Last week, a very enthralling discussion was being held at the Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, which is located in the neighborhood of Sunset Park in Brooklyn, NY. Running alongside the two week exhibition called To Scale, which is showcasing 10 art projects centered around the concept of scaling, was a discussion hosted by the Lady Tech Guild, a creative collective of professional and tech-savvy women who work as 3D artists, designers, biohackers, educators, and entrepreneurs within the 3D world.
Formed in 2013, the Lady Tech Guild is an organization that works to empower women by connecting them to emerging technologies and each other, oftentimes hosting informal gatherings where members can exchange tips and resources with one another. The collective was founded by a group of nine innovative professionals who are driven to empower other women to get creatively involved with emerging technology, many of which were an active part of the panel discussion.
For their most recent panel discussion, the guild had a guest who has been undoubtedly been surrounded by controversy and acclaim as of late, the Japanese sculptor and mangaka (cartoonist) Megumi Igarashi, who uses the pseudonym Rokudenashiko (which translates to “good-for-nothing girl” or “bad girl”) for her work. The name may sound familiar, as the edgy and outspoken artist was arrested in 2014 in Japan for using 3D scans of her genitalia to create dioramas, kawaii characters, and a kayak, which she dubbed the “pussy boat”.
At the panel discussion and exhibition last night, Rokudenashiko presented her work and took part in a fireside chat with the members of the Lady Tech Guild about her recent arrest, trial, and verdict. The artist was recently found not guilty of obscenity for displaying 3D printed figurines modeled after her vagina, but she did receive a fine of 400,000 yen ($3,700 USD) for “distributing digital data” that could potentially be used by others to make a 3D replica of her genitalia. Although she received less of a penalty than prosecutors had aimed for, Rokudenashiko stated her intention to appeal the fine, stating that she is completely innocent of any crime.
According to Natalia Krasnodebka, who is one of the founding member of the Lady Tech Guild, the panel discussion was also heavily focused on the importance of collaboration, as well as the power of a collective. Other participants involved in the “show-and-tell evening” at the Eyebeam included Pam Liou, Salome Assega, Annelie Koller, Lauren Slowik, Laura Taalman, Sophie Kahn, Ashley Zelinskie. The Lady Tech Guild is currently hosting monthly meetups for women in tech to join together to collaborate, the next of which will be on June 8.