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Writing Desire
A film by Ursula Biemann
2000, 23 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W01731
"Ursula Biemannís WRITING DESIRE is a video essay on the new dream screen of the Internet and how it impacts on the global circulation of womenís bodies from the third world to the first world. Although under-age Philippine 'pen pals' and post-Soviet mail-order brides have been part of the transnational exchange of sex in the post-colonial and post-Cold War marketplace of desire before the digital age, the Internet has accelerated these transactions. Biemann provides her viewers with a thoughtful meditation on the obvious political, economic and gender inequalities of these exchanges by simulating the gaze of the Internet shopper looking for the imagined docile, traditional, pre-feminist, but Web-savvy mate. WRITING DESIRE delights in implicating the viewer in the new voyeurism and sexual consumerism of the Web. However, it never fails to challenge pat assumptions about the impossibility for resistance and the absolute victimization of women who dare to venture out of the third world and onto the Internet to look for that very obscure object of desire promised by the men of the West. This tape will promote lively discussion on third world women, the sex industry, mail order brides, racism and feminist backlashes in the West, and on womenís sexuality, desire, and new technologies." --Gina Marchetti, Ithaca College


  • Open Space, International Women's University, Hanover
  • Cornell Cinema, Ithaca
  • Dallas Video Festival
  • Women in the Director's Chair
  • One World Film Festival, Canada
  • Women in Cinema, Washington
  • Videoex, Video ane Expermental Film Festival, Zurich
  • Framing Globality, Stuttgarter Filmwinter
  • All is Fair in Love and War, Rotterdam 2001 Homeport
  • Future Bodies, University of Art and Design, Cologn
  • Sex - on Wishes and Desires, Dresdener Hygienemuseum
  • Gouvernamentality, Hanover
  • Female Geographies, Austrian Cultural Institute, Vienna
  • Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid
  • Govett-Brester Art Gallery, New Zealand
  • VIDARTE International Video and Electronic Arts Festival, Mexico
  • Centre George Pompidou, Paris
  • Docfilm and Videofestival Kassel
  • Cinematik, Tijuana, Mexico
  • Center for Media Art, Germany - International Art and Media Award

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    ďMaps the digital networks of sexuality and gender that utterly redefine feminism. A brilliant surf through the digital landscapes of desire as they morph the gaze for transnational exchanges. An intellectually and artistically edgy tape by one of the most important visual artists working the politics of the analog/digital divide."
    Patricia R. Zimmermann
    Author, "States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies"

    "'Writing Desire' is a short, experimental video that documents the traffic in internet brides. By showing how women are deploying the web to market themselves and express their desire (for a good home, for love, to escape poverty), the video functions as a sort of trompe l'oeil that unsettles categories such as love and desire that generally go unquestioned."
    Silvia D. Spitta
    Dartmouth University

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    Writing Desire is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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