Greg Garvey – Pedagogy of the Oppressed Panel Notes


Session Title:

  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Women, Men and the Cartesian Coordinate System (Gender/Blender: High & Low)

Presentation Title:

  • Greg Garvey – Pedagogy of the Oppressed Panel Notes



  • Panel: Pedagogy of the Oppressed 

    There is an ongoing debate in the classroom, academic journals, and the popular press regarding significant differences between men and women especially in learning, using, and designing technology as part of a more general discussion of so called “cultural studies”. One such view is that the edifice of western science and technology is but only a ‘constructed’ artifact of the dominant white male patriarchy driven by the imperatives of expansionist monopoly capitalism.

    “Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Women, Men and the Cartesian Coordinate System” continues this discussion by examining the statement: The Cartesian Coordinate System is oppressive” overheard during the proceedings of the “Nano-sex” panel at SIGGRAPH’93. The title for this panel also makes reference to Paulo Freire’s classic “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. Freire describes a “culture of silence” in which the oppressed are submerged. He asserts that all human beings regardless of their circumstances can look critically at the world in a “dialogical” encounter with others leading to a new self-awareness within the social order. This awareness in turn leads to action in the attempt to be more fully human. The women and men who embrace and utilize technology in their artwork are likewise engaged in a critical appraisal of their role in the technological and scientific order. By challenging certain assumptions, critiquing gendered constructions of space and interface and proposing alternatives (a feminist computer, non-Euclidean computer graphics) likewise reflects the will to transform and remake technology that is responsive to the range of human capabilities, limitations, needs and desires.