Annette Barbier

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“For me, new technologies are a means of expression and can cultivate the formation of new ideas. I know some artists who resist any association with a medium or technology. They think of their work as being exclusively conceptual. But form and content are always intertwined, and work is more successful the more closely related they are.”

River of Many Sides, 2004 and Beach Ball Boogie, 1978. Courtesy of Annette Barbier. From New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts

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Annette Barbier’s works addressed a range of issues from the autobiographical to the precarious ecological moment we find ourselves in today. Her work has been exhibited internationally in London; Alberta, Canada; Sao Paolo, Brazil; Vancouver, British Columbia; Linz, Austria; and Skopje, Macedonia; and in conferences and exhibitions, including the International Digital Media and Art (best of show 2005, featured artist 2011), International Symposium on Electronic Art, the College Art Association, and Ars Electronica. She received grants from the Illinois Arts Council, Propeller Fund (funded through the Andy Warhol Foundation), faculty research grants at Columbia College and Northwestern University, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright Scholar program. She also received awards from the University Film and Video Association, International Digital Media and Arts Association, FILE, Houston Worldfest, and the Chicago International Film Festival. She was a professor of interdisciplinary arts and past chair of the Interactive Arts and Media Department at Columbia College, Chicago, and was previously director of the Center for Art and Technology and associate professor at Northwestern University.

“Feminism—then known as women’s lib—was highly influential for me . . . The women’s movement gave me the courage to travel and work in fields traditionally reserved for men.”

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Activist and art critic Lucy Lippard wrote a thoughtful feminist essay, “The Women Artists’ Movement—What Next” (1976), where she highlighted the importance of alternative art and cautioned women artists not to be “content with a ‘piece’ of the pie, so long dominated by men, satisfied with the newfound luxury of greater representation in museums and galleries (though not yet in teaching jobs and art history books) rather than continuing to explore the alternatives.” For Lippard, alternative spaces and ways of making art could change “the superficial aspect of the way art is seen, bought, sold and used in our culture” (Parker and Pollock 2013, 135). Lippard earned degrees from Smith College and New York University; she became an art critic in 1962, contributing to Art International and Artforum.

Details from: Lucy Lippard 1974: An Interview: An Interview Conducted by Lyn Blumenthal and Kate Horsfield. Images copyright of the artist, courtesy of the Video Data Bank, SAIC.

KEYWORDS

computer art, video art, and internet art