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Scotland's only arts-focused Wikipedia edit-a-thons take place this weekend

5 March 2015

As part of the international Art+Feminism campaign to improve coverage of women and the arts on Wikipedia, Dundee will be hosting two dynamic arts focused edit-a-thons this weekend.

The first will take place on Friday (March 6) at Abertay University’s art gallery - the Hannah Maclure Centre - and the second on Saturday (March 7) at CentreSpace in the Visual Research Centre of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

Dundee is one of only two cities in the UK - and the only in Scotland - taking part in this global event, joining the likes of London, Paris, Berlin and Madrid in Europe, as well as Toronto, New York and San Francisco across the pond who will all be hosting similar events.

Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well-documented: in a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 13% of its contributors were female.

While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not: content is skewed by the lack of female participation, which means there is an alarming gap in what is becoming one of the world’s most important repositories of shared knowledge.

To help fix this, the weekend’s events will focus on expanding or improving Wikipedia entries for women artists working in film, video and new media, particularly those associated with the exhibition Coded After Lovelace, which has been on display at the Hannah Maclure Centre since November last year and will come to a close on Friday night.

It was the flagship exhibition of last year’s NEoN digital arts festival and brought together the work of seven pioneering female computer artists 199 years after the birth of Ada Lovelace, who is credited with being the world’s first computer programmer.

Guest-curated by Nora O’ Murchú and Faith Holland, its intention was to bring greater visibility to the work of women artists who have often been left out of histories of art and technology, but who have forged new ground in their respective fields, not only embracing new technologies, but also inventing new forms and uses for them.

Clare Brennan – curator of the Hannah Maclure Centre – said:

“This weekend’s Wikipedia edit-a-thon is a great event to end our exhibition on and a great way to celebrate women in the arts. Dundee has a really vibrant arts scene, so it’s fantastic to be taking part in this global event.

“The ideas behind Coded After Lovelace tie in perfectly with the Art+Feminism campaign and I hope that as many people as possible will come along on Friday night to help us get Wikipedia up-to-date.

“We’ve got a few suggested artists to create entries for or to update information about, but people are more than welcome to come along with their own suggestions. And, even if you don’t want to take part in the editing itself, it would be fantastic to have your support. Everyone is welcome!”

Sarah Cook, Dundee Fellow in Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design explains how it all began:

“'Last year I was contacted by a friend and colleague in New York, Michael Mandiberg, who knew I was new to Dundee, to suggest I host the first European node of a movement based on art and feminism to work towards a better gender balance on Wikipedia.

“We held two small but dynamic meet-ups, which helped me get to know others in the city, and also benefited from a connection with the Wikipedian in Residence at the National Libraries of Scotland.

“In December the website Buzzfeed named the 600 people who participated in the Art+Feminism edit-a-thons worldwide (including the dozen of us in Dundee) on their list of top 'badass women of 2014.'

“We are thrilled to be continuing to be a node in this global movement, and hope that getting together to edit Wikipedia can be as fun and rewarding as being a part of a book club or a sewing bee.

“At DJCAD we have a wealth of knowledge about women artists, in fields such as video, or science, and new media, working internationally and this is a way to mobilise and share that knowledge.”

The edit-a-thon at Abertay University kicks off at 4pm in the Hannah Maclure Centre on Friday, March 6. There will be some computers available, but please bring your own laptop if you can.

Dundee University’s edit-a-thon will run from 4-6pm on Saturday, March 7 in CentreSpace at the DCA.

Full details about both events can be found on Wikipedia.


For media enquiries please contact Kirsty Cameron T: 01382 308935 M: 07972172158 E:

Notes to Editors:

As full a list as possible of all participating venues is available on Wikipedia.

The first Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon took place in February 2014, with 31 events being held in six countries around the world.

Over the course of the day, more than 100 new articles were created, and at least 90 improved – including articles about female artists, feminist artistic movements, and feminist scholarship.

This year, the main event will be held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, with over 70 satellite edit-a-thons taking place across 11 countries.

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