit is a microcontroller board that can be connected to other electronic components such as sensors and speakers. For easy understanding, it uses a concept of a microcontroller that is represented by Arduino, in a human-shaped MOM (body) board along with materials such as conductive tape and conductive thread. With MOM (body) board, participants can compose a simple circuit, and can enjoy electronics and programming in a fun and interesting way through the making process. The MOM (body) kit includes components such as BUL (LED), BAB (battery socket), and TOOL (tools, open circuit) that can be connected to the MOM (body) board. In addition, the Woman Tech Lab developed a ‘Euljiro style multitab making workshop’, and ‘Physical interface design workshop that connects your body and senses’.