‘Technofeminism Can Tackle The Male Gaze In Immersive Content, Say Female Creatives

‘Technofeminism Can Tackle The Male Gaze In Immersive Content, Say Female Creatives

Female perspective + VR: As technofeminism takes over the digital environment

This week, speakers at the Geneva Digital Market (GDM) said that "technofeminism" in imported art could reduce the influence of the male gaze and eliminate its content in the future.

Screenwriter and director Mariana Cadenas, virtual reality creator Gail Mouret and producer Pascaline Sardet meet for a roundtable titled Female Perspective + Virtual Reality: When Technofeminism Takes Over the Digital Environment.

His first virtual reality documentary , Paint for Change: We Are Against, which had its world premiere at DOK Leipzig 2023 and is currently showing in the Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) Immersive Experience competition, says it explores the impact of the project. male perspective and global impact. "My film is conceptually an experience of what it means to be a woman on the street, especially in Mexico, but globally, the microaggressions that women face every day," Cadenas said.

A Gift for Change: We Are Against is based on the work of Mexican cartoonist Marremata, highlighting the role of women in the tragic fact that 10 women are killed every day in Mexico. "It was difficult to negotiate with the developers to understand what I wanted to reveal," says Cadenas. "When we talked to developers who were guys, a lot of things were missing."

Moore, who writes and directs feature films and content, believes that the female gaze subverts what has historically been interpreted as the male gaze. “[Attitudes] are not specific to gender. I think virtual reality is a great tool to explore a different perspective on any area of ​​interest. He noted that sometimes people describe virtual reality as a tool for empathy. "I copied this quote from Agnes Varda. She said: "The first sign of femininity is, 'Well, they're looking at me.' But I look at them, 'I think it's very rich.'

Mouret, co-programmer of XR 2024 at SXSW, received Special Jury Recognition in 2022 for Hi)Story of a Painting: The Light in the Shadow , which he co-wrote with Quentin Duras. It is about the world of 17th century world famous Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi.

Producer Sorde is at GDM for his debut project XR Rave from Swiss director Patrick Muroni, where he talks about his memories and experiences from the Swiss rave scene. Sorde was excited to work with Muroney again after his documentary Clemage, though he said he "basically knew nothing about VR or XR."

The project, which is still in the prototype stage, takes the viewer back to the Swiss rave scene a few years ago. It is released every time the user dances, taking viewers to an all-night party.

"This idea has nothing to do with the female perspective. It's a way of redefining storytelling and making it accessible to people glorified through virtual reality headsets," Sordet said. They're mobile, which means you can be in a wheelchair and still feel the rage."

The panelists agreed that the male gaze is built into the DNA of cinema, but that they are disarmed to exploit this understanding.

"Besides being a producer and screenwriter, I can use the male point of view because I was educated and raised in a society dominated by the male point of view," says Sardet.

He suggests that literature, XR or any form of cultural production can use the male perspective to analyze concepts and ask questions about the subject and what it means to the audience.

All panelists agreed that women still face challenges, as men are in the majority for funding. The pursuit of inclusion and diversity remains high on the audiovisual industry's list of priorities.

"It's not just about men, it's about superstitions and people doing things in old ways," Muret said. "There has to be a cultural shift, which is why diversity and representation are so important. There are things I don't understand. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be spread or expressed. Can't be a homogenous group. Really representative."

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