Post-Cyber Feminist International

Glitch @ Night - BBZ London, photo Mark-Blower, no24Post-Cyber Feminist International, Glitch@Night BBZ London (Photo: Mark Blower)

‘A particularly gendered set of obstacles emerges from the contemporary ubiquity and commodification of the digital sphere. From sexual harassment and privacy to issues surrounding divisions of labour, the progress of gender justice has in some ways failed to keep pace with the dizzying velocity of digital developments. At the same time, new networked technologies have come to dominate the horizons of critical discourse, pushing older and more quotidian devices to the margins of cultural visibility. And yet, these domesticated technologies (from the Hoovers to HRT) continue to exert a shaping influence on many people’s everyday lives. It is critical that feminists find new ways of interrogating technologies in order to forge a radical gender politics fit for an era in which the analogue and the digital are inexorably intertwined’ [ICA]

Black Feminism and Post-Cyber Feminism, photoMark-Blower, no27Black Feminism and Post-Cyber Feminism (Photo: Mark Blower)

Post-Cyber Feminist International took place at the ICA between 15-19 Nov 2017, and consisted of a series of events, exhibitions and workshops dedicated to exploring how radical gender politics can shape our technological future. Visual artists, musicians, writers and theorists came together to find new ways of engaging with race, class, gender and to discuss their work-in-progress. Post-Cyber Feminist International showcased interrelated constituents such as sonic feminisms, Black feminism and glitch feminism, celebrating the 20th anniversary of The First Cyberfeminist International (1997).

What Can Post-Cyber Feminism Do For Reproductive Justice, photo Mark-Blower, no 36
What Can Post-Cyber Feminism Do For Reproductive Justice? (Photo: Mark Blower)

Diagraming Post-Cyber Feminism‘, a workshop convened by Res. – a mutable project based in a gallery and workspace in Deptford, South East London explored alternative propositions for the future of the movement. Helen Hester’s essay ‘After the Future: n Hypotheses of Post-Cyber Feminism’  (commissioned by Res. in advance of the workshop) foregrounded the discussions. Tracing the history of cyberfeminist thought, the essay presents the case for updating some of its theoretical underpinnings.

Glitch @ Night - Victoria Sin, photo Mark-Blower, no4Post-Cyber Feminist International, Glitch@Night – Victoria Sin (Photo: Mark Blower)

Many of the cyberfeminsim and post-cyberfeminisms artworks can be identified with sf, with which they often share a theoretical basis, drawing inspiration from texts such as Donna Haraway’s ‘The Cyborg Manifesto’ or Ursula Le Guin’s ‘A Rant about Technology’. The film Update, Updating, Updated by collective Laboria Cuboniks, shown as an installation at Post-Cyber Feminist International, exemplifies these synergies perfectly:

Laboria Cuboniks. Image courtesy Diann BauerLaboria Cuboniks (Image Courtesy Diann Bauer)

The screening of Update, Updating, Updated followed a discussion of the past and future of cyberfeminism with artists and curators of the Post-Cyber Feminist International: Annie Goh, Legacy Russell, Diana McCarty and Faith Wilding.   In the audience, artist Andrea Morreau (daughter of Jacqueline MorreauWomen’s Images of Men, ICA 1980) sketched their portraits, capturing the vibrancy of the conversation:


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