A guest article by Ruth Bamberg. She is the driving force behind the ELIZA project. ELIZA is a customizable, web-based VR interaction space for art collectives, agile communities and other networks that can share a female perspective. Based on tuijo, a "virtual creative quarter" is created, which will be permanently designed together with the users in the future.
Team ELIZA is interested in the intersectional feminist lens, especially on the Internet. ELIZA will give more and especially new space to the creative potential of women. We believe that with this perspective we can contribute to socially relevant solutions - even in times of crisis like the current ones. For co-laboratives, for processuals in projects and enterprises. We are looking for an open design approach, in a playful environment.
The digital is incomplete by itself. The immediate social interaction exceeds the digital horizon.
Social VR is also about encounters and conversations. But communication via social media, Zoom and other apps is not ideal for all of us. Zoom and Co lack the 3rd dimension. We miss the spatial-social and our mobility.
Metaverse applications at least bring the room. Here we could communicate in 3D worlds, but unfortunately only with VR glasses and avatars, the human nuances and the experience of "we are together in space" remain lost. The social physicality is missing, which is crucial for self-feeling, identity, relationships and self-perception.
It's about connecting "good old analog humanity" well with the digital world in terms of digitality. To extend our actions into digitality. To develop diverse and sustainable cultural forms that include technology. In doing so, technology must be simple and serve us.
We want both: the familiar and innovation as uncomplicated as possible. An atmosphere in which we feel comfortable must not fall by the wayside. We furnish our rooms in the digital world ourselves, whether they are meeting rooms, club rooms, action rooms or exhibition rooms. We do the same at home.
We are currently working with the artist Frauke Frech to transfer her work "Grand Beauty," which she is carrying out on site in Leipzig with postmigrant women, among others, into the digital realm.
The feminine is the cultural-historical wasted power. Now it's back in the digital realm, too. The actually already obsolete male dominance on all levels is back. In the digital it is happening again, just as in medicine the male body was measured to depict the human being; or in the car industry the male body was measured for the ergonomic requirements of safety, today 80% of all internet content is created by men and/or consumed by them - porn, ego shooting, hate speech. Women are not finding the space they deserve and society needs. Discrimination against women unfortunately also takes place without awareness of it, simply because their concerns and constitution are ignored.
Women love to communicate - especially with online tools. Unlike men, however, they find it deadly boring to conduct extensive discussions about the tools themselves using digital communication tools. Zoom, Whatsapp, Insta, etc. are somehow practical, yes, but not really. Women want a communication tool that is perfect.
This is why it is important to create and operate a 3D world of its own - largely independent of US tech giants - as a "virtual creative quarter". ELIZA wants to invite existing and new women's networks to keep their resources digitally in motion by means of an innovative technology and to make them jointly accessible. For own topics, visibility, exchange - as digital humus for explorative.
Behind this is the conviction that more and new space must be given to women's digital creative potential. The three-dimensional Internet as a platform is used more for the assertion of sustainable female rights. We want to counter the content on the Internet, which is largely produced by men, with female perspectives. In this context, ELIZA is also a protective space for freedom of movement for women.