Thursday, 25 October 2007

Cyberfeminist mini-conference in Perth

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the First Cyberfeminist International, the KanguerillaGirls collective is hosting a series of discussions within Night’s Edge, a cyberpunk conference being held at the Emerald Hotel, Perth, 10th – 11th November 2007.

  • Cyberfeminism 101: the herstory of cyberfeminism from VNS Matrix and the Old Boys Room to cyberfeminism now
  • Being Frankenstein (or, I'd rather be a cyborg than a goddess): how science & society work to configure bodies (especially women's bodies) as monstrous and 'carnival'
  • Bingo! - the importance of subversive humor in cyberfeminism, culture jamming and on-line activism
  • Open Source for grrls: open source software and open source culture
  • Advocacy, Feminism and Transformative Works: How an
    internet community engages with real-world social
  • And then we will wrap it all up with a CyPEC dinner at a near by restaurant
To be part of CyPEC all you need to do is register as a regular member of Night’s Edge, and a day pass is available if you only want to attend CyPEC (note, CyPEC is only running on Saturday the 10th).

We still could do with a few more people on panels, so if you think you would like to be on any or know someone who would please email me at sajbrfem at gmail dot com asap.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Adam Zaretsky Documentary - Bioart

Hi all, partially self servingly ;) here are some links to the 3 part documentary on artist Adam Zaretsky which we were asked to take part in during our impromptu visit to Leiden University (Descartes & Spinoza taught there amongst other well known philosophers). Zaretsky was delivering a bioart unit/workshop as part of the Netherlands 'science shop' attitude.

There are 3 parts to this documentary - both Adam Fiannaca (my collaborative partner) and I feature a bit in the second part from 10:59 - 15:19 on the subject of bioart ethics 'basic' ethics- but was nice to take part in. Unfortunately a lot of Adam Fiannaca's responses were edited - his responses to their questions were for the most part edited out even though they very interesting being about his backyard science projects and I imagine were removed due to play duration and the fact this ended up being marketed as an ethics related doco - but I can forward an email addy if you are curious and he can tell you about his work.

The Documentary in 3 parts:




WARNING: the documentary features the major project of embryological manipulation of baby quail so be aware the vision is difficult to watch - there are also parts of the documentary which have sex related themes and not to mention there are teen/adults that are unaware of some concepts :P but none the less the whole doco is interesting as is Adam Zaretsky :)

Sunday, 26 August 2007

cool blog

I hope she doesn't mind, but thought I should post up the new blog for one of our bananaistas art projects - the incubra project. check it out :-)

I should be more active here now, having finally returned to the wonderful land of broadband after the months of wlinderness in dial-up hell. I only moved 20 minutes down the road ... non-aussies please snigger quietly :-)

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Can Feminism Come to the Rescue Again?

Listen to or Join the Talkcast: Virtual Concerts
(join within 15 minutes of start time or anytime after)

Talkcast information:
  • Talkcast Name: Virtual Concerts
  • Host: Ghost Nets -
  • Next episode: Carey Lovelace- Can Feminism Come to the Rescue Again?, Tue, July 17, 2007 10:00 AM EDT
    Art writer and Critic Carey lovelace, is completing a 2-volume history of feminist art.
  • Phone number: (724) 444-7444
  • Talkcast ID: 1210
  • PIN: The phone number or 10-digit PIN you signed up with

blogart comp

found this in my fibreculture emails - thought it might appeal....

Call for proposals
Deadline: 31 July 2007
a + b = ba ?
[art + blog = blogart?]


JavaMuseum - Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art
is starting its 2nd phase
by releasing an open call focussing on the question
whether blogs and/or blogging can be tools for creating a new type of net based art.

The launch of this new project
is planned to be in October 2007 also the occasion for re-launching
JavaMuseum after a phase of re-structuring since 2005.
The new show "a + b = ba ? [art + blog = blogart?]"
will be presented in sequence on divers festivals.
JavaMuseum - Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art,
founded in 2000, realized during the 1st phase (2001-2005)
18 show cases focussing on Internet based art in a global context,
including more than 350 artists from 40 countries.

"a + b = ba ? [art + blog = blogart?]"
JavaMuseum is inviting
artists to submit such an art project in form of a blog.

The entry details, regulations and entry form can be found on

JavaMuseum - Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art
JIP - JavaMuseum Interview Project

This call is released by
netEX - networked experience
powered by
[NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]:||cologne -
the experimental platform for art and New Media
operating from Cologne/Germany.
info & contact
info (at)

Monday, 16 July 2007

100 days of anti-theses: 4. cyberfeminism is not ideology

Anti-thesis number four, cyberfeminism is not ideology, has given me pause for thought today. Not ideology? It seems like an ideology, as in a collection of ideas, even as ‘visionary speculation’ it kind of fits for me. Therefore I think this is a good place to think about the 100 anti-theses in a more holistic sense, and the idea that they are meant to be read and interpreted together. Not all of the anti-theses hold true for *all* cyberfeminists *all* of the time. This is not a flaw in the anti-theses, but rather an intentional strength. A multiplicity of approaches is a desirable quality of cyberfeminist practice. So, not an ideology may mean ‘not a grandiose set of ideals’ and perhaps suggest a more practical approach, or it may mean ‘not *just* ideology’. Or it may mean something else all together. There is not just one way to interpret the anti-theses, likewise, there is not just one way to be a cyberfeminist.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

100 days of anti-theses: 3. sajbrfeminizm nije usamljen

From Slavic to English 'sajbrfeminizm nije usamljen' translates to ‘cyberfeminism is not solitary’. Networking is an important aspect of cyberfeminism – collaboration and cooperation being important feminist alternatives to the patriarchal focus on the lone master/expert/auteur. The strength of the Internet is itself in networking, linking, sharing knowledge and experience, and it seems totally appropriate for cyberfeminists to embrace this.

And as is apt for an entry about collaboration todays post was not created in a solitary manner - thanks to aph31 for the translation.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

100 days of anti-theses: 2. cyberfeminism is not a fashion statement

“Cyberfeminism is not a fashion statement” seems fairly straight forward to me, which is a good follow up to the more cryptic “cyberfeminism is not a fragrance”. In the late nineties the prefix “cyber” was added to many things to sex them up, much in the same way “i" or “e” are often used currently, and I think perhaps this statement is a bit of a rebuttal to perceptions that cyberfeminism is just a trendy word trying to sex up feminism for the next generation.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

100 days of anti-theses: 1. Cyberfeminism is not a fragrance

Welcome to day 1 of our 100 days of anti-theses. Just for fun I am going to have a quick look at each of the 100 anti-theses, one a day, for the next 100 days.

The anti-theses were created at the ‘First Cyberfeminist International’ in 1997 as an alternative to a rigid definition of cyberfeminism. For more information on the conference and the anti-theses the Old Boys Network reading room is an excellent source of information.

I was not present at the conference or the creation of the anti-theses, and can claim no special knowledge of them other than intensive reading, therefore my dissection of each thesis is merely my own mussing and reflection. Please feel free to add your own reflection in the comments also.

1. Cyberfeminism is not a fragrance.
No. it is clearly not. This seems like a good opening statement for the anti-theses, it is cheeky in its obviousness, playfully setting the reader at ease for the further statements. But why ‘not a fragrance’ in particular? When I think of what a fragrance *is* I think of something that smells seductive, but is almost immaterial. Something that is highly marketed, often ridiculously so, in a glossy fashion. Style over substance perhaps. The word 'fragrance' hints at an artificial and affected nature, rather than the words 'scent' or even 'perfume', often the word fragrance is used in association with room deodorizers, a cover-up for something more sinister. "Cyberfeminism is not a fragrance" says to me that cyberfeminism is not an exercise in hyper-marketing and is not something that is just blowing past in a brief moment of sensory interest. Cyberfeminism is something substantial and real and is more than just a bunch of hype.

What is your take on “cyberfeminism is not a fragrance”?

Sunday, 1 July 2007

A Cyberfeminist Approach

When I talk about my thesis I often say I am taking a cyberfeminist approach to Web 2.0, and I think this is most often misunderstood. While this does mean looking at the web through a feminist lens, it also means much more than that.

So here is a brief description of what a cyberfeminist approach means to me.

Step 1: Know your product.
Ask the big questions – what is it? who says so? Who uses it? who doesn’t? why? what is different about it? Why is it special? What is not so great? To whom does it give a voice? Whom does it silence? What privilege is inherent in the medium?

Step 2: Engage
After all "cyberfeminism is not using words without any knowledge of numbers" so it is crucial to a cyberfeminist approach to not only be familiar with the theory, but to get in there and use the technology.

Step 3: Hack
While the term hacker (in the media at least) usually refers to an elite and mischievous computer programmer, I use the term in a broader sense as a person who, when not content with a system or a process, will actively seek to change and redefine said system. To me hacking means taking everyday things and changing them so they work for you. Cornelia Sollfrank gives a good definition of this in her lecture women hackers as “One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations… to generalise, one could say that hacking is all about learning and free inquiry”. I am also fond of Jon Ippolito’s description of techno art as "Creative misuse of technology".

Step 4: Play
Play is an important part of a cyberfeminist approach because "cyberfeminism is not boring!" The playful use of both irony and art have been inextricable from cyberfeminist theory since its very inception.

Step 5: Share
"Cyberfeminism is not a single woman", not is it "without connectivity". Communication, networking and collaboration are key cyberfeminist principles.

So in a nutshell what I mean by taking a cyberfeminist approach is to fully engage with the web in both theory and practice, creatively misusing it in a deliberate and playful fashion, while all the while collaborating, communicating and sharing the experience.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Cyberfeminist Reading: Gregg; Posting With Passion

Gregg, M.C., Posting With Passion: Blogs and the Politics of Gender, Uses of Blogs. Excerpt from Uses of Blogs.

I really like this article, it is one of the few I have found that really engages with the differences between men and womens blogging experiences rather than just assuming that the cybersphere is a gender free utopia. The article also contains many good references and links to interesting blogs.

Despite statistics showing that bloggers are fairly even in gender terms it is the perception that the more important and influential bloggers are men. Gregg examines factors that may contribute to this perception.

I think it is important to this article that Gregg refers to this phenomena as a ‘perception’ rather than a fact, for me this came across quite strongly in the line:
“…men’s blogs are often seen to be more engaged in political debate, especially when the notion of what counts as political remains undefined.” It is the perception of what is political and what is important that is, in a large part, against women bloggers. Gregg points out that women as a group spend more time in the domestic sphere so naturally write about it more than male bloggers. Although it may be true that women are concerned with the domestic, Gregg questions the idea of unimportance attached to this sphere, suggesting “an uncritical celebration of so-called feminine practices will only perpetuate the assumption that men are active agents leaving the home to work while women merely tend to the home’s reproduction, as if this were not also an exercise in labour”.

Gregg goes on to discuss technology use and gender noting “the adage ‘Blogs are for boys, journals are for girls’ summarized early observations that online diaries such as LiveJournal (LJ) served as natural extensions of the highly personal and intimate practice of teenage girls keeping a diary”. This is something I have noticed too, but previously not been able to put my finger on the difference, it seems that there is a general feeling of ‘blogs are for business and journals are for socialising’. This feeling is a large part of why we have deliberately chosen to distribute No Una Banana through blogger rather than live journal, despite live journal’s functionality and the familiarity many of the BananaGrrls have with the LJ interface.

Gregg finishes the article with an interesting discussion of her own blogging experience (which sadly linked to a 404) and women’s participation in blogs through commenting.

Gregg, M.C., Posting With Passion: Blogs and the Politics of Gender, Uses of Blogs, in Uses of Blogs, A.a.J. Bruns, Joanne, Editor. 2006, Peter Lang. p. 151-160.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Cyberfeminising Wikipedia

I noticed a little while ago that the entry for cyberfeminism in Wikipedia is, well, brief at best, you may even say superficial, you could even say that they just said ‘cyberfeminism is when feminists use the internet’ without any real understanding of the history and meaning of cyberfeminism.

From Wikipedia 5/6/2007:
“Cyberfeminism is a sub-movement of feminism that deals with female identity and feminist theory in the domain of 'cyberspace', i.e. computers, the internet and information technology. Women who choose to use communication technology as a means of organizing or activism. 'Definition as a political strategy Linking the terms "cyber" and "feminism" produces a crucial new formation in the history of feminism(s) and of the e-media. Each part of the term necessarily modifies the meaning of the other. "Feminism" (or more properly, "feminisms") has been understood as a historical--and contemporary--transnational movement for justice and freedom for women, which depends on women's activist participation in networked local, national, and international groups.”

Yep, that is the entire entry, it is what Wikipedia refers to as a stub. Much better than nothing of course, kudos for having a cyberfeminism entry at all and all that, but it did lead me to think about systemic gender imbalance in Wikipedia topics and contribution. And it was good to see I wasn’t the first one to think about this.

To take a cyberfeminist approach to this systemic gender imbalance it is important that we not only explore the theory and consider why this is so, but that we actually get in there and do something about it, get our hands dirty and have a little fun along the way.

My recent proposal for my thesis on cyberfeminism and web 2.0 has a good overview of the history of cyberfeminism, so let’s use that as a starting point.

Despite my love of Web 2.0 this is the first time I have edited an entry in Wikipedia, and I can see where much of the systemic imbalance comes from – the feeling is daunting. I suspect that it is the same unseen force that creates the gender imbalance often seen in convention panels, and indeed in the bloggesphere, the feeling that one needs to be the top expert in ones field before one dares to open ones mouth – even though this is not actually required. I have come to the conclusion that what participation really requires is a passion and a willingness to research.

Okay, so this is what I am starting with:

A Cyberfeminist History
The term Cyberfeminism was first used by the Australian collective VNS Matrix (pronounced Venus Matrix) in their 1991 cyberfeminist manifesto for the 21st century [2]. In this manifesto VNS Matrix famously proclaimed “The clitoris is a direct line to the matrix”[3]. Julienne Pierce from VNS Matrix explained:

“four bored girls decided to have some fun with art and French feminist theory… with homage to Donna Haraway they began to play around with the idea of cyberfeminism… Beginning as if by spontaneous combustion, from a few hot nodes in Europe, America and Australia, cyberfeminism became a viral meme infecting theory, art and the academy [4]. “

At around the same time in Europe, Sadie Plant independently started using the term cyberfeminism, and a few years later the first Cyberfeminist International was held as part of the Document X conference in Kassel, Germany, in 1997.

Put simply cyberfeminism refers to feminism(s) applied to and/or performed in cyberspace. An authoritative definition of cyberfeminism is difficult to find in written works due to the fact that early cyberfeminists deliberately evaded a rigid elucidation. At the first international cyberfeminist conference, delegates avoided stating what cyberfeminism was and instead devised with 100 anti-theses and defined what cyberfeminism was not. The idea of defining/not defining it through several overlapping ideas (anti-theses) is appropriate to post-modern feminist ideals of a fluid worldview rather than a rigid binary oppositional view and refects the diversity of theoretical positions in contemporary feminism. The 100 anti-theses range from the serious and instructional, for example “Cyberfeminism is not just using words with no knowledge of numbers” (i.e. cyberfeminism requires active engagement with technology in addition to theory), to the whimsical, for example “Cyberfeminismo es no una banana”. The 100 Anti-theses is written primarily in English but includes several other languages in line with the 100th anti-thesis “cyberfeminism has not only one language” denoting cyberfeminism as an international movement. This combination of serious real world action mixed with a good dose of irony and sense of fun is also evident in many cyberfeminist artworks.

Cyberfeminism arose partly as a reaction to “the pessimism of the 1980s feminist approaches that stressed the inherently masculine nature of techno-science”[5], a counter movement against the ‘toys for boys’ perception of new Internet technologies[6]. As cyberfeminist artist Faith Wilding argued:

“If feminism is to be adequate to its cyberpotential then it must mutate to keep up with the shifting complexities of social realities and life conditions as they are changed by the profound impact communications technologies and techno science have on all our lives. It is up to cyberfeminists to use feminist theoretical insights and strategic tools and join them with cybertechniques to battle the very real sexism, racism, and militarism encoded in the software and hardware of the Net, thus politicizing this environment.[7]”

Yet cyberfeminists do not choose to boycott this male dominated technology, but to embrace the technology, and use it with a mixture of irony, humour, seriousness and subversion for their own feminist ends. It is for this reason that cyberfeminist practice often takes the form of Internet art.

Cyberfeminist Art
“Cyberfeminism in its very nature necessitates a decentered, multiple, participatory practice in which many lines of flight coexist.[8]”
Alex Galloway

The practice of cyberfeminist art is inextricably intertwined with cyberfeminist theory. The 100 anti-theses make clear that cyberfeminism is not just about theory, while theory is extremely important, cyberfeminism requires participation. As one member of the cyberfeminist collective the Old Boys Network writes, cyberfeminism is “linked to aesthetic and ironic strategies as intrinsic tools within the growing importance of design and aesthetics in the new world order of flowing pancapitalism” [6]. Cyberfeminism also has strong connections with the DIY feminism movement, as noted in the seminal text DIY Feminism[9], a grass roots movement that encourages active participation, especially as a solo practitioner or a small collective.

Around the late nineties several cyberfeminist artists and theorists gained a measure of recognition for their works, including the above mentioned VNS Matrix and their Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century [3], and Faith Wilding and Critical Art Ensemble. Some of the better known examples of cyberfeminist work include Olia Lialina’s My Boyfriend Came Back From the War [10] a browser based art work that plays with the conventions of HTML; Linda Dement’s Cyberflesh Girlmonster [11] a hypertext work that incorporates images of women’s body parts and remixes them to create new monstrous yet beautiful shapes; and Shu Lea Cheang with the 1998 work Brandon [12] which was the first Internet based artwork to be commissioned and collected by the Guggenheim.

The decline in volume of cyberfeminist literature in recent years would suggest that cyberfeminism has somewhat lost momentum as a movement, however, in terms of artists and artworks cyberfeminism is still taking place. Recent artworks of note include Evelin Stermitz’s World of Female Avatars [13] in which the artist has collected quotes and images from women over the world and displayed them in an interactive browser based format, and Regina Pinto’s Many Faces of Eve [14].

The Goals of Cyberfeminism
The goals of cyberfeminist artists are varied, as there is no one ‘feminism’ but rather many feminisms, and cyberfeminist artists are as likely to draw on any one particular feminist school of thought (for example socialist feminism) as they are to work without acknowledgment of any theoretical background. However, Faith Wilding in her account of the first Cyberfeminist International listed several areas that were agreed upon as areas in which more research and further work was considered desirable, including: promotion of cyberfeminist artists theorists and speakers; publishing of cyberfeminist theory and criticism; cyberfeminist education projects; creating coalitions with female technical professionals; and creating new self-representations and avatars that “disrupt and recode the gender biases usual in current commercially available ones” [7].

With the public acceptance of the Internet came a utopian belief that in this new neutral territory users would be able to shed their gendered bodies and be androgynus equals in cyberspace. Unsurprisingly, this has not turned out to be the case – “every social issue that we are familiar with in the real world will now have its counter-part in the virtual one” [15].

Although there was a surge of art and research happening in the cyberfeminist field in the late nineties, that surge has subsided and many may conclude we are living in a post-cyberfeminist world (wide web). This backlash is evident in real-world feminism also, with many young women believing that feminism is either for ‘unattractive hairy arm-pitted lesbians’ or that it has succeeded in providing equality for the sexes and is no longer needed [16]. Yet inequality remains both on-line and in the world and thus the objectives of neither cyberfeminism nor real-world feminism have been fully realised.

(references sited will be listed in wikipedia, but for the sake of brevity in this already very long post can be found here)
I think this is probably not as objective as Wikipedia aims for, so I look to the rest of you BannanaGrrls to edit it and make it work. Get in there and get dirty, and have fun!

Monday, 11 June 2007

VIRTUAL CONCERTS TalkShoe Talk casts

Hi All,

Just thought I would put this out there - I keep getting these requests from this site due to an exhibition connection I had with one podcast- and I finally checked it out - they have some great podcast archived episodes on art, ecology, ecofeminism, feminism amongst many other interesting topics... just posted the last upcoming talk list that I recently received but you can check out past casts via HERE

Listen to or Join the Talkcast: Virtual Concerts
(join within 15 minutes of start time or anytime after)

Talkcast information:
  • Talkcast Name: Virtual Concerts
  • Host: Ghost Nets -
  • Next episode: Tom & Constance Merriman, artists: Saving Hays Woods, Tue, June 12, 2007 10:00 AM EDT
    The Merrimans have struggled for years, as activist ecological artists, to conserve a significant protion of open land in the Pittsburg area. They will speak to how and why sthey did that and the recent but precarious successes they have finally seen.
  • Phone number: (724) 444-7444
  • Talkcast ID: 1210
  • PIN: The phone number or 10-digit PIN you signed up with
  • Other future episodes:
    • Gary Machlis, Univ of Idaho: A Unified Field Theory for Ecological Change?, Tue, June 19, 2007 10:00 AM EDT
    • Hans Dieleman on Sustainability 2, Tue, June 26, 2007 10:00 AM EDT
    • Ruth Wallen- Is Suburbia the Problem?, Tue, July 10, 2007 10:00 AM EDT
    • Carey Lovelace- Can Feminism Come to the Rescue Again?, Tue, July 17, 2007 10:00 AM EDT
    • Eve Laramee- Nuclear Solution/ Nuclear Waste Disposal, Tue, July 24, 2007 10:00 AM EDT
    • Steven Miller- The Sounds of Environment, Tue, July 31, 2007 10:00 AM EDT

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

lj feed

Thanks to my friend callistra we now have a syndicated livejournal feed so those of you who use lj can read no una banana from your friends page!

an intro of sorts

I am Sarah. Cyberfeminist, artist, researcher, mother, monster, but not yet machine. DCA candidate (woot!), cunt activist, tree hugger, post-post-modern cowgirl. I am researching technology from the inside, I can’t even pretend to be objective here, with one hand holding a baby to the boob and another hand on the keyboard I am living in a cyberfeminist world. I love the theory and live the practice. Cyberfeminism rocks!

Monday, 4 June 2007

Uber Hello's

Hello’s - this is a long one but I'm a rambler...sorry in advance :)

I’m Cynthia and I’m primarily an artist who works with biotechnology (bioart) and sometimes electronic and digital technology. I have a dip and BA in Fine Arts, BA Hon in Media Society and Culture and am currently a provisional PhD student (Helen as there a theme here? Damn she’s good huh?! You know it!). I teach Internet Communications at Curtin Uni to bring in extra dollars and it's fun! I struggle with theory (having thought during fine art study that it can be shoved to the back a little :) but I guess that’s the unique thing about my work and allows me to have some decent questions about why things are the way the are – nothings a stupid question to me and nothing is a stupid idea

So, my thesis candidacy topic is always verging on something to do with Zombies and currently sits around an idea/question that cyborg as posterchild for posthuman (amongst others) theory has come to exclude some elements of technology (such as biotech) and that biotech born monsters like Zombies and bioart ‘products’ could be an additional way of exploring the theory and offer some new chunky stuff... Anyway, it’s not final and expected to change.

On the question of how I view the place of technology in my art/work/research and what impact being a women has on the above: Technology for me in my art is tool in some ways and subject in other ways – and this I think reflects how heavily entwined we already are with technology. These elements of tool and subject are also linked to each other now and are becoming difficult to separate - exploring this in my new artistic endeavours where we are trying (with Adam Fiannaca my new collaborator) to create a lab in our kitchen using domestic objects only and fashioning new hybrid equipment so that ‘science’ is implied and blurred with domesticity. As a woman, all this has obvious implications but through my collaborations I feel that in my own work it places more emphasis on gender rather than feminism – I know there are those connections and drives into gender theory but this is changing and reforming in interesting ways surely! The masculinist may have something to say about himself in a 'domesticity and science' that I find interesting! Anyway, access for women in science and bioart has a way to go (the most talked about visual in bioart/science when I did my residency was of a pregnant artist in the lab! That says it all). I find that digital and electronic access and acceptance of women in new media is far more advanced and almost expected with the arts now - where will it go??!!. Anyways – rambling :) Looking forward to chatting and sharing back and forth with everyone :)

my website

mine & Adams
blog for IncuBra

Friday, 1 June 2007

hello world!

i'm kate. i'm originally from canada, but am also an undercover kiwi. i'm doing my phd at curtin university in the internet studies program, with the lovely helen as my advisor:) i'm still working out my thesis topic, but it will most probably be on the design of social software and how it influences the culture that evolves around it, but also how the cultural/political/economic environment around it informs the design of social software.

before starting my phd i worked at an ngo in canada for youth and social change called TakingITGlobal, where i did online community stuff.

i dont explicitly write about cyberfeminism or feminism, but those angles are definitely implicit in my work, especially since im a geek grrl. i'm always thinking about gender roles and ideology when i'm thinking about things, such as how gender is performed through software design choices (even just the choices we have in what gender we which to say we are is political!) also, i think as any woman who works in technology you have to be a feminist (overtly or not) because the "interesting" experiences we get to have that, sadly, tend to other or alienate us.

i also keep my own blog at cuz i <3 livejournal;)

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


Greetings and salutations, interwebs. I'm Alex, from Toronto, and I run a comic called Tales of a Neo-Luddite. I have a fancy-paper BAhon in Cultural Studies Critical Theory from McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada. Also in Art, which I found out is like the Australian Rules football of culture.

I build robots, draw comics, and moderate a couple of livejournal communities for fun, but not yet any profit worth noting. I hope to quit my dayjob and become a full-time designer and illustrator in the near future, but a distracting love of machinery and critical theory has thus far broken my focus.

My favorite theorists are Julia Kristeva and Donna Haraway, because liminal space is awesome.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

the look

A bit of an adminny post here - first it would be good to get those introductions happening, as I have invited a couple of others to join - including another Net Studies PhD who is in Victoria.

Also tho I don't mind the layout of this new template I cannot live with the bright pink background. really I can't - it hurts my eyes. I tried to change it, but it would only change colour halfwaydown the page. So come on you young web2.0 savvy geekgrrls - show me the way. I can't believe we're still sitting here with a standard template ;-)

As a female student commented in a guest lecture I gave last week: 'its not really worth doing your own blog unless you write the code yourself'! well, perhaps we don't have to go that far, but consider the gauntlet thrown girls!

Monday, 28 May 2007

Visual arts symposium in perth

Hi all

saw this recent call for a symposium coming up at curtin - might be of interest to some of us...

We invite researchers from across the university to submit brief outlines of current research projects that creatively employ visualisation systems for an upcoming symposium. The one-day symposium, 25 June 2007 at 202:122, is hosted by The
Centre for Research in Environment Art and Materiality in the Department of Art in conjunction with the Departments of Design, Architecture, Building and Construction, and Urban Planning in the Faculty of Built Environment Art and Design. Part of an ‘incubator’ project, the event is intended to foster interdisciplinary research and collaborations in the design, practice and critique of immaterial and material visualisation.

At the symposium we will address the topic of visualisation in short presentations and chaired discussions that focus on how emerging technologies and convergence are impacting all disciplines, and the ways in which creativity and innovation are taking key roles in the development of new research clusters. It is envisaged that the symposium will uncover synergies that exist within the Division of Humanities and the broader University research community — evidencing potential research clusters in this increasingly significant area.

Please send a brief outline of your area of research and a description of what you intend to present (50 words or less will be sufficient) to the symposium coordinator, Kate Vickers on by 8 June. A poster session may also be organized for people unable to attend, or if there are too many submission to fit the time available. The symposium is open to all researchers, post-graduate students and undergraduates. General enquiries can be sent to Dr Paul Thomas A report will be published on the proceedings.

Thursday, 24 May 2007


we're getting quite a collection of awesome nrrd grrls here;)

how about we all write a little post about ourselves as an introduction to each other

Monday, 21 May 2007

still open workshops

There are some very interesting workshops coming up in September in brisbane, melbourne, and believe or not, Perth! Here's the blurb from the stillopen website:

Still Open will be as a series of free two-day workshops in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, each accompanied by a public evening forum. Facilitators will work with 15 artists, scientists, writers and developers in each city to introduce open source modes of thinking and resources for collaborative and distributed development; to provide hands on experience; and to initiate local networks and projects.

Still Open focuses on both the practice and theory of open source which can be applied through networked art and software development, print and online publishing, and in the scientific arena where the open science movement encourages a collaborative environment in which science can be pursued by anyone who is inspired to discover something new about the natural world.

Lab Facilitators are publisher and media artist Alessandro Ludovico (Italy) editor in chief of the online and print publication Neural; free software hacker and new media activist Andy Nicholson (Australia) who is part of the Engage Media collective; and interdisciplinary artist and researcher Beatriz da Costa (USA), who works with open science.

Workshop dates

Melbourne: 6th, 7th September 2007 at Digital Harbour
Perth: 11th, 12th September 2007 at The Bakery ARTRAGE Complex
Brisbane: 15th, 16th September 2007 at the QUT Creative Industries Precinct
Lets hope some of us NUB*s get in and can report back!

*should we be worried about this acronym? :-)

Tuesday, 1 May 2007


I just realised that with my last post I have committed a grave error - and contravened one of the cyberfeminist anti-theses:
#79. cyberfeminism is not science fiction

hmmm - but they may often be sisters, no? :-)

userpics & slushbombs

I was thinking that one thing we can do on this blog is give heads up to S about cool userpics we see. (I won't explain here, but S is doing a DCA which involves looking at female self-representation on web2.0).

So I really liked the look of this one cos its so sfnal.

Then I also saw velourmane's notice about the "Call to Women Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Slush Bomb Analog, August 18 2007" :

What's a slush bomb?

A community effort of women science fiction and fantasy writers will be sending our work to Analog on August 18, 2007. Why not join us?

Historical and social trends have led to an imbalance in science fiction -- in many of the major markets, more men than women are published. There's a lot of debate about why this happens, but one undeniable reason is that more men than women submit their work to the major magazines.

The slush bomb strives to lessen this imbalance by organizing community efforts for women to send their work to major markets on the same day. Last year, Charles Coleman Finlay organized the first slush bomb, which went to the Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Analog is the market we've selected this year because it is the most traditionally masculine of the three big markets. It publishes hard science fiction, a genre that has historically been male-dominated. Among other things, hopefully this year's slush bomb will encourage more women to write some hard SF!
See here for more!

I love it! a very cyberfeministy SF action :-)


Monday, 30 April 2007


Hi gals

what the heck... I just got invited to join another group blog on blogger today, so while I was here thought I would get the ball rolling .. thus your invites.

Obviously you will want to play with everything - I just picked a template to get us started. Sarah suggested the title which is from a great Cyberfeminist conference (i think?) - be good to have the quote / title it came from somewhere in the blog description?

Don't worry - at the moment this is set so only authors can read till we get it looking how we want. Feel free to change everything and anything ... lets go!

and I guess at some stage we need to talk about who else we want to invite, how open we want the blog to be (in terms of readers, commenters and authors)