brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I went to WisCon and had a pretty good time. I am sad that I missed all of the vid party but I am glad that I used that time to catch up on sleep. I went to most of one panel, and didn't serve on any, and went to very few parties, and spent a lot of time in small group conversations with friends. The Guest of Honor speeches were thought-provoking and rhetorically neat as usual -- WisCon GoH speeches set a high bar and most tech industry keynotes do not meet it, in my opinion. I got a couple neat clothes at the Clothing Swap; I regret that I barely looked in the Dealer's Room and I never got to the Art Show.

I believe this year I saw multiple women of South Asian origin whom I did not know already, and by the end of my WisCon weekend I still had not quite met all of them! So exciting as a signal!

I was the auctioneer again this year for the auction benefiting the Tiptree Award. It looks like I will serve as that auctioneer yearly for the foreseeable future. I hear people really enjoyed the Tiptree Auction - the best compliment I got was (close paraphrase as memory permits): "it is weird that we use this capitalist approach to fund this feminist project! But you named that, and made fun of it, and made it so we could all play with it. You made it so we were all performing capitalist drag." People also livetweeted with #tiptreeauction in case you wanna see that. [twitter.com profile] radhardened made and ran an electronic signboard that displayed the current bid, and that helped me so much to keep track of things! In future years I need to:

* more frequently mention what the Tiptree Award is
* ensure pre-auction advertising of what we will be live-auctioning
* ensure pre- and at-auction advertising of what items are available for direct sale and at the silent auction
* rearrange stage furniture so the audience can see me better for whole-body schtick, and potentially move around the audience more
* remind audience that we take credit cards
* remind audience that they can always simply donate, in person or online
* ensure pre-auction advertising explicitly saying that it is absolutely fine to just come and not bid
* prepare somewhat more "if we get the bid to x then...." group crowd incentives akin to last year's onstage smashing of a "Pilates for Weight Loss" DVD

I rode home in a car with a friend I too rarely get to see, and am glad for the opportunity of long conversation where it's okay to go on twenty-minute tangents because the road and the trees and the topic and the friend will still be there when the tangent's over. Partly based on that conversation I wrote up a blog post on my other blog, about resilience.

at WisCon

May. 27th, 2017 02:39 pm
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I'm at WisCon right now, and leaving early Monday morning! Right now I'm preparing for the Tiptree Auction, which is tonight, about 7:30pm-9:15pm. I am not on any panels this year. Please feel free to say hi if you see me!
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I posted about the WisCon 2017 schedule in [community profile] wiscon and mentioned some items I find particularly interesting. The only program item I'll be on is the Tiptree Auction, which suits me fine since I'll be coming to WisCon straight from a week at PyCon.

A few years ago I wrote an invitation to first-timers to come to WisCon -- [personal profile] alexandraerin has done better than that and written two comprehensive guides called "So, you want to go to WisCon?", on logistics and on expectations.

WisCon

May. 3rd, 2017 10:22 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I'll be at WisCon Friday May 26 through early Monday May 29.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
Several things I recommended during Worldcon just now:

I had a very good time at Worldcon and am recovering now.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I'll be at WisCon this year, arriving Thursday the 26th and leaving incredibly early on Monday the 30th (to get to PyCon). I look basically like my profile photo, with slightly longer hair; you might recognize me as @brainwane from Twitter. My pronouns are she/her. I eat mostly vegetarian but will eat fish/poultry that has at least one hippie buzzword (e.g. "organic", "free-range", etc.).

I'm speaking in three sessions:

  1. Panelist on "The Fandom Awakens" (on Star Wars): Friday, May 27, 2:30-3:45 pm, Assembly.

  2. Comedy auctioneer for the charity auction benefiting the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award: Saturday, May 28, 7:30pm-probably 8:30pm or 9pm, Capitol/Wisconsin room.

  3. Panelist on "SIX SEASON SERIES BASED ON THE THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL" (comedy game show focusing on people of color): Sunday, May 29, 4:00-5:15pm, Wisconsin room.



Also, I will probably drop by the Clothing Swap portion of the Gathering on Friday afternoon to find pieces that suit me and to bask in other people wearing my donated stuff; I would like to drop in on the vid party on Saturday night; I would like to drop in on the Hamilton singalong; I have a Dessert Salon ticket and intend on attending the Guest of Honor and Tiptree Award speeches on Sunday evening.

I am easily lured into talking about Hamilton, Zen Cho, Star Trek, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Mahabharata, Hinduism, and other interests in my profile.

Please ask before hugging; sometimes I'd rather not.

I am often bad with names, and will remember 5 minutes into our conversation that we had an awesome deep conversation one year prior. I apologize in advance. Also, I will probably be a little less intensively social this year, because I am trying to actually sleep enough and thus get to PyCon reasonably well-rested, and because client work for my consulting business may come up; I'll probably be trying to sleep every night from about 11pm to 7am, and aiming to take some alone time on top of that. So if you and I have multiple chances to see each other in person at other times of year, I may choose to make time for other people instead; apologies.

The fact that I am, in a sense, succeeding Ellen Klages in serving as the Tiptree auctioneer is quite a responsibility and I hope to discharge it well. So if you came to the Tiptree auction and raucously laughed at my japes I would welcome your chortles.

Eeeeee!

Mar. 6th, 2016 05:32 pm
brainwane: Sumana, April 2015, with shaved head. (bald)
I just called up Betsy Leondar-Wright (per the contact info on the Class Matters site) and told her I am gonna give a talk at LibrePlanet inspired by her piece on inessential weirdnesses and she was so jazzed! She probably won't be at my talk but she is so happy for the idea of inessential weirdnesses to be getting out! She might even have some time to look at my draft this week! She is so interested in spreading the word about Friends of Dennis and hearing more about the Birds of a Feather session I held at OSBridge that one time and OMG I feel like bouncing up and down. Eeeeee! Cross-generational and interdisciplinary activist conversation makes me super happy.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
Title: Pipeline
Vidder: Sumana Harihareswara ("brainwane")
Fandom: Multi (documentaries, movies, TV, comics, coding bootcamp ads, and more)
Music: "Blank Space", Taylor Swift
Length: 3 minutes, 11 seconds
Summary: The tech industry has a blank space, and is quite eager to write your name.
Content notes: Implied verbal/emotional abuse, a few seconds of very fast cutting around 1:50
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike (CC BY-SA)
Download: on Google Drive (165 MB high-res MP4, 23 MB low-res MP4, 98 MB AVI), or at Critical Commons with login (high- and low-res MP4 and WebM files)
Stream: at Critical Commons (choose View High Quality for best experience)
Subtitles file: http://www.harihareswara.net/vids/pipeline.srt

Premiered just now at WisCon 2015 (the vid party).

Embedded video below:

Sources:
50 sources (28 video, 22 still) )


Thank you to my betas:


  • Skud
  • seekingferret
  • were_duck
  • Leonard Richardson
  • Teresa Nielsen Hayden
  • and others.

Feelings and interpretation:
You don't need to read this )
Making-of:
About 75 hours over 2 months )

This vid is under CC BY-SA and I hope people feel free to remix it, redistribute it, and otherwise enjoy it, as long as they attribute me as the vidder.

brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I'll be at WisCon starting tomorrow and leaving on Tuesday. I am scheduled to participate in these sessions:

  1. Imaginary Book Club, Fri, 4:00-5:15 pm in Conference 2. Five panelists discuss books that don't exist, improvising critiques and responses. I proposed this panel a few years ago (you can see video of its debut) and it has continued, which is cool!
  2. Lighthearted Shorthand Sans Fail, Sat, 8:30-9:45 am in Capitol A. What are your go-to phrasings to avoid sexism, ableism, etc. while getting your point across in casual conversation? I hope to walk out of this with some new vocabulary to replace bad habits.
  3. Vid Party, Saturday night 9:00 pm-Sun, 3:00 am in room 629. I am premiering a fanvid. Once it's premiered, I'll hit Post on blog posts to announce it publicly as well.
  4. Call Out Culture II: Follow-up to the Discussion Held at WisCon 38, Sun, 10:00-11:15 am in Senate A. Meta-discussion around discourse in social justice movements. I predict this session will be pretty intense.
  5. Vid Party Discussion, Sun, 1:00-2:15 pm in Assembly. We will discuss some of the vids shown at the vid party, and fan vids in general. This will be the first time I've engaged in public realtime conversation about fanvids. Before this panel I hope to publish some notes about what I learned from watching several vids that drew from multiple sources (including stills), made a political point, or were otherwise particularly ambitious. I'll probably reference those lessons during the panel.

I also proposed "What Does Feminist Tech Education Look Like?", "Impostor Syndrome Training Exercise", and "Entry Level Discussion Group", but am not a panelist or presenter for those sessions; I bet they'll be interesting, though, and you could do worse than to check them out. You can read Entry Level ahead of time for free online.

I look like the photo to the left. I am often bad with names, and will remember 5 minutes into our conversation that we had an awesome deep conversation three years prior. I apologize in advance.

If you are good at clothes, consider joining me at the Clothing Swap portion of the Gathering on Friday afternoon to help me find pieces that suit me. I'm introducing two old pals to WisCon and spending a lot of time with them (we live in different cities), and they're both white, so I might not be able to come to the People of Color dinner on Friday night. And sadly, The Floomp dance party on Saturday happens during the Vid Party so I probably can't attend that. I did buy a ticket for the Dessert Salon and will attend the Guest of Honor and Tiptree Award speeches on Sunday, and maybe you will be at my table!

One of my pals who's coming to WisCon is Beth Lerman, an artist who will be displaying and selling her work in the art show. Check it out!

Also I am open to doing a small room performance of my half-hour geeky stand-up comedy routine if several people ask for it. I don't know when or where it would be; Monday night would be easiest. Speak up in comments or some other medium if you'd be interested.


[Cross-posted from Cogito, Ergo Sumana]

brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
crossposted from Cogito, Ergo Sumana

I have been to WisCon three times (2009, 2010, 2011) and I am going again this year, yay! If you enjoy my writing, you might like WisCon, and -- especially if you've never tried it before -- you should consider joining me in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, May 22-25 (Memorial Day weekend).

Smart, funny conversations. Mary Anne Mohanraj and me at a past WisCon, photo by E. J. FischerSome of my best WisCon memories are of really funny panels (I enjoyed serving on the "Must Pleasures Be Guilty?" and "Imaginary Book Club" panels, and watching "Not Another Race Panel"). Some are of friendly semistructured interaction like the clothing swap at the Gathering on Friday afternoon. And some some are of formal and informal discussions where incisive people tossed around ideas that gave me new thoughts for the rest of the year. I expect to get all of that this year, and if you decide to come, I'll happily tell you which panels/panelists/parties/workshops/etc. look promising to me!

Relevant sessions. You can create a free account to look at programming signups and indicate your interest in attending -- the deadline is March 29. The programming committee does take those numbers (how many people demonstrate interest in attending something) into account when rejecting or scheduling specific sessions. And there's an Overflow/Spontaneous Programming (a.k.a. unconference) room throughout the convention -- for topics people want to discuss that aren't on the schedule -- where we can hold impromptu sessions about vidding, open source, self-directed learning....

Accessibility lane at WisCon, photo by sasha_feather, CC BY-NC-SAGreat accessibility. I especially love the Quiet Space to regroup, the free-flowing traffic lanes marked in the hall with blue tape, and the rule that speakers use microphones so the audience can hear better. They all help me enjoy the con more, and they help other attendees, which means I can enjoy their company. And overall, I find WisCon participants care about being intersectionally feminist and inclusive (example: discussion and renaming in the Floomp dance party). Sometimes folks make mistakes, as we all do, but we apologize, and fix it, and (although I know other people have had different experiences*) I trust in WisCon in the long term and am happy to recommend it to others, including people who have never been to a scifi con before. It was my first!

First-timers welcome. The site gives you detailed directions to the venue. There's usually a first-timers' dinner (small group expeditions to local restaurants, I think), and orientation sessions, early in the con, to help first-time attendees and first-time panelists (tips) and first-time moderators (tips). If you feel better showing up someplace for the first time if you're being useful, check the checkbox to volunteer, e.g., for a couple of hours in the con suite stocking free food for everybody. And I would be happy to help you meet folks (my credentials from a shy previous WisCon first-timer).

Another world is possible. I cannot overstate how much it has influenced me to participate in WisCon, which asks everyone to influence programming, provides accessibility and childcare and a comprehensive program guide, and nurtures and amplifies feminist voices. And WisCon communicates thoroughly with its community via blog, Twitter, Facebook, an email newsletter and printed, mailed progress reports, and more. This includes talking about really difficult stuff like owning up to past mistakes in handling harassment reports and disinviting a Guest of Honor (if you've never been to a scifi convention, think "keynote speaker").

A gateway to more. I've made friends, started watching or reading new stuff, and joined Dreamwidth to keep in the feminist fannish conversation year-round.

I skipped WisCon for years basically because I had other travel commitments for work, and this year I'm so glad to be coming back. Feminists of all genders who enjoy science fiction, think about coming to Madison in May.



* Kameron Hurley posted "Burn it All Down: Wiscon’s Failure of Feminism" before the WisCon con committee permabanned a particular harasser. As this year's cochair said in criticizing the previous decision for a temporary ban, "WisCon bills itself as a feminist sci-fi con. And compared to some others that I have attended, it is definitely better at paying lip service to being feminist than any of them."

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