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Friday, January 31,2014

Wiki thump

Broad Museum joins 15 other sites in promoting female figures online

by RJ Wolcott
Courtesy image

Friday, Jan. 31 — Wikipedia, the bane of teachers and the toast of lazy students around the world, provides terabyte upon terabyte of free information online. Whether looking for Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12, 1809) or the number of residents in Lansing (113,996), nearly any imaginable fact or figure can be found with a simple search. 

However, noting that less than 13 percent of contributors to the site are female, Art Feminism is organizing a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Saturday, Feb. 1, with the Broad Art Museum in an attempt to better represent female perspectives on the webs largest encyclopedia.

Running from noon-4 p.m. Saturday in the museum’s media gallery, the edit-a-thon is in conjunction with Eyebeam, a New York-based art and media gallery focusing on introducing audiences to cutting-edge technology and media arts. While editing Wikipedia is often nefarious, Tammy Fortin, curatorial program manager for Broad, said this event is meant to suppliant existing pages as well as promoting lesser-known female artists.

“With Wikipedia, there are some gaps from a feminist perspective and it’s important to fill those gaps and ensuring there’s a balanced perspective,” she said.

Stemming from a conversation with MSU Professor Lily Woodruff, museum officials decided to participate as a satellite organization, complete with complimentary coffee. Inviting MSU students, faculty and members of the Lansing community, Fortin said they hope to simulcast the event live online alongside other Art Feminism sponsors.

“It’s a really good way to meet with other people interested in art, feminism and technology,” Fortin noted. She added that while there will be volunteers helping attendees register for the site, anyone interested in attending is advised to register as a Wikipedia user beforehand to prevent overflow.

Curious parties are invited to check out the groups Facebook page (http://on.fb.me/1fcHPgd) or the Wikipedia entry (http://bit.ly/1edP0D4). The event is free and open to the public.

Art Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon
Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
Broad Art Museum (media gallery)
FREE


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