Technology should be for all.
For whom is the technology? To whom is the technology open? We practice feminist approaches to technology that break down the hierarchy and gaps.
The practice of technology from a feministic perspective
We set one topic each year and create our identity that changes accordingly. Reading the rapidly changing flow of technology culture and societal concerns, we try to respond to them.
2023 - Move lightly as a feather
We focus on mobility that can fly lightly at any time. Opportunities to access culture, art, and technology are concentrated in mega cities like Seoul. The technology of today refers to a hyperconnected society, but still, someone can’t move, someone can’t be connected. This year we examine increasingly concealed and deepening inequality, social stratification, regional gaps, and disconnections. Outside of Seoul, somewhere else, we create a different story.
2022 - Wave
The flexible movement of the water waves symbolizes freedom without blockage, a soft change, and a relaxed mind. Gender prejudice and discrimination are still solid in our society. We hope to travel like waves that flow smoothly without being stopped by any obstacles. Embracing each other’s differences, our resistance will be continued with a stronger force of softness.
2021 - Sharing sides
Let’s review how we’ve responded to the confusion and darkness that suddenly came at the beginning of the pandemic. The year was full of anxiety, distrust, and helplessness grew by the fear of isolation and disconnection. In Korea, the suicide rate of women in their 20s has soared. It accounts for 32.1% of those who attempted suicide between January and August 2020. It’s the highest percentage of all generations and genders. We find a way to feel each other’s presence and share sides even in the dark.
2020 - Non-binary
The identity of the year is created with four colors that make up the Flag of Non-binary. In the “WOMAN OPEN TECH LAB,” the meaning of “woman” does not mean excluding “gender except for women," but refers to a feminist approach, a non-hierarchical, inclusive, and alternative way. In South Korea, there were human rights violations that forced a transgender soldier to be discharged and controversy over the ban on transgender admission by a women’s university. We oppose all discrimination and violence due to sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, and sexual identity and orientation. The value of equality and how it is realized matter to us.
Starting in 2017, we have created various discussions on technology, including workshops, research groups, and lectures, and conducted education programs to lower barriers to technology.
The ultimate goal of our activities is not to acquire high tech. By learning technology, we can be aware of how it affects and shapes our lives. Paying attention to social gaps and gender inequality that are deepening with technology, we redefine the role and practice of contemporary art.
Selected as a CSO in the QPR to UNESCO 2005 Convention
The UNESCO 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is an international agreement signed to date by 146 Parties. Contributing to the 4th Goal of the Convention(Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms), WOMAN OPEN TECH LAB was introduced as CSO in a Quadrennial Periodic Report(QPR) of South Korea in 2022
It is a statistical data project that visualizes various aspects of society about minorities and highlights its structural problems. It was supported by ART CHANGE UP of Arts Council Korea in 2022. A total of 20 data were presented and released online for 5 months.
Awarded the Gender Equality Culture Award of the year
In recognition of the contribution to gender equality by engaging in various activities against an androcentric culture of technology and promoting feminist practice, WOMAN OPEN TECH LAB won the Special Award for Culture and Arts of 2021 Gender Equality Culture Award sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Supported by Urban Culture LAB [Out of the school/genre] of the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, we conducted an education program for young women artists. Based on 10 participating artists’ awareness of the problem of technology culture, the exhibition 《Click and Run》 was presented online.
Zero Makes Zero
Zero Makes Zero, a public art project selected by Arts Council Korea in 2020, is a forum that examines the structure of the art scene and elevates a diverse array of voices. It captures the movements and actions of creators, citizens, and activists across systems and genres, learning about their attitudes and imagining the relocation of the meaning of public art.
Editing f in Encyclopedia
The results of the annual technology research group were presented for the first time. Since 2019, seven women composed of artists, developer, and designer have gathered to conduct their own research under the theme of “Let’s make something for women using technology” and held an exhibition in 2020. For 5 days, the exhibition was open with live streamings and offline workshops to share research topics and processes.
Invited by Taiwanese artist Shih Wei-Chieh, visited Tashi Getsen Charity School in Tibet and opened a short school for seven days. To share computer and electronic technology in an easier and more fun way, E-textile Kit was developed including a human-shaped circuit board called MOM.
WOMAN OPEN TECH LAB was launched
WOMAN OPEN TECH LAB was established and moved into Sewoon Makers’ Cube, which was built as one of the urban regeneration projects in Seoul. Lectures, talks, and workshops were conducted in the first year, supported by Y-MAKERS of the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture.
RTC 《Home Directory》
As the final presentation of the technology research group “Reading Technology Critically”, participating artists shared their research processes and results through text, installation, and workshops for 4 days.
Media Expansion: Unreal Engine Workshop
It is a 3-days workshop organized by ACC(Asia Culture Center) where participants experience various types of production methods using Unreal Engine and present their own artworks. The results were presented at ACC’s Media Cube from February to March 2023.
It is a 3-part workshop that combines a lecture and experiment to understand the world through electricity. It was held at ’Seoul Arts School, Today’ of the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture.
CODE MEAL KIT
Code Meal Kit is a workshop and card sets commissioned by the 12th Seoul Mediacity pre-Biennale 《Station》. The 10-part workshop held conversations and collected questions on the culture of technology across the computer programming language ‘code’.
RTC 《A Qucik Recap》
The technology research group “Reading Technology Critically” held an interim review during Korea Art Week. Various approaches to art and technology were attempted by holding an online and offline workshop to share the research process of each participating artist.
Physical Interface Design Workshop
Organized by Korea Disability Arts and Culture Center, a 7-part technology workshop was held for disabled artists. Several technologies for connecting the digital and analog worlds were introduced, and participating artists implemented the physical form of interfaces envisioned by each of them.
Technology Research Group
Reading Technology Critically
It is a critical study of technology in which each participant chooses one of the technologies, researches it, and connects it with creation, for reading technology from one’s own perspective.
It is a study to figure out the concept of electronic circuits and construct simple circuits. Each participant designs and makes printed circuit boards by learning PCB design tools such as EAGLE.
The theme is ‘Circuit Bending’. From assembling a simple synthesizer circuit with soldering to hacking an analog TV, it offers a variety of pre-study experiences and shared participants' research processes and results at the online exhibition.
Editing f in Encyclopedia
The goal is to use technology to make something for women themselves. Participants shared their experiences and issues on technology culture and sought the skills and research topics they needed. Their research was released through online exhibition and live streaming.
Basic Electronic Technology
The annual technology research group starts to build a loose but close community with fewer than 10 participants for the long term (at least 6 months). The first group researches basic electronic technologies such as microcontrollers and E-textile.
We offer easy, familiar, and fun ways to build an understanding of technology literacy, including electronics and computing. In order to understand and handle the various technologies that affect our lives, we create opportunities to experience them.