Cross-readings along the axes of a:
WITH EVERY LIKE, CHAT, TAG OR POKE OUR SUBJECTIVITY TURNS THEM A PROFIT.
TO DEMAND WAGES FOR FACEBOOK IS TO MAKE IT VISIBLE THAT OUR OPINIONS AND EMOTIONS HAVE ALL BEEN DISTORTED FOR A SPECIFIC FUNCTION ONLINE, AND THEN HAVE BEEN THROWN BACK AT US AS A MODEL TO WHICH WE SHOULD ALL CONFORM IF WE WANT TO BE ACCEPTED IN THIS SOCIETY.
CAPITAL HAD TO CONVINCE US THAT IT IS A NATURAL, UNAVOIDABLE AND EVEN FULFILLING ACTIVITY TO MAKE US ACCEPT UNWAGED WORK.
IN ITS TURN, THE UNWAGED CONDITION OF FACEBOOK HAS BEEN A POWERFUL WEAPON IN REINFORCING THE COMMON ASSUMPTION THAT FACEBOOK IS NOT WORK, THUS PREVENTING US FROM STRUGGLING AGAINST IT.
BY DENYING OUR FACEBOOK TIME A WAGE WHILE PROFITING DIRECTLY FROM THE DATA IT GENERATES AND TRANSFORMING IT INTO AN ACT OF FRIENDSHIP, CAPITAL HAS KILLED MANY BIRDS WITH ONE STONE.
FIRST OF ALL, IT HAS GOT A HELL OF A LOT OF WORK ALMOST FOR FREE, AND IT HAS MADE SURE THAT WE, FAR FROM STRUGGLING AGAINST IT, WOULD SEEK THAT WORK AS THE BEST THING ONLINE.
THE DIFFICULTIES AND AMBIGUITIES IN DISCUSSING WAGES FOR FACEBOOK STEM FROM THE REDUCTION OF WAGES FOR FACEBOOK TO A THING, A LUMP OF MONEY, INSTEAD OF VIEWING IT AS A POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE.
TO VIEW WAGES FOR FACEBOOK AS A THING RATHER THAN A PERSPECTIVE IS TO DETACH THE END RESULT OF OUR STRUGGLE FROM THE STRUGGLE ITSELF AND TO MISS ITS SIGNIFICANCE IN DEMYSTIFYING AND SUBVERTING THE ROLE TO WHICH WE HAVE BEEN CONFINED IN CAPITALIST SOCIETY.
IF WE TAKE WAGES FOR FACEBOOK AS A POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE, WE CAN SEE THAT STRUGGLING FOR IT IS GOING TO PRODUCE A REVOLUTION IN OUR LIVES AND IN OUR SOCIAL POWER.
NOT ONLY IS WAGES FOR FACEBOOK A REVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE, BUT IT IS A REVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE FROM A CONTEMPORARY VIEWPOINT THAT POINTS TOWARDS CLASS SOLIDARITY.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE THAT WHEN WE SPEAK OF FACEBOOK WE ARE NOT SPEAKING OF A JOB AS OTHER JOBS, BUT WE ARE SPEAKING OF THE MOST PERVASIVE MANIPULATION, THE MOST SUBTLE AND MYSTIFIED VIOLENCE THAT CAPITALISM HAS RECENTLY PERPETRATED AGAINST US.
THE WAGE GIVES THE IMPRESSION OF A FAIR DEAL: YOU WORK AND YOU GET PAID, HENCE YOU AND YOUR BOSS ARE EQUAL; WHILE IN REALITY THE WAGE, RATHER THAN PAYING FOR THE WORK YOU DO, HIDES ALL THE UNPAID WORK THAT GOES INTO PROFIT.
BUT THE WAGE AT LEAST RECOGNIZES THAT YOU ARE A WORKER, AND YOU CAN BARGAIN AND STRUGGLE AROUND AND AGAINST THE TERMS AND THE QUANTITY OF THAT WAGE, THE TERMS AND THE QUANTITY OF THAT WORK.
TO HAVE A WAGE MEANS TO BE PART OF A SOCIAL CONTRACT, AND THERE IS NO DOUBT CONCERNING ITS MEANING: YOU WORK, NOT BECAUSE YOU LIKE IT, OR BECAUSE IT COMES NATURALLY TO YOU, BUT BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY CONDITION UNDER WHICH YOU ARE ALLOWED TO LIVE.
WAGES FOR FACEBOOK, THEN, IS A REVOLUTIONARY DEMAND NOT BECAUSE BY ITSELF IT DESTROYS CAPITAL, BUT BECAUSE IT ATTACKS CAPITAL AND FORCES IT TO RESTRUCTURE SOCIAL RELATIONS IN TERMS MORE FAVORABLE TO US AND CONSEQUENTLY MORE FAVORABLE TO WORKING CLASS SOLIDARITY.
TO SAY THAT WE WANT MONEY FOR FACEBOOK IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS REFUSING TO DO IT, BECAUSE THE DEMAND FOR A WAGE MAKES OUR WORK VISIBLE, WHICH IS THE MOST INDISPENSABLE CONDITION TO BEGIN TO STRUGGLE AGAINST IT.
--- REFUGIA: A place of relatively unaltered climate that is inhabited by plants and animals during A period of continental climate change (as A glaciation) and remains as A center of relict forms from which A new dispersion and speciation may take place after climatic readjustment.
REFUGIA: A Becoming Autonomous Zone (BAZ) of desirous mixings and recombinations; splic ing fe male sexual liber ation and auto nomy with cyber feminist skills, theory, embodiment, and political activism.
REFUGIA: A critical space of liberated social becoming and intellectual life; A space liberated from capitalist Taylorized production; A space of unregulated, unmanaged time for creative exchange and play; experimental action and learning; desiring production, cooking, eating, and skill sharing.
REFUGIA: A reproducible concept that can be adapted to various climates, economies, and geographical regions worldwide.
A ny useless space can be claimed as A refugium: Suburban lawns, vacant urban lots, rooftops, the edges of agricultural lands, clear-cut zones in forests, appropri ated sections of monoculture fields, fallow land, weed lots, transitional land, battlefields, office buildings, squats, etc.
REFUGIA: A postmodern commons; A resistant biotech victory garden; A space of convivial tinkering; A commonwealth in which common law rules.
Not a retreat, but a space resistant to mono culture in all its social, environmental, libidinal, political, and genetic forms.
REFUGIA: A habitat for new AMOs (Autonomously Modified Organism) and agit-crops; for example, “ProActiva,” an herb that is A grafting of witch-root, man drake, and all-heal.
REFUGIA: A place of asylum for the recuperation, regeneration and re-engineering of essential crops that have been corrupted by capitalist viruses and agri business greed.
REFUGIA: A space of imaginative inertia that slows down the engines of corporate agro/biotech and allows time to assess its risks and benefits through long-term testing.
REFUGIA: Neither a utopia nor a dystopia, but a haunted space for reverse engineering, monstrous graftings, spontaneous generation, recombination, difference, poly-versity hybridization, wildlings, mutations, mongrelizing, crop circles, anomalies, useless beauty, coalitions, agit-crops, and unseemly sproutings.
A Feminist Server Manifesto.
--- A feminist server ... *Is A situated technology.
Her sense of context results from a federation of competences.
*Is run for and by a community that cares enough for her in order to make her exist.
*Treats network technology as part of a social reality.
*Knows that networking is actually a parasitic, promiscuous and often awkward practice.
*Is a paranodal (we did not mean: paranoid) technology.
A feminist server is both inside and outside the network.
*Does not confuse a sense of false security with providing a safe place.
Wendy Chun, Control and Freedom: Power and control in the age of fiberoptics, 2006: « We must explore the democratic potential of communications technologies – a potential that stems from our vulnerabilities rather than our control.
Ulises A. Mejias in Fibreculture Journal 20: Liberation Technology and the Arab Spring: From Utopia to Atopia and Beyond, 2012: « A. typical drawing of A. network depicts A. series of nodes connected by lines, representing the links.
A s A mental exercise, I want to call attention to the space between the nodes.
This space surrounding the nodes is not blank, and we can even give it a name: the paranodal.
Because of nodocentrism we tend to see only the nodes in a network, but the space between nodes is not empty, it is inhabited by multitudes of paranodes that simply do not conform to the organising logic of the network, and cannot be seen through the algorithms of the network.
The paranodal is not a utopia—it is not nowhere, but somewhere (beyond the nodes).
It is not a heterotopia, since it is not outside the network but within it as well.
The paranodal is an atopia, because it constitutes a difference that is everywhere.
A s A feminist server, this text has many pre-, parallel- and afterlives.
--- What is data made from a Feminist perspective?
It defines a space and opens potential.
It moves beyond a white, and male space.
Can we create a community foundation for the infrastructure of big technology of big data?
OUR INITIAL INTENTION: to create a data set that provides a resource that can be used to train an AI to locate feminist and other intersectional ways of thinking across digital media distributed online.
We are building, collaboratively, a collection.
Manifesto for the Gynecene – Sketch of a New Geological Era.
--- At this point in time we believe a radical change in politics and the world socioeconomic system is needed in order to achieve a new balanced ecology and this radical change should start with a shifting of agency: we ask for the main agency to be shifted to the feminine principle – which we do not understand as excluding masculinity but as referring to a history of incorporating it and mobilizing it in a different way than the traditional patriarchal mobilization for violence: an emphasis on complementarity rather than antagonism, on resolutions of peace rather than militarism, on efforts directed towards construction, care and emancipatory exploration rather than destruction.
We declare the imperative necessity for a new geological era to be commenced, before the Anthropocene is even officially admitted on that scale (it might be that by the time it gets fully acknowledged, it will be too late).
Understanding the term does not mean thinking of a “women’s world” which excludes virility but as a world which mobilizes it towards humanist and animist goals rather than oppressive, violent and colonial enterprises.
We see the feminine as equivalent not to a gender but to a condition, not a “natural” condition but a cultural one.
The feminine is the first stage towards a transgressive humanism and the Gynecene is the first global and simultaneous transfer of the feminine imprint onto the physical and political strata (deeply connected as they are today) of the Earth.
Moreover, trying to imagine a future ecology for the whole planetary assemblage, not only a future for the human race, we support the idea that any desirable mode of existence connected/integrated into nature-culture or constituted of equally important organic and inorganic life-forms (including an animistic perspective) cannot be separated from the human subject’s struggle to overcome oppression based on gender, race and class within the species.
Insofar as we cannot speak of “man” – the human species – as a unity, we have to support these struggles as interconnected and fight them simultaneously, we need to imagine and constantly discuss the connections and similarities as well as the contradictions arising.
The female body has to cease functioning as a battlefield.
We support an empowering of women that is founded on a desired change of paradigm, where weakness is understood and respected as a valuable condition in itself, and at the same time on the possibility, accepted and detabooed, of technological transformations of the human body towards hybrid forms such as the cyborg.
We support preservation of difference as a choice but without an obligation of difference, feminism as a fight for real freedom of choice.
A s our physical and chemical limits also limit our perceptions and our experiencing of the world, we embrace transhumanism or expanded humanism as A possible solution to the challenge of belonging to the human race.
2.. Only a radical left can oppose a growing radical right and recover the territory that remains to the forces of reaction.
Only a strong belief – with universal ambitions – in equality of races and gender, in equal rights for women, queers, the poor and the disenfranchised, in negotiation with animal rights and the rights of inorganic entities – all linked together – can stand against and oppose an expansive and interconnected politics of exclusion, capitalist exploitation, religious fundamentalism, racism, sexism and brutal anthropocentrism.
3.. A radical left has to oppose physical violence in conjunction with the opposition to economic or symbolic violence.
Therefore the new, truly radical left has to rebuild itself on a different type of revolution, which takes us beyond the traditional class antagonisms and can face the neo-tribal reality of today in which violence breeds violence, justice is used as a tool for revenge and critique of power is increasingly powerless.
While the world peace has been a goal of many states, attempted at through different international treaties, it has always failed into more arming and lately it has completely degenerated into the obsession of security, enforced through the militarization of the police force and the increasing surveillance of every aspect of our existence.
A ny form of justice in A future sustainable society has to be imagined and exercised in another realm than that of retaliation, deprivation of basic human rights and brutality.
A ny time spent on “revealing” the more subtle or more flagrant inconsistencies of this system’s adepts is A time lost in achieving A better present and future.
.” (Shulamith Firestone) Also, capitalism in itself cannot be extracted and separated from discussions around all conservative politics and conservative views, as we have understood that neoliberalism is not truly liberal but a rather paradoxical mix of advocacy for economic “freedom” and racist, sexist and conservative extrapolations of nuclear family/dynasty values.
It is not an external, malignant, alien entity but a set of historic conditions and current practices, which instead of introjecting we have to learn how to live without.
In order to achieve a truly pluralistic society where possibilities can be enacted, we support the universalism of basic human rights as a common ground for a broader, interspecies and inter-objective politics of inclusion and true respect for difference.
The Earth is no longer a big and ungraspable planet, but a shared living room a shrinking one, moreover) in which we have to coexist by negotiating and conciliating our different views and practices, while recognizing we can only do that through a reciprocal process and towards the un-negotiable goal of equality of gender, race, class and sexual orientation, with no second class citizens.
A lso, the instrumentalisation and use by double standards of the concept of “freedom” is by no means A reason to abandon it altogether, but A reminder that we must constantly fight for it.
6.. Natural resources are a common good.
Everyone should have the right of free movement, in the spirit of a universal citizenship.
We also support a certain ambition to overcome the imperative to work through technological advancement (see point 8).
7.. Pluralism is possible only on the ground of a universal, secular frame which allows for a certain relativisation of belief.
We can only respect and support religion that is compatible, in its majoritarian practices and interpretations, with the right to a secular education (which can guarantee the least freedom of choice in matters of religion), that embraces equal rights for women, queers and non-believers and a politics of freedom rather than a politics of submission and interdiction, apart from protecting basic human rights.
We can only respect and support religion that is based on a freedom of experimenting and observing, not on a prescriptive set of rules, interdictions and punishments proclaimed by a patriarchal, self-asserted authority perfectly mimicking the structure of a monarchy or a dictatorship.
Providing easy and simple answers for the complexity of human existence might fake the offering of a “meaning” and help some survive, but it will never help us evolve.
8.. We also believe the emancipatory use of sustainable technology has to play an important part in any future ecology, including the protection and preservation of “nature”, just as much as a needed change in our position towards nature and its exclusive understanding as resource for endless consumption.
Our ability to negotiate between the two will be of crucial importance for constructing a future ecology.
Technology is a cultural asset and together with the rest of culture, it must be made public, open and free, put to the benefit of emancipating humanity while not destroying everything else around it.
--- 1. cyberfeminism is not a fragrance.
2. cyberfeminism is not a fashion statement.
21. cyberfeminism is not a structure.
27. cyberfeminism is not a tradition.
56. cyberfeminism is not a motherboard.
57. cyberfeminism is not a fake.
62. cyberfeminism is not a lack.
63. cyberfeminism is not a wound.
64. cyberfeminism is not a trauma.
66. cyberfeminism is not a sure shot.
68. cyberfeminism is not a single woman.
71. cyberfeminism is not a media-hoax.
75. cyberfeminism is not a picnic.
76. cyberfeminism is not a coldfish.
77. cyberfeminism is not a cyberepilation.
78. cyberfeminism is not a horror movie.
85. cyberfeminism is not a one-way street.
88. cyberfeminism is not a non-smoking area.
--- The undersigned, being alternately pissed off and bored, need a means of speculation and asserting a different set of values with which to re-imagine the future.
In looking for a new framework for black diasporic artistic production, we are temporarily united in the following actions.
This dream of utopia can encourage us to forget that outer space will not save us from injustice and that cyberspace was prefigured upon a “master/slave” relationship.
Post-black is a misnomer.
The chastening but hopefully enlivening effect of imagining a world without fantasy boltholes: no portals to the Egyptian kingdoms, no deep dives to Drexciya, no flying Africans to whisk us off to the Promised Land.
The possibilities of a new focus on black humanity: our science, technology, culture, politics, religions, individuality, needs, dreams, hopes, and failings.
We will root our narratives in a critique of normative, white validation.
DuBois asks how it feels to be a problem.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard says “If I got a problem, a problem’s got a problem ’til it’s gone.”.
A n awakening sense of the awesome power of the black imagination: to protect, to create, to destroy, to propel ourselves towards what poet Elizabeth Alexander describes as A metaphysical space beyond the black public everyday toward power and wild imagination.”.
Mundane Afrofuturism opens a number of themes and flavors to intertextuality, double entendre, politics, incongruity, polyphony, and collective first-person—techniques that we have used for years to make meaning.
The Mundane Afrofuturists promise: To produce a collection of Mundane Afrofuturist literature that follows these rules: No interstellar travel—travel is limited to within the solar system and is difficult, time consuming, and expensive.
To make a fucking simple yeast or gardenella exam, for name any, it seem not enough to swallow tortuous waiting rooms of the CAP (public assistance health centers), or being compel to answer (as accumulated vomits) bureaucratic, statistical forms that performs a role of popular judges of your practices, capacities or choices.
a politic anachronism!
The technical control of the diagnosis generates extreme dependence an a classicist deep gap of knowledge.
Patients are ignorant slaves of lab diagnosis technologies that send a message only translated and read by the doctors that in some kind of possession of the clinic oraculo have the only sacred truth.
Self blood donations & extract our own blood, and trough it like a furious volcanic river of our anger in the door of the fucking parlament!!
gynepunk is a extreme and accurate gesture to detach our boudy of the compulsive dependency of the fossil structures of the hegemonic health system machine.
Has to be possible in a situated stable place or/and in nomadic mobile labs.
Has to be able to perform as much as WE WANT, in a intensive way: smears, fluid analysis, biopsy, PAPs, synthesize hormones at will, blood exams, urinalysis, HIV tests, pain reliefs, or what ever WE NEED.
Hack and build our own ultrasound, endoscope or ecography devices in a low-cost way.
A ll this in A strict complementation with herbs and natural knowledges, oral traditions, submarine recipes, seeking with hunger generate superavit of DIY lubricants, anti-conceptives, open doula domains, savage caring of any visceral hands on technologies, as menstrual extraction, all elevated at maximun potential of common learning and radical self-body-power...!
Like this other gynepunks will ferment and mutate going fast forward to a explosive and expansive movement towards radical experiments, collective strong confidence, to build our-body politics.
Through the rogations gives health and wellness to the community and has a deep knowledge of the Lawen, she makes their petitions against the Rewe.
--- Derived from petrochemicals boiled into being from the black oil of a trillion ancient bacterioles, the plastic used in 3D Additive manufacturing is a metaphor before it has even been layered into shape.
1 We declare that the world’s splendour has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of crap, kipple 2 and detritus.
A planet crystallised with great plastic tendrils like serpents with pixelated breath 3 … for A revolution that runs on disposable armaments is more desirable than the contents of Edward Snowden’s briefcase; more breathtaking than The United Nations Legislative Series.
There is nothing which our infatuated race would desire to see more than the fertile union between a man and an Analytical Engine.
Yet humankind are the antediluvian prototypes of a far vaster Creation.
4 The whole of humankind can be understood as a biological medium, of which synthetic technology is but one modality.
7 In order to proceed, therefore, one has to birth posthuman machines, a fantasmagoric and unrepresentable repertoire of actual re-embodiments of the most hybrid kinds.
10 The 3D print then becomes a symptom of a systemic malady.
A n aesthetics of exaptation, 11 with the peculiar beauty to be found in reiteration; in making A mesh.
To mobilise this entanglement we propose a collective: one figured not only on the resolution of particular objects, but on the change those objects enable as instruments of revolution and systemic disintegration.
Just as a glitch can un-resolve an image, so it can resolve something more posthuman: manifold systems – biological, political, computational, material.
We call for planetary pixelisation, using Additivist technologies to corrupt the material unconscious; a call that goes on forever in virtue of this initial movement.
14 We call not for passive, dead technologies but rather for a gradual awakening of matter, the emergence, ultimately, of a new form of life.
Sacred items used during incantation and transcendence, including: The private parts of Gods and Saints Idols Altars Cuauhxicalli Ectoplasm Nantag stones The production of further mimetic forms, not limited to: Vorpal Blades Squirdles Energon Symmetriads Asymmetriads Capital Junk Love Alephs Those that from a long way off look like flies.
Creation must be a violent assault on the forces of matter, to extrude its shape and extract its raw potential.
8 Rosi Braidotti, Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming.
10 Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto.
11 Stephen Jay Gould & Elisabeth S. Vrba, Exaptation: A Missing Term in the Science of Form.
The Manifesto is publish under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.
But in humanity as in nature there are some moments more propitious for such a flowering.
We are at the beginning of a springtime; we are lacking in solar profusion, that is, a great deal of spilled blood.
Every superman, every hero, no matter how epic, how much of a genius, or how powerful, is the prodigious expression of a race and an epoch only because he is composed at once of feminine and masculine elements, of femininity and masculinity: that is, a complete being.
A ny exclusively virile individual is just A brute animal; any exclusively feminine individual is only A female.
But we have to impose on everyone, men and women who are equally weak, a new dogma of energy in order to arrive at a period of superior humanity.
Every woman ought to possess not only feminine virtues but virile ones, without which she is just a female.
A ny man who has only male strength without intuition is only A brute animal.
But in the period of femininity in which we are living, only the contrary exaggeration is healthy: we have to take the brute animal for a model.
Women are Furies, Amazons, Semiramis, Joans of Arc, Jeanne Hachettes, Judith and Charlotte Cordays, Cleopatras, and Messalinas: combative women who fight more ferociously than males, lovers who arouse, destroyers who break down the weakest and help select through pride or despair, “despair through which the heart yields its fullest return:’Let the next wars bring forth heroines like that magnificent Catherine Sforza, who, during the sack of her city, watching from the ramparts as her enemy threatened the life of her son to force her surrender, heroically pointing to her sexual organ, cried loudly: “Kill him, I still have the mold to make some more!” Yes, “the world is rotting with wisdom,” but by instinct, woman is not wise, is not a pacifist, is not good.
Because she is totally lacking in measure, she is bound to become too wise, too pacifist, too good during a sleepy period of humanity.
A ccording to the apostle, the spiritual inspirer, woman, the carnal inspirer, immolates or takes care, causes blood to run or staunches it, is A warrior or A nurse.
Feminism is a political error.
Feminism is a cerebral error of woman, an error that her instinct will recognize.
A nemic man, stingy with his own blood, asks only that she be A nurse.
But shout a new message at her, or some war cry, and then, joyously riding her instinct again, she will go in front of you toward unsuspected conquests.
Let man, freed from his family, lead his life of audacity and conquest, as soon as he has the physical strength for it, and in spite of his being a son and a father.
In my Poems of Pride and in Thirst and Mirages, I have renounced Sentimentalism as a weakness to be scorned because it knots up the strength and makes it static.
Lust is a strength, because it destroys the weak, excites the strong to exert their energies, thus to renew themselves.
For the fatal sacrifice of blood, while men are in charge of wars and battles, procreate, and among your children, as a sacrifice to heroism, take Fate’s part.
Don’t raise them for yourself, that is, for their diminishment, but rather, in a wide freedom, for a complete expansion.Instead of reducing man to the slavery of those execrable sentimental needs, incite your sons and your men to surpass themselves.You are the ones who make them.
Only the problem was, that the more I watched of his work, the less I had a desire to write about it.
What needs to be written about is what happens when a woman sits down and engages with sex—specifically, her own, as tied to an exploration of her individual sexuality and liberation therein—via the medium of a computer screen.
There are only so many Deen videos a girl can watch with the goal of “critique” at the forefront: at a certain point, one of two things irrupts that process.
The first is a screen, stuck, overwhelmed as a consequence of having too many windows open, too many things playing at once; I am trying to get an education, make a determination for myself, so I want to see everything, hear everything, right now, all at once.
I will hint at the latter by saying that a petite morte of the physical self can be easily mirrored in the metaphor of the digital “glitch” a little digital death, a wheeze, a shift, a breath, a sneeze, a pause.
remind us that what we see on a screen is subject to a special kind of entropy which does not exist in the physical world .
The glitch is the digital orgasm, where the machine takes a sigh, a shudder, and with a jerk, spasms.
When the computer freezes mid-conversation, when the video buffers and refuses to progress, these moments are a new mode of foreplay, something that needs to be acknowledged not as a fetish, but as a new possibly for foreplay within sexual routine.
Digital dualism’s IRL is juxtaposed with AFK, a falsehood, for sure—the rapidly waning notion that there are somehow two selves, operating in isolation from one another, rather than one continuous self, two sides of a vivacious equation looped together in a continual narrative of daily living and human existence.
The glitch splits the difference; it is a plank that passes between the two.
When watching media online, it is the rainbowed spinning wheel, the pixilated hiccup, the frozen screen, or the buffering signal that acts as a fissure, that jars us into recognition of the separation of our physical selves from the body that immerses itself in fantasy when participating in sexual activity online.
Ultimately, we will polish things off, just as we see fit, and to put a bow on the end goal of jouissance—ribboned and righted, and, because we want it, we will seize our release.
Though pejoratively dismissed all too frequently as an aspect of technical error, for me the glitch denotes an extension of the realm of foreplay, whether it be “play” with oneself, or with a virtualized other, imagined, or waiting just on the other side of the proverbial screen.
With this in mind, I propose the turning of a new radicality, coining the term “Glitch Feminism” to make use of here in these pages for the first time, by my hand, which on this journey has found its home both on the keys and between my legs, equally.
Urban Dictionary defines it as “an error in a structured system”; Dictionary.com defines it as a defect or malfunction in a machine or plan”.
In a society that conditions the public to find discomfort or outright fear in the errors and malfunctions of our socio-cultural mechanics—illicitly and implicitly encouraging an ethos of “Don’t rock the boat!” a “glitch” becomes an apt metonym.
Glitch Feminism, however, embraces the causality of “error”, and turns the gloomy implication of glitch on its ear by acknowledging that an error in a social system that has already been disturbed by economic, racial, social, sexual, and cultural stratification and the imperialist wrecking-ball of globalization—processes that continue to enact violence on all bodies— may not, in fact, be an error at all, but rather a much-needed erratum.
This glitch is a correction to the “machine”, and, in turn, a positive departure.
This glitch I speak of here calls for a breaking from the hegemony of a “structured system” infused with the pomp and circumstance of patriarchy, one that for all too long has marginalized female-identified bodies, and continues to offend our sensibilities by giving us only a piece of the pie and assuming our satisfaction.
We want to claim for ourselves permanent seats at the table, an empowered means of demarcating space that can be possessed by us in entirety, a veritable “room of [our] own” that, despite the strides made via feminist political action, has yet to truly belong to us.
A Glitch Feminist acknowledges the value of visuality, and the revolutionary role that digital practice has in expanding the construction, deconstruction, and re-presentation of the female-identifying corpus.
“Glitch” is conjectured as finding its etymological roots in the Yiddish glitch (“slippery area”) or perhaps German glitschen (“to slip, slide”); it is this slip and slide that the glitch makes plausible, a swim in the liminal, a trans-formation, across selfdoms.
The digital divide, as with the gender divide, is a construct that allows for phallogocentrism, normative systems oriented toward the necessary splitting of selves, to stick, having lulled us into consenting to their naturalizing neutrality, despite the stark reality that such structures are not in actuality “neutral”, nor natural, in any capacity.
Glitch Feminism is not gender-specific—it is for all bodies that exist somewhere before arrival upon a final concretized identity that can be easily digested, produced, packaged, and categorized by a voyeuristic mainstream public.
Glitch Feminism therefore is feminism for a digital age, a heralding of virtual agency, a blooming of particularity and selfhood.
“Glitch” refuses being categorized as subtext, it rejects being labeled as subversive, it does not speak for the marginal or the subaltern, as “sub-” as a prefix needs to be marked as a mode of acquiescence to our own exclusion from the canon, the academy, the Platonic ideal.
The first step to subverting a system is accepting that that system will remain in place; that said, the glitch says fuck your systems!
Jurgenson’s problematizing of digital dualism opens the door for more discourse and discovery: female-identifying bodies and artists participating in the gorgeous scrambling of gender are still marking their own path within the lineage of art history; in the digital world we have claimed sure footing and a platform that allows us to explore new publics, engage in critical discourse with new audiences, and, above all, glitschen between new conceptions of our bodies, ourselves.
It is a long road ahead, we are in beta, yet the necessary “malfunction” is well under way.
Legacy Russell is a writer, artist, and curator.
A Contributing Editor for BOMB Magazine’s BOMBLOG, she has worked at and produced programs for The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Creative Time, the Brooklyn Museum, the Whitney, and the Met.
A candidate for an MRes of Visual Culture at Goldsmith’s University, her creative and academic work explores mourning, remembrance, iconography, and idolatry within the public realm.
--- Preamble August 26, 2016 A feminist internet works towards empowering more women and queer persons – in all our diversities – to fully enjoy our rights, engage in pleasure and play, and dismantle patriarchy.
The following key principles are critical towards realising a feminist internet.
A feminist internet starts with enabling more women and queer persons to enjoy universal, acceptable, affordable, unconditional, open, meaningful and equal access to the internet.
Women and queer persons have the right to code, design, adapt and critically and sustainably use ICTs and reclaim technology as a platform for creativity and expression, as well as to challenge the cultures of sexism and discrimination in all spaces.
The internet is a space where social norms are negotiated, performed and imposed, often in an extension of other spaces shaped by patriarchy and heteronormativity.
Our struggle for a feminist internet is one that forms part of a continuum of our resistance in other spaces, public, private and in-between.
The internet is a transformative political space.
There is a need to resist the state, the religious right and other extremist forces who monopolise discourses of morality, while silencing feminist voices and persecuting women’s human rights defenders.
We defend the right to sexual expression as a freedom of expression issue of no less importance than political or religious expression.
A disturbance, A transhackerfeminist electronic distortion.
Extremely sexual, ironic, sarcastic, we love to party, to not sleep, to take drugs if we feel like it, to go with our friends or to finish a circuit or improvise an eternal noise jam.
Pechblenda lab was born out of the necessity to generate a space in Calafou a community in a large former industrial space) for us to flourish, a non-patriarchal TransHackFeminist space where free knowledge springs from raw experimentation (electronic repairs, experiments with turbines, bioelectrochemistry, sound .... ) and self education.
--- Il a suffit d'un nœud dans le temps puis le monde a changé puis la mémoire a disparu puis on n a plus pu comprendre la vie ni en avant ni en arrière.
We practice hermeticism with a second degree.
We live in this 21st century that use to be dreamed for a long time and is now feared.
We live in a physical, technical and digital world.
We seek for upsurge, we seek for a fleeting energetic symbiosis.
#purplenoise is an erratic techno-feminist intervention operating on a global scale to noisify social media channels.
We start in the middle drawing a line reaching out – to connect with you!
Confusion as infusion we are nothing but noise of a specific color.
Now, transformed and equipped with a new sensorium, we tune into the new dimensions of warfare, knowing that all confusion is based on gender confusion.
--- The atomic wind catches your wings and you are propelled backwards into the future, an entity time travelling through the late C20th, a space case, an alien angel maybe, looking down the deep throat of a million catastrophes.
screenflash of a millionmillion conscious machines.
Sucked in, down through a vortex of banality.
A re the artists of oppressed nations on A parallel agenda?
Lock up your children, gaffer tape the cunt's mouth and shove a rat up her arse.
Cyberfeminist manifesto for the 21st century [EN] (1991)
the clitoris is a direct line to the matrix.
The male is a biological accident: the y (male) gene is an incomplete x (female) gene, that is, has an incomplete set of chromosomes.
In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage.
To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.
He is a completely isolated unit, incapable of rapport with anyone.
His responses are entirely visceral, not cerebral; his intelligence is a mere tool in the service of his drives and needs; he is incapable of mental passion, mental interaction; he can't relate to anything other than his own physical sensations.
He is a half dead, unresponsive lump, incapable of giving or receiving pleasure or happiness; consequently, he is at best an utter bore, an inoffensive blob, since only those capable of absorption in others can be charming.
He is trapped in a twilight zone halfway between humans and apes, and is far worse off than the apes because, unlike the apes, he is capable of a large array of negative feelings--hate, jealousy, contempt, disgust, guilt, shame, doubt--and moreover he is *aware* or what he is or isn't.
Even assuming mechanical proficiency, which few men have, he is, first of all, incapable of zestfully, lustfully, tearing off a piece, but is instead eaten up with guilt, shame, fear and insecurity, feelings rooted in male nature, which the most enlightened training can only minimize; second, the physical feeling he attains is next to nothing; and, third, he is not empathizing with his partner, but is obsessed with how he's doing, turning in an a performance, doing a good plumbing job.
To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he's a machine, a walking dildo.
Eaten up with guilt, shame, fears and insecurities and obtaining, if he's lucky, a barely perceptible physical feeling, the male is, nonetheless, obsessed with screwing; he'll swim a river of snot, wade nostril-deep through a mile of vomit, if he thinks there'll be a friendly pussy awaiting him.
He'll screw a woman he despises, any snaggle-toothed hag, and, furthermore, pay for the opportunity.
Completely egocentric, unable to relate, empathize or identify, and filled with a vast, pervasive, diffuse sexuality, the male is psychically passive.
He hates his passivity, so he projects it onto women, defines the male as active, then sets out to prove that he is ("prove he's a Man").
His main means of attempting to prove it is screwing (Big Man with a Big Dick tearing off a Big Piece).
Screwing, then, is a desperate, compulsive attempt to prove he's not passive, not a woman; but he *is* passive and *does* want to be a woman.
(He has done a brilliant job of convincing millions of women that men are women and women are men.)
When the male accepts his passivity, defines himself as a woman (males as well as females think men are women and women are men), and becomes a transvestite he loses his desire to screw (or to do anything else, for that matter; he fulfills himself as a drag queen) and gets his cock chopped off.
He then achieves a continuous diffuse sexual feeling from "being a woman".
Screwing is, for a man, a defense against his desire to be female.
Sex is itself a sublimation.
The male, because of his obsession to compensate for not being female combined with his inability to relate and to feel compassion, has made of the world a shitpile.
He is responsible for: *War:* The male's normal method of compensation for not being female, namely, getting his Big Gun off, is grossly inadequate, as he can get it off only a very limited number of times; so he gets it off on a really massive scale, and proves to the entire world that he's a "Man".
Since he has no compassion or ability to empathize or identify, proving his manhood is worth an endless number of lives, including his own--his own life being worthless, he would rather go out in a blaze of glory than plod grimly on for fifty more years.
*Niceness, Politeness and "Dignity":* Every man, deep down, knows he's a worthless piece of shit.
Overwhelmed by a sense of animalism and deeply ashamed of it; wanting, not to express himself, but to hide from others his total physicality, total egocentricity, the hate and contempt he feels for other men, and to hide from himself the hate and contempt he suspects other men feel for him; having a crudely constructed nervous system that is easily upset by the least display of emotion or feeling, the male tries to enforce a "social" code that ensures a perfect blandness, unsullied by the slightest trace of feeling or upsetting opinion.
He uses terms like "copulate", "sexual congress", "have relations with" (to men, "*sexual* relations" is a redundancy), overlaid with stilted manners; the suit on the chimp.
*Money, Marriage and Prostitution, Work and Prevention of an Automated Society:* There is no human reason for money or for anyone to work more than two or three hours a week at the very most.
A ll non-creative jobs (practically all jobs now being done) could have been automated long ago, and in A moneyless society everyone can have as much of the best of everything as she wants.
Despising his highly inadequate self, overcome with intense anxiety and a deep, profound loneliness when by his empty self, desperate to attach himself to any female in dim hopes of completing himself, in the mystical belief that by touching gold he'll turn to gold, the male craves the continuous companionship of women.
Therefore, many females would, even assuming complete economic equality between the sexes, prefer living with males or peddling their asses on the street, thus having most of their time for themselves, to spending many hours of their days doing boring, stultifying, non-creative work for somebody else, functioning as less than animals, as machines, or, at best,--if able to get a "good" job--co-managing the shitpile.
Provides the male with a goal.
*Fatherhood and Mental Illness (fear, cowardice, timidity, humility, insecurity, passivity):* Mother wants what's best for her kids; Daddy only wants what's best for Daddy, that is peace and quiet, pandering to his delusion of dignity ("respect"), a good reflection on himself (status) and the opportunity to control and manipulate, or, if he's an "enlightened" father, to "give guidance".
Never getting one's way leads to lack of self-confidence in one's ability to cope with the world and to a passive acceptance of the status quo.
If they're not "good", he doesn't get angry--not if he's a modern, "civilized" father (the old-fashioned ranting, raving brute is preferable, as he is so ridiculous he can be easily despised)--but rather expresses disapproval, a state that, unlike anger, endures and precludes a basic acceptance, leaving the kid with a feeling of worthlessness and a lifelong obsession with being approved of; the result is fear of independent thought, as this leads to unconventional, disapproved of opinions and way of life.
Disapproval of emotional "scenes" leads to fear of strong emotion, fear of one's own anger and hatred, and to a fear of facing reality, as facing it leads at first to anger and hatred.
Fear of anger and hatred combined with a lack of self-confidence in one's ability to cope with and change the world, or even to affect in the slightest way one's own destiny, leads to a mindless belief that the world and most people in it are nice and that the most banal, trivial amusements are great fun and deeply pleasurable.
So he tells the boy, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, to not be a sissy, to act like a "Man".
Daddy's Girl, always tense and fearful, uncool, unanalytical, lacking objectivity, appraises Daddy, and thereafter, other men, against a background of fear ("respect") and is not only unable to see the empty shell behind the aloof facade, but accepts the male definition of himself as superior, as a female, and of herself, as inferior, as a male, which, thanks to Daddy, she really is.
The male has a negative Midas touch--everything he touches turns to shit.
*Suppression of Individuality, Animalism (domesticity and motherhood) and Functionalism:* The male is just a bundle of conditioned reflexes, incapable of a mentally free response; he is tied to his early conditioning, determined completely by his past experiences.
Passive, rattle-headed Daddy's Girl, ever eager for approval, for a pat on the head, for the "respect" of any passing piece of garbage, is easily reduced to Mama, mindless ministrator to physical needs, soother of the weary, apey brow, booster of the puny ego, appreciator of the contemptible, a hot water bottle with tits.
Reducing the female to an animal, to Mama, to a male, is necessary for psychological as well as practical reasons: the male is a mere member of the species, interchangeable with every other male.
Being empty, not being a complete, separate being, having no self to groove on and needing to be constantly in female company, he sees nothing at all wrong in intruding himself on any woman's thoughts, even a total stranger's, anywhere at any time, but rather feels indignant and insulted when put down for doing so, as well as confused--he can't, for the life of him, understand why anyone would prefer so much as one minute of solitude to the company of any creep around.
Wanting to become a woman, he strives to be constantly around females, which is the closest he can get to becoming one, so he created a "society" based on the family- a male-female couple and their kids (the excuse for the family's existence), who live virtually on top of one another, unscrupulously violating the females' rights, privacy and sanity.
*Isolation, Suburbs and Prevention of Community:* Our society is not a community, but merely a collection of isolated family units.
Desperately insecure, fearing his woman will leave him if she is exposed to other men or to anything remotely resembling life, the male seeks to isolate her from other men and from what little civilization there is, so he moves her out to the suburbs, a collection of self-absorbed couples and their kids.
Isolation enables him to try to maintain his pretense of being an individual by becoming a "rugged individualist", a loner, equating non-co-operation and solitariness with individuality.
Trapped inside himself, emotionally isolated, unable to relate, the male has a horror of civilization, people, cities, situations requiring an ability to understand and relate to people.
So, like a scared rabbit, he scurries off, dragging Daddy's little asshole along with him to the wilderness, the suburbs, or, in the case of the "hippie"--he's way out, Man!
The "hippie", whose desire to be a "Man", a "rugged individualist", isn't quite as strong as the average man's, and who, in addition, is excited by the thought of having lots of women accessible to him, rebels against the harshness of a Breadwinner's life and the monotony of one woman.
In the name of sharing and co-operation, he forms the commune or tribe, which, for all its togetherness and partly because of it (the commune, being an extended family, is an extended violation of the females' rights, privacy and sanity) is no more a community than normal "society".
A true community consists of individuals--not mere species members, not couples--respecting each other's individuality and privacy, at the same time interacting with each other mentally and emotionally--free spirits in free relation to each other-and co-operating with each other to achieve common ends.
He desires to get back to Nature, back to the wilderness, back to the home of the furry animals that he's one of, away from the city, where there is at least a trace, a bare beginning of civilization, to live at the species level, his time taken up with simple, non-intellectual activities--farming, fucking, bead stringing.
Men cannot co-operate to achieve a common end, because each man's end is all the pussy for himself.
*Conformity:* Although he wants to be an individual, the male is scared of anything in himself that is the slightest bit different from other men; it causes him to suspect that he's not really a "Man", that he's passive and totally sexual, a highly upsetting suspicion.
If other men are A and he's not, he must not be A man; he must be A fag.
The farthest out male is the drag queen, but he, although different from most men, is exactly like all other drag queens; like the functionalist, he has an identity--he is a female.
Not completely convinced that he's a woman, highly insecure about being sufficiently female, he conforms compulsively to the man-made feminine stereotype, ending up as nothing but a bundle of stilted mannerisms.
To be sure he's a "Man", the male must see to it that the female be clearly a "Woman", the opposite of a "Man", that is, the female must act like a faggot.
*Authority and Government:* Having no sense of right or wrong, no conscience, which can only stem from an ability to empathize with others...having no faith in his non-existent self, being necessarily competitive and, by nature, unable to co-operate, the male feels a need for external guidance and control.
Wanting the female (Mama) to guide him, but unable to accept this fact (he is, after all, a *MAN*), wanting to play Woman, to usurp her function as Guider and Protector, he sees to it that all authorities are male.
There's no reason why a society consisting of rational beings capable of empathizing with each other, complete and having no natural reason to compete, should have a government, laws or leaders.
For a man, having no ability to empathize with others and being totally sexual, "wrong" is sexual "license" and engaging in "deviant" ("unmanly") sexual practices, that is, not defending against his passivity and total sexuality which, if indulged, would destroy "civilization", since "civilization" is based entirely on the male need to defend himself against these characteristics.
For a woman (according to men), "wrong" is any behavior that would entice men into sexual "license"--that is, not placing male needs above her own and not being a faggot.
Religion not only provides the male with a goal (Heaven) and helps keep women tied to men, but offers rituals through which he can try to expiate the guilt and shame he feels at not defending himself enough against his sexual impulses; in essence, that guilt and shame he feels at being a male.
So they label the male condition the Human Condition, pose their nothingness problem, which horrifies them, as a philosophical dilemma, thereby giving stature to their animalism, grandiloquently label their nothingness their "Identity Problem", and proceed to prattle on pompously about the "Crisis of the Individual", the "Essence of Being", "Existence preceding Essence", "Existential Modes of Being", etc., etc.
A woman not only takes her identity and individuality for granted, but knows instinctively that the only wrong is to hurt others, and that the meaning of life is love.
*Competition, Prestige, Status, Formal Education, Ignorance and Social and Economic Classes:* Having an obsessive desire to be admired by women, but no intrinsic worth, the male constructs a highly artificial society enabling him to appropriate the appearance of worth through money, prestige, "high" social class, degrees, professional position and knowledge and, by pushing as many other men as possible down professionally, socially, economically, and educationally.
On the contrary, the male has a vested interest in ignorance; he knows that an enlightened, aware female population will mean the end of him.
The male "rebel" is a farce; this is the male's "society", made by *him* to satisfy *his* needs.
Male "intellectual conversation" is a strained, compulsive attempt to impress the female.
This is not too difficult for her, as the tension and anxiety, the lack of cool, the insecurity and self-doubt, the unsureness of her own feelings and sensations that Daddy instilled in her make her perceptions superficial and render her unable to see that the male's babble is a babble; like the aesthete "appreciating" the blob that's labeled "Great Art", she believes she's grooving on what bores the shit out of her.
Trained from early childhood in niceness, politeness and "dignity", in pandering to the male need to disguise his animalism, she obligingly reduces her "conversation" to small talk, a bland insipid avoidance of any topic beyond the utterly trivial--or, if "educated", to "intellectual" discussion, that is, impersonal discoursing on irrelevant abstractions--the Gross National Product, the Common Market, the influence of Rimbaud on symbolist painting.
Niceness, politeness, "dignity", insecurity and self-absorption are hardly conducive to intensity and wit, qualities a conversation must have to be worthy of the name.
Love is not dependency or sex, but friendship, and, therefore, love can't exist between two males, between a male and a female or between two females, one or both of whom is a mindless, insecure, pandering male; like conversation, love can exist only between two secure, free-wheeling, independent, groovy female females, since friendship is based on respect, not contempt.
Love can't flourish in a society based on money and meaningless work; it requires complete economic as well as personal freedom, leisure time and the opportunity to engage in intensely absorbing, emotionally satisfying activities which, when shared with those you respect, lead to deep friendship.
Having stripped the world of conversation, friendship and love, the male offers us these paltry substitutes: *"Great Art" and "Culture":* The male "artist" attempts to solve his dilemma of not being able to live, of not being female, by constructing a highly artificial world in which the male is heroized, that is, displays female traits, and the female is reduced to highly limited, insipid subordinate roles, that is, to being male.
A ppreciating is the sole diversion of the "cultivated"; passive and incompetent, lacking imagination and wit, they must try to make do with that; unable to create their own diversions, to create A little world of their own, to affect in the smallest way their environments, they must accept what's given; unable to create or relate, they spectate.
A bsorbing "culture" is A desperate, frantic attempt to groove in an ungroovy world, to escape the horror of A sterile, mindless existence.
"Culture" provides a sop to the egos of the incompetent, a means of rationalizing passive spectating; they can pride themselves on their ability to appreciate the "finer" things, to see a jewel where there is only a turd (they want to be admired for admiring).
The male, having a very limited range of feelings and, consequently, very limited perceptions, insights and judgments, needs the "artist" to guide him, to tell him what life is all about.
A "male artist" is A contradiction in terms.
A degenerate can only produce degenerate "art".
The true artist is every self-confident, healthy female, and in a female society the only Art, the only Culture, will be conceited, kookie, funky females grooving on each other and on everything else in the universe.
*Sexuality:* Sex is not part of a relationship; on the contrary, it is a solitary experience, non-creative, a gross waste of time.
The female can easily--far more easily than she may think--condition away her sex drive, leaving her completely cool and cerebral and free to pursue truly worthy relationships and activities; but the male, who seems to dig women sexually and who seeks constantly to arouse them, stimulates the highly-sexed female to frenzies of lust, throwing her into a sex bag from which few women ever escape.
But, being just awfully, awfully nice they don't, of course, descend to fucking--that's uncouth--rather they make love, commune by means of their bodies and establish sensual rapport; the literary ones are attuned to the throb of Eros and attain a clutch upon the Universe; the religious have spiritual communion with the Divine Sensualism; the mystics merge with the Erotic Principle and blend with the Cosmos, and the acid heads contact their erotic cells.
On the other hand, those females least embedded in the male "Culture", the least nice, those crass and simple souls who reduce fucking to fucking, who are too childish for the grown-up world of suburbs, mortgages, mops and baby shit, too selfish to raise kids and husbands, too uncivilized to give a shit for anyone's opinion of them, too arrogant to respect Daddy, the "Greats" or the deep wisdom of the Ancients, who trust only their own animal, gutter instincts, who equate Culture with chicks, whose sole diversion is prowling for emotional thrills and excitement, who are given to disgusting, nasty, upsetting "scenes", hateful, violent bitches given to slamming those who unduly irritate them in the teeth, who'd sink a shiv into a man's chest or ram an icepick up his asshole as soon as look at him, if they knew they could get away with it, in short, those who, by the standards of our "culture" are SCUM...these females are cool and relatively cerebral and skirting asexuality.
Unhampered by propriety, niceness, discretion, public opinion, "morals", the "respect" of assholes, always funky, dirty, low-down SCUM gets around...and around and around...they've seen the whole show--every bit of it-the fucking scene, the sucking scene, the dyke scene--they've covered the whole waterfront, been under every dock and pier--the peter pier, the pussy pier...you've got to go through a lot of sex to get to anti-sex, and SCUM's been through it all, and they're now ready for a new show; they want to crawl out from under the dock, move, take off, sink out.
*Boredom:* Life in a "society" made by and for creatures who, when they are not grim and depressing are utter bores, can only be, when not grim and depressing, an utter bore.
*Secrecy, Censorship, Suppression of Knowledge and Ideas, and Exposes:* Every male's deep-seated, secret, most hideous fear is the fear of being discovered to be not a female, but a male, a subhuman animal.
A lthough niceness, politeness and "dignity" suffice to prevent his exposure on A personal level, in order to prevent the general exposure of the male sex as A whole and to maintain his unnatural dominant position in "society", the male must resort to: 1.
A lso, the problem of mental illness will never be solved while the male maintains control, because first, men have A vested interest in it--only females who have very few of their marbles will allow males the slightest bit of control over anything, and second, the male cannot admit to the role that fatherhood plays in causing mental illness.
The male, in short, is treacherous, and the only appropriate attitude in a male "society" is cynicism and distrust.
Violence serves as an outlet for his hate and, in addition--the male being capable only of sexual responses and needing very strong stimuli to stimulate his half-dead self--provides him with a little sexual thrill.
In fact, the problems of aging and death could be solved within a few years, if an all-out, massive scientific assault were made on the problem.
Propaganda disseminated by insecure male professionals, who jealously guard their positions, so that only a highly select few can comprehend abstract scientific concepts.
There now exists a wealth of data which, if sorted out and correlated, would reveal the cure for cancer and several other diseases and possibly the key to life itself.
The institution of computers will be delayed interminably under the male control system, since the male has a horror of being replaced by machines.
Incapable of a positive state of happiness, which is the only thing that can justify one's existence, the male is, at best, relaxed, comfortable, neutral, and this condition is extremely short-lived, as boredom, a negative state, soon sets in; he is, therefore, doomed to an existence of suffering relieved only by occasional, fleeting stretches of restfulness, which state he can achieve only at the expense of some female.
The male is, by his very nature, a leech, an emotional parasite and, therefore, not ethically entitled to live, as no one has the right to live at someone else's expense.
Just as humans have a prior right to existence over dogs by virtue of being more highly evolved and having a superior consciousness, so women have a prior right to existence over men.
The elimination of any male is, therefore, a righteous and good act, an act highly beneficial to women as well as an act of mercy.
A ccelerating this trend is the fact that more and more males are acquiring enlightened self-interest; they're realizing more and more that the female interest is *their* interest, that they can live only through the female and that the more the female is encouraged to live, to fulfill herself, to be A female and not A male, the more nearly *he* lives; he's coming to see that it's easier and more satisfactory to live *through* her than to try to *become* her and usurp her qualities, claim them as his own, push the female down and claim she's A male.
Should a certain percentage of women be set aside by force to serve as brood mares for the species?
A nd, if A large majority of women were SCUM, they could acquire complete control of this country within A few weeks simply by withdrawing from the labor force, thereby paralyzing the entire nation.
The police force, National Guard, Army, Navy and Marines combined couldn't squelch a rebellion of over half the population, particularly when it's made up of people they are utterly helpless without.
Even without leaving men, women who are aware of the extent of their superiority to and power over men, could acquire complete control over everything within a few weeks, could effect a total submission of males to females.
In a sane society the male would trot along obediently after the female.
But this is not a sane society, and most women are not even dimly aware of where they're at in relation to men.
The conflict, therefore, is not between females and males, but between SCUM--dominant, secure, self-confident, nasty, violent, selfish, independent, proud, thrill-seeking, free-wheeling, arrogant females, who consider themselves fit to rule the universe, who have free-wheeled to the limits of this "society" and are ready to wheel on to something far beyond what it has to offer--and nice, passive, accepting, "cultivated", polite, dignified, subdued, dependent, scared, mindless, insecure, approval-seeking Daddy's Girls, who can't cope with the unknown, who want to continue to wallow in the sewer that is, at least, familiar, who want to hang back with the apes, who feel secure only with Big Daddy standing by, with a big, strong man to lean on and with a fat, hairy face in the White House, who are too cowardly to face up to the hideous reality of what a man is, what Daddy is, who have cast their lot with the swine, who have adapted themselves to animalism, feel superficially comfortable with it and know no other way of "life", who have reduced their minds, thoughts and sights to the male level, who, lacking sense, imagination and wit can have value only in a male "society", who can have a place in the sun, or, rather, in the slime, only as soothers, ego boosters, relaxers and breeders, who are dismissed as inconsequents by other females, who project their deficiencies, their maleness, onto all females and see the female as a worm.
A small handful of SCUM can take over the country within A year by systematically fucking up the system, selectively destroying property, and murder: SCUM will become members of the unwork force, the fuck-up force; they will get jobs of various kinds and unwork.
SCUM will unwork at a job until fired, then get a new job to unwork at.
A few examples of the men in the Men's Auxiliary are: men who kill men; biological scientists who are working on constructive programs, as opposed to biological warfare; journalists, writers, editors, publishers and producers who disseminate and promote ideas that will lead to the achievement of SCUM's goals; faggots who, by their shimmering, flaming example, encourage other men to de-man themselves and thereby make themselves relatively inoffensive; men who consistently give things away--money, things, services; men who tell it like it is (so far not one ever has), who put women straight, who reveal the truth about themselves, who give the mindless male females correct sentences to parrot, who tell them A woman's primary goal in life should be to squash the male sex (to aid men in this endeavor SCUM will conduct Turd Sessions, at which every male present will give A speech beginning with the sentence: "I am A turd, A lowly, abject turd," then proceed to list all the ways in which he is.
His reward for so doing will be the opportunity to fraternize after the session for a whole, solid hour with the SCUM who will be present.
Being in the Men's Auxiliary is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for making SCUM's escape list; it's not enough to do good; to save their worthless asses men must also avoid evil.
A few examples of the most obnoxious or harmful types are: rapists, politicians and all who are in their service (campaigners, members of political parties, etc.
; censors on both the public and private levels; all members of the armed forces, including draftees (LBJ and McNamara give orders, but servicemen carry them out) and particularly pilots (if the bomb drops, LBJ won't drop it; a pilot will).
In the case of a man whose behavior falls into both the good and bad categories, an overall subjective evaluation of him will be made to determine if his behavior is, in the balance, good or bad.
a long with the men, but that would be impractical, as there would be no one left; all women have a fink streak in them, to a great or lesser degree, but it stems from a lifetime of living among men.
The male, capable of only the latter, makes a virtue of an irremediable fault and sets up self-absorption, not only as a good but as a Philosophical Good, and thus gets credit for being deep.
In addition, only decent, clean-living, male women, highly trained in submerging themselves in the species, act on a mob basis.
SCUM consists of individuals; SCUM is not a mob, a blob.
Only as many SCUM will do a job as are needed for the job.
A lso, SCUM, being cool and selfish, will not subject itself to getting rapped on the head with billy clubs; that's for the nice, "privileged, educated", middle-class ladies with A high regard for the touching faith in the essential goodness of Daddy and policemen.
If SCUM ever marches, it will be over the President's stupid, sickening face; if SCUM ever strikes, it will be in the dark with a six-inch blade.
SCUM will always operate on a criminal as opposed to a civil disobedience basis, that is, as opposed to openly violating the law and going to jail in order to draw attention to an injustice.
SCUM will keep on destroying, looting, fucking-up and killing until the money-work system no longer exists and automation is completely instituted or until enough women co-operate with SCUM to make violence unnecessary to achieve these goals, that is, until enough women either unwork or quit work, start looting, leave men and refuse to obey all laws inappropriate to a truly civilized society.
A few of the more volatile will whimper and sulk and throw their toys and dishrags on the floor, but SCUM will continue to steamroller over them.
A completely automated society can be accomplished very simply and quickly once there is A public demand for it.
The blueprints for it are already in existence, and its construction will only take a few weeks with millions of people working at it.
Even though off the money system, everyone will be most happy to pitch in and get the automated society built; it will mark the beginning of a fantastic new era, and there will be a celebration atmosphere accompanying the construction.
The rest of the women will be busy solving the few remaining unsolved problems before planning their agenda for eternity and Utopia--completely revamping educational programs so that millions of women can be trained within a few months for high level intellectual work that now requires years of training (this can be done very easily once our educational goal is to educate and not to perpetuate an academic and intellectual elite); solving the problems of disease and old age and death and completely redesigning our cities and living quarters.
Many women will for a while continue to think they dig men, but as they become accustomed to female society and as they become absorbed in their projects, they will eventually come to see the utter uselessness and banality of the male.
Prior to the institution of automation, to the replacement of males by machines, the male should be of use to the female, wait on her, cater to her slightest whim, obey her every command, be totally subservient to her, exist in perfect obedience to her will, as opposed to the completely warped, degenerate situation we have now of men, not only not existing at all, cluttering up the world with their ignominious presence, but being pandered to and groveled before by the mass of females, millions of women piously worshipping before the Golden Calf, the dog leading the master on the leash, when in fact the male, short of being a drag queen, is least miserable when abjectly prostrate before the female, a complete slave.
Men who are rational, however, won't kick or struggle or raise a distressing fuss, but will just sit back, relax, enjoy the show and ride the waves to their demise.
The females will kindly, obligingly consent to this, as it won't hurt them in the slightest and it is a marvelously kind and humane way to treat their unfortunate, handicapped fellow beings.
A Cyborg Manifesto.
--- Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century," in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991), pp.49-181.
A N IRONIC DREAM OF A COMMON LANGUAGE FOR WOMEN IN THE INTEGRATED CIRCUIT.
It is also a rhetorical strategy and a political method, one I would like to see more honoured within socialistfeminism.
A cyborg is A cybernetic organism, A hybrid of machine and organism, A creature of social reality as well as A creature of fiction.
Social reality is lived social relations, our most important political construction, a world-changing fiction.
This experience is a fiction and fact of the most crucial, political kind.
The cyborg is a matter of fiction and lived experience that changes what counts as women's experience in the late twentieth century.
This is a struggle over life and death, but the boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.
Modern medicine is also full of cyborgs, of couplings between organism and machine, each conceived as coded devices, in an intimacy and with a power that was not generated in the history of sexuality.
Modern production seems like a dream of cyborg colonization work, a dream that makes the nightmare of Taylorism seem idyllic.
A nd modern war is A cyborg orgy, coded by C3I, command-control-communication intelligence, an $84 billion item in 1984'sUS defence budget.
I am making an argument for the cyborg as a fiction mapping our social and bodily reality and as an imaginative resource suggesting some very fruitful couplings.
Michael Foucault's biopolitics is a flaccid premonition of cyborg politics, a very open field.
By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs.
The cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination and material reality, the two joined centres structuring any possibility of historical transformation.
In the traditions of 'Western' science and politics--the tradition of racist, male-dominant capitalism; the tradition of progress; the tradition of the appropriation of nature as resource for the productions of culture; the tradition of reproduction of the self from the reflections of the other - the relation between organism and machine has been a border war.
It is also an effort to contribute to socialist-feminist culture and theory in a postmodernist, non-naturalist mode and in the utopian tradition of imagining a world without gender, which is perhaps a world without genesis, but maybe also a world without end.
A s Zoe Sofoulis argues in her unpublished manuscript on Jacques Lacan, Melanie Klein, and nuclear culture, Lacklein, the most terrible and perhaps the most promising monsters in cyborg worlds are embodied in non-oedipal narratives with A different logic of repression, which we need to understand for our survival.
The cyborg is a creature in a post-gender world; it has no truck with bisexuality, pre-oedipal symbiosis, unalienated labour, or other seductions to organic wholeness through a final appropriation of all the powers of the parts into a higher unity.
In a sense, the cyborg has no origin story in the Western sense - a 'final' irony since the cyborg is also the awful apocalyptic telos of the 'West's' escalating dominations of abstract individuation, an ultimate self untied at last from all dependency, a man in space.
Hilary Klein has argued that both Marxism and psychoanalysis, in their concepts of labour and of individuation and gender formation, depend on the plot of original unity out of which difference must be produced and enlisted in a drama of escalating domination of woman/nature.
No longer structured by the polarity of public and private, the cyborg defines a technological polls based partly on a revolution of social relations in the oikos, the household.
Unlike the hopes of Frankenstein's monster, the cyborg does not expect its father to save it through a restoration of the garden; that is, through the fabrication of a heterosexual mate, through its completion in a finished whole, a city and cosmos.
They are wary of holism, but needy for connection- they seem to have a natural feel for united front politics, but without the vanguard party.
A nd many people no longer feel the need for such A separation; indeed, many branches of feminist culture affirm the pleasure of connection of human and other living creatures.
Movements for animal rights are not irrational denials of human uniqueness; they are a clear-sighted recognition of connection across the discredited breach of nature and culture.
Biology and evolutionary theory over the last two centuries have simultaneously produced modern organisms as objects of knowledge and reduced the line between humans and animals to a faint trace re-etched in ideological struggle or professional disputes between life and social science.
Within this framework, teaching modern Christian creationism should be fought as a form of child abuse.
Far from signalling a walling off of people from other living beings, cyborgs signal distrurbingly and pleasurably tight coupling.
Bestiality has a new status in this cycle of marriage exchange.
This dualism structured the dialogue between materialism and idealism that was settled by a dialectical progeny, called spirit or history, according to taste.
They were not man, an author to himself, but only a caricature of that masculinist reproductive dream.
In short, the certainty of what counts as nature -- a source of insight and promise of innocence -- is undermined, probably fatally.
Who cyborgs will be is a radical question; the answers are a matter of survival.
The third distinction is a subset of the second: the boundary between physical and nonphysical is very imprecise for us.
Pop physics books on the consequences of quantum theory and the indeterminacy principle are a kind of popular scientific equivalent to Harlequin romances* as a marker of radical change in American white heterosexuality: they get it wrong, but they are on the right subject.
The silicon chip is a surface for writing; it is etched in molecular scales disturbed only by atomic noise, the ultimate interference for nuclear scores.
Our best machines are made of sunshine; they are all light and clean because they are nothing but signals, electromagnetic waves, a section of a spectrum, and these machines are eminently portable, mobile -- a matter of immense human pain in Detroit and Singapore.
Their engineers are sun-worshippers mediating a new scientific revolution associated with the night dream of post-industrial society.
There might be a cyborg Alice taking account of these new dimensions.
But a slightly perverse shift of perspective might better enable us to contest for meanings, as well as for other forms of power and pleasure in technologically mediated societies.
From one perspective, a cyborg world is about the final imposition of a grid of control on the planet, about the final abstraction embodied in a Star Wars apocalypse waged in the name of defence, about the final appropriation of women's bodies in a masculinist orgy of war (Sofia, 1984).
From another perspective, a cyborg world might be about lived social and bodily realities in which people are not afraid of their joint kinship with animals and machines, not afraid of permanently partial identities and contradictory standpoints.
I like to imagine LAG, the Livermore Action Group, as a kind of cyborg society, dedicated to realistically converting the laboratories that most fiercely embody and spew out the tools of technological apocalypse, and committed to building a political form that acutally manages to hold together witches, engineers, elders, perverts, Christians, mothers, and Leninists long enough to disarm the state.
)6 * A practice at once both spiritual and political that linked guards and arrested anti-nuclear demonstrators in the Alameda County jail in California in the early 1985.
FRACTURED IDENTITIES It has become difficult to name one's feminism by a single adjective -- or even to insist in every circumstance upon the noun.
There is not even such a state as 'being' female, itself a highly complex category constructed in contested sexual scientific discourses and other social practices.
Which identities are available to ground such a potent political myth called 'us', and what could motivate enlistment in this collectivity?
For me - and for many who share a similar historical location in white, professional middle-class, female, radical, North American, mid-adult bodies - the sources of a crisis in political identity are legion.
The recent history for much of the US left and US feminism has been a response to this kind of crisis by endless splitting and searches for a new essential unity.
But there has also been a growing recognition of another response through coalition - affinity, not identity.
Chela Sandoval (n.d., 1984), from a consideration of specific historical moments in the formation of the new political voice called women of colour, has theorized a hopeful model of political identity called 'oppositional consciousness', born of the skills for reading webs of power by those refused stable membership in the social categories of race, sex, or class.
'Women of color', a name contested at its origins by those whom it would incorporate, as well as a historical consciousness marking systematic breakdown of all the signs of Man in 'Western' traditions, constructs a kind of postmodernist identity out of otherness, difference, and specificity.
Sandoval emphasizes the lack of any essential criterion for identifying who is a woman of colour.
For example, a Chicana or US black woman has not been able to speak as a woman or as a black person or as a Chicano.
Thus, she was at the bottom of a cascade of negative identities, left out of even the privileged oppressed authorial categories called 'women and blacks', who claimed to make the important revolutions.
But there was also no 'she', no singularity, but a sea of differences among US women who have affirmed their historical identity as US women of colour.
This identity marks out a self-consciously constructed space that cannot affirm the capacity to act on the basis of natural identification, but only on the basis of conscious coalition, of affinity, of political kinship.
Sandoval's argument has to be seen as one potent formulation for feminists out of the world-wide development of anti-colonialist discourse; that is to say, discourse dissolving the 'West' and its highest product - the one who is not animal, barbarian, or woman; man, that is, the author of a cosmos called history.
Sandoval argues that 'women of colour' have a chance to build an effective unity that does not replicate the imperializing, totalizing revolutionary subjects of previous Marxisms and feminisms which had not faced the consequences of the disorderly polyphony emerging from decolonization.
The common achievement of King and Sandoval is learning how to craft a poetic/political unity without relying on a logic of appropriation, incorporation, and taxonomic identification.
I think that radical and socialist/Marxist-feminisms have also undermined their/our own epistemological strategies and that this is a crucially valuable step in imagining possible unities.
We are excruciatingly conscious of what it means to have a historically constituted body.
That consciousness changes the geography of all previous categories; it denatures them as heat denatures a fragile protein.
In the fraying of identities and in the reflexive strategies for constructing them, the possibility opens up for weaving something other than a shroud for the day after the apocalypse that so prophetically ends salvation history.
Perhaps a schematic caricature can highlight both kinds of moves.
Labour is the humanizing activity that makes man; labour is an ontological category permitting the knowledge of a subject, and so the knowledge of subjugation and alienation.
The main achievement of both Marxist feminists and socialist feminists was to expand the category of labour to accommodate what (some) women did, even when the wage relation was subordinated to a more comprehensive view of labour under capitalist patriarchy.
Marxist/socialist-feminism does not 'natur-alize' unity; it is a possible achievement based on a possible standpoint rooted in social relations.
Catherine MacKinnon's (198Z, 1987) version of radical feminism is itself a caricature of the appropriating, incorporating, totalizing tendencies of Western theories of identity grounding action.
The major effect is the production of a theory of experience, of women's identity, that is a kind of apocalypse for all revolutionary standpoints.
A s for the Marxist/ socialist feminist, consciousness is an achievement, not A natural fact.
MacKinnon argues that feminism necessarily adopted a different analyt-ical strategy from Marxism, looking first not at the structure of class, but at the structure of sex/gender and its generative relationship, men's constitu-tion and appropriation of women sexually.
Ironically, MacKinnon's 'ontology' constructs a non-subject, a non-being.
She therefore develops a theory of consciousness that enforces what can count as 'women's' experience - anything that names sexual violation, indeed, sex itself as far as 'women' can be concerned.
Feminist practice is the construction of this form of consciousness; that is, the self-knowledge of a self-who-is-not.
However, a woman is not simply alienated from her product, but in a deep sense does not exist as a subject, or even potential subject, since she owes her existence as a woman to sexual appropriation.
It is a totalization producing what Western patriarchy itself never succeeded in doing - feminists'consciousness of the non-existence of women, except as products of men's desire.
In my taxonomy, which like any other taxonomy is a re-inscription of history, radical feminism can accommodate all the activities of women named by socialist feminists as forms of labour only if the activity can somehow be sexualized.
Beyond either the diff~culties or the contributions in the argument of any one author, neither Marxist nor radical feminist points of view have tended to embrace the status of a partial explanation; both were regularly constituted as totalities.
There was no structural room for race (or for much else) in theory claiming to reveal the construction of the category woman and social group women as a unified or totalizable whole.
The structure of my caricature looks like this: socialist feminism--structure of class // wage labour // alienation labour, by analogy reproduction, by extension sex, by addition race radical feminism - structure of gender // sexual appropriation // objectification sex, by analogy labour, by extension reproduction, by addition race In another context, the French theorist, Julia Kristeva, claimed women appeared as a historical group after the Second World War, along with groups like youth.
Her dates are doubtful; but we are now accustomed to remembering that as objects of knowledge and as historical actors, 'race' did not always exist, 'class' has a historical genesis, and 'homosexuals' are quite junior.
I think we have been, at least through unreflective participation in the logics, languages, and practices of white humanism and through searching for a single ground of domination to secure our revolutionary voice.
THE INFORMATICS OF DOMINATION In this attempt at an epistemological and political position, I would like to sketch a picture of possible unity, a picture indebted to socialist and feminist principles of design.
I argue for a politics rooted in claims about fundamental changes in the nature of class, race, and gender in an emerging system of world order analogous in its novelty and scope to that created by industrial capitalism; we are living through a movement from an organic, industrial society to a polymorphous, information system--from all work to all play, a deadly game.
First, the objects on the right-hand side cannot be coded as 'natural', a realization that subverts naturalistic coding for the left-hand side as well.
Sexual reproduction is one kind of reproductive strategy among many, with costs and benefits as a function of the system environment.
For liberals and radicals, the search for integrated social systems gives way to a new practice called 'experimental ethnography' in which an organic object dissipates in attention to the play of writing.
Human beings, like any other component or subsystem, must be localized in a system architecture whose basic modes of operation are probabilistic, statistical.
No objects, spaces, or bodies are sacred in themselves; any component can be interfaced with any other if the proper standard, the proper code, can be constructed for processing signals in a common language.
The cyborg is not subject to Foucault's biopolitics; the cyborg simulates politics, a much more potent field of operations.
The actual situation of women is their integration/ exploitation into a world system of production/reproduction and com-munication called the informatics of domination.
The cyborg is a kind of disassembled and reassembled, postmodern collective and personal self.
Furthermore, communications sciences and modern biologies are constructed by a common move - the translation of the world into a problem of coding, a search for a common language in which all resistance to instrumental control disappears and all heterogeneity can be submitted to disassembly, reassembly, investment, and exchange.
In communications sciences, the translation of the world into a problem in coding can be illustrated by looking at cybernetic (feedback-controlled) systems theories applied to telephone technology, computer design, weapons deployment, or data base construction and maintenance.
In each case, solution to the key questions rests on a theory of language and control; the key operation is determining the rates, directions, and probabilities of flow of a quantity called information.
A ny system breakdown is A function of stress.
In modern biologies, the translation of the world into a problem in coding can be illustrated by molecular genetics, ecology, sociobiological evolutionary theory, and immunobiology.
Biotechnology, a writing technology, informs research broadly.
In a sense, organisms have ceased to exist as objects of knowledge, giving way to biotic components, i.e., special kinds of information-processing devices.
Biology here is a kind of cryptography.
Research is necessarily a kind of intelligence activity.
A stressed system goes awry; its communication processes break down; it fails to recognize the difference between self and other.
But these excursions into communications sciences and biology have been at a rarefied level; there is a mundane, largely economic reality to support my claim that these sciences and technologies indicate fundamental transforma-tions in the structure of the world for us.
Biology as a powerful engineering science for redesigning materials and processes has revolutionary implications for industry, perhaps most obvious today in areas of fermentadon, agriculture, and energy.
I have used Rachel Grossman's (1980) image of women in the integrated circuit to name the situation of women in a world so intimately restructured through the social relations of science and technology.
I used the odd circumlocution, 'the social relations of science and technology', to indicate that we are not dealing with a technological determinism, but with a historical system depending upon structured relations among people.
THE 'HOMEWORK ECONOMY' OUTSIDE 'THE HOME'The 'New Industrial Revolution' is producing a new world-wide working class, as well as new sexualities and ethnicities.
In the prototypical Silicon Valley, many women's lives have been structured around employment in electronics-dependent jobs, and their intimate realities include serial heterosexual monogamy, negotiating childcare, distance from extended kin or most other forms of traditional community, a high likelihood of loneliness and extreme economic vulnerability as they age.
The ethnic and racial diversity of women in Silicon Valley structures a microcosm of conflicting differences in culture, family, religion, education, and language.
A lthough he includes the phenomenon of literal homework emerging in connecdon with electronics assembly, Gordon intends 'homework economy' to name A restructuring of work that broadly has the characteristics formerly ascribed to female jobs, jobs literally done only by women.
To be feminized means to be made extremely vulnerable; able to be disassembled, reassembled, exploited as a reserve labour force; seen less as workers than as servers; subjected to dme arrangements on and off the paid job that make a mockery of a limited work day; leading an existence that always borders on being obscene, out of place, and reducible to sex.
Rather, the concept indicates that factory, home, and market are integrated on a new scale and that the places of women are crucial - and need to be analysed for differences among women and for meanings for relations between men and women in various situations.
The homework economy as a world capitalist organizational structure is made possible by (not caused by) the new technologies.
The feminization of poverty-generated by dismantling the welfare state, by the homework economy where stable jobs become the exception, and sustained by the expectation that women's wages will not be matched by a male income for the support of children-- has become an urgent focus.
The causes of various women-headed households are a function of race, class, or sexuality; but their increasing generality is a ground for coalitions of women on many issues.
That women regularly sustain daily life partly as a funcdon of their enforced status as mothers is hardly new; the kind of integration with the overall capitalist and progressively war-based economy is new.
Teenage women in industrializing areas of the Third World increasingly find themselves the sole or major source of a cash wage for their families, while access to land is ever more problemadc.
A lthough lived problematically and unequally, ideal forms of these families might be schematized as (1) the patriarchal nuclear family, structured by the dichotomy between public and private and accompanied by the white bourgeois ideology of separate spheres and nineteenth-century Anglo-American bourgeois feminism; (2) the modern family mediated (or enforced) by the welfare state and institutions like the family wage, with A flowering of A feminist heterosexual ideologies, including their radical versions represented in Greenwich Village around the First World War; and (3) the 'family' of the homework economy with its oxymoronic structure of womenheaded households and its explosion of feminisms and the paradoxical intensification and erosion of gender itself.
It is no longer a secret that sexuality, reproduction, family, and community life are interwoven with this economic structure in myriad ways which have also differentiated the situations of white and black women.
The new technologies also have a profound effect on hunger and on food production for subsistence world-wide.
This facilitates the mushrooming of a permanent high-tech military establishment at the cultural and economic expense of most people, but especially of women.
High-tech, gendered imaginations are produced here, imaginations that can contemplate destruction of the planet and a sci-fi escape from its consequences.
The close ties of sexuality and instrumentality, of views of the body as a kind of private satisfaction- and utility-maximizing machine, are described nicely in sociobiological origin stories that stress a genetic calculus and explain the inevitable dialectic of domination of male and female gender roles.
These sociobiological stories depend on a high-tech view of the body as a biotic component or cybernetic communications system.
Of course, who controls the interpretation of bodily boundaries in medical hermeneubcs is a major feminist issue.
The technologies of visualization recall the important cultural practice of hundng with the camera and the deeply predatory nature of a photographic consciousness.
A major social and political danger is the formation of A strongly bimodal social structure, with the masses of women and men of all ethnic groups, but especially people of colour, confined to A homework economy, illiteracy of several varieties, and general redundancy and impotence, controlled by high-tech repressive apparatuses ranging from entertainment to surveillance and disappearance.
This issue is only one aspect of enquiry into the possibility of a feminist science, but it is important.
If it was ever possible ideologically to characterize women's lives by the disdnction of public and private domains-- suggested by images of the division of working-class life into factory and home, of bourgeois life into market and home, and of gender existence into personal and political realms --it is now a totally misleading ideology, even to show how both terms of these dichotomies construct each other in practice and in theory.
I prefer a network ideological image, suggesting the profusion of spaces and identities and the permeability of boundaries in the personal body and in the body politic.
'Networking' is both a feminist practice and a multinational corporate strategy -- weaving is for oppositional cyborgs.
So let me return to the earlier image of the informatics of domination and trace one vision of women's 'place' in the integrated circuit, touching only a few idealized social locations seen primarily from the point of view of advanced capitalist societies: Home, Market, Paid Work Place, State, School, Clinic-Hospital, and Church.
Each of these idealized spaces is logically and practically implied in every other locus, perhaps analogous to a holographic photograph.
There is no way to read the following list from a standpoint of'idendfication', of a unitary self.
State: Continued erosion of the welfare state; decentralizations with increased surveillance and control; citizenship by telematics; imperialism and political power broadly in the form of information rich/information poor differentiation; increased high-tech militarization increasingly opposed by many social groups; reduction of civil service jobs as a result of the growing capital intensification of office work, with implications for occupational mobility for women of colour; growing privadzation of material and ideological life and culture; close integration of privatization and militarization, the high-tech forms of bourgeois capitalist personal and public life; invisibility of different social groups to each other, linked to psychological mechanisms of belief in abstract enemies.
School: Deepening coupling of high-tech capital needs and public educa-tion at all levels, differentiated by race, class, and gender; managerial classes involved in educational reform and refunding at the cost of remaining progressive educational democratic structures for children and teachers; education for mass ignorance and repression in technocratic and militarized culture; growing and-science mystery cults in dissendng and radical political movements; continued relative scientific illiteracy among white women and people of colour; growing industrial direction of education (especially higher education) by science-based multinationals (particularly in electronics- and biotechnology-dependent companies); highly educated, numerous elites in a progressively bimodal society.
Clinic-hospital: Intensified machine-body relations; renegotiations of public metaphors which channel personal experience of the body, particularly in relation to reproduction, immune system functions, and 'stress' phenomena; intensification of reproductive politics in response to world historical implications of women's unrealized, potential control of their relation to reproduction; emergence of new, historically specific diseases; struggles over meanings and means of health in environments pervaded by high technology products and processes; continuing feminization of health work; intensified struggle over state responsibility for health; continued ideological role of popular health movements as a major form of American politics.
The only way to characterize the informatics of domination is as a massive intensification of insecurity and cultural impoverishment, with common failure of subsistence networks for the most vulnerable.
Since much of this picture interweaves with the social relations of science and technology, the urgency of a socialist-feminist politics addressed to science and technology is plain.
For example, the efforts to develop forms of collecdve struggle for women in paid work, like SEIU's District 925,* should be a high priority for all of us.
These efforts also are providing understanding of a more comprehensive kind of labour organization, involving community, sexuality, and family issues never privileged in the largely white male industrial unions.
A mbivalence towards the disrupted unides mediated by high-tech culture requires not sorting consciousness into categories of clear-sighted critique grounding A solid political epistemology' *Service Employees International Union's office workers' organization in the US.
I am conscious of the odd perspecdve provided by my historical position - a PhD in biology for an Irish Catholic girl was made possible by Sputnik's impact on US national scienceeducation policy.
I have a body and mind as much constructed by the post-Second World War arms race and cold war as by the women's movements.
We do not need a totality in order to work well.
The feminist dream of a common language, like all dreams for a perfectly true language, of perfectly faithful naming of experience, is a totalizing and imperialist one.
In that sense, dialectics too is a dream language, longing to resolve contradiction.
From the point of view of pleasure in these potent and taboo fusions, made inevitable by the social relations of science and technology, there might indeed be a feminist science.
CYBORGS: A MYTH OF POLITICAL IDENTITY I want to conclude with A myth about idendty and boundaries which might inform late twentieth-century political imaginations (Plate 1).
A merican radical feminists like Susan Griffnn, Audre Lorde, and Adrienne Rich have profoundly affected our political imaginations - and perhaps restricted too much what we allow as A friendly body and political language.
I look briefly at two overlapping groups of texts for their insight into the construction of a potentially helpful cyborg myth: constructions of women of colour and monstrous selves in feminist science fiction.
Earlier I suggested that 'women of colour' might be understood as a cyborg idendty, a potent subjecdvity synthesized from fusions of outsider identities and in the complex political-historical layerings of her 'biomythography', Zami (Lorde, 1982; King, 1987a, 1987b).
Onshore, inside the boundary of the United States, Sister Outsider is a potential amidst the races and ethnic identities of women manipulated for division, competition, and exploitation in the same industries.
Contrary to orientalist stereotypes of the 'oral primidve', literacy is a special mark of women of colour, acquired by US black women as well as men through a history of risking death to learn and to teach reading and wridng.
Writing has a special significance for all colonized groups.
Contests for the meanings of writing are a major form of contemporary political struggle.
Cyborg writing must not be about the Fall, the imagination of a once-upon a time wholeness before language, before writing, before Man.
Figuratively and literally, language politics pervade the struggles of women of colour; and stories about language have a special power in the rich contemporary writing by US women of colour.
Cherrie Moraga (1983) in Loving in the War Years explores the themes of identity when one never possessed the original language, never told the original story, never resided in the harmony of legitimate heterosexuality in the garden of culture, and so cannot base identity on a myth or a fall from innocence and right to natural names, mother's or father's.
Moraga's writing, her superb literacy, is presented in her poetry as the same kind of violation as Malinche's mastery of the conqueror's language -- a violation, an illegitimate production, that allows survival.
Moraga's language is not 'whole'; it is self-consciously spliced, a chimera of English and Spanish, both conqueror's languages.
Sister Outsider hints at the possibility of world survival not because of her innocence, but because of her ability to live on the boundaries, to write without the founding myth of original wholeness, with its inescapable apocalypse of final return to a deathly oneness that Man has imagined to be the innocent and all-powerful Mother, freed at the End from another spiral of appropriation by her son.
Writing marks Moraga's body, affirms it as the body of a woman of colour, against the possibility of passing into the unmarked category of the Anglo father or into the orientalist myth of 'original illiteracy' of a mother that never was.
'We' did not originally choose to be cyborgs, but choice grounds a liberal politics and epistemology that imagines the reproduction of individuals before the wider replications of 'texts'.
Feminisms and Marxisms have run aground on Western epistemological imperatives to construct a revolutionary subject from the perspective of a hierarchy of oppressions and/or a latent position of moral superiority, innocence, and greater closeness to nature.
With no available original dream of a common language or original symbiosis promising protection from hostile 'masculine' separation, but written into the play of a text that has no finally privileged reading or salvation history, to recognize 'oneself' as fully implicated in the world, frees us of the need to root politics in identification, vanguard parties, purity, and mothering.
Stripped of identity, the bastard race teaches about the power of the margins and the importance of a mother like Malinche.
These plots are ruled by a reproductive politics --rebirth without flaw, perfection, abstraction.
But there is another route to having less at stake in masculine autonomy, a route that does not pass through Woman, Primitive, Zero, the Mirror Stage and its imaginaw.
It passes through women and other present-tense, illegitimate cyborgs, not of Woman born, who refuse the ideological resources of victimization so as to have a real life.
These cyborgs are the people who refuse to disappear on cue, no matter how many dmes a 'western' commentator remarks on the sad passing of another primitive, another organic group done in by 'Western' technology, by writing.
To be One is to be autonomous, to be powerful, to be God; but to be One is to be an illusion, and so to be involved in a dialectic of apocalypse with the other.
The replicant Rachel in the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner stands as the image of a cyborg culture's fear, love, and confusion.
The trance state experienced by many computer users has become a staple of science-fiction film and cultural jokes.
A nne McCaffrey's pre-feminist The Ship Who Sang (1969) explored the consciousness of A cyborg, hybrid of girl's brain and complex machinery, formed after the birth of A severely handicapped child.
Let me conclude this point by a very partial reading of the logic of the cyborg monsters of my second group of texts, feminist science fiction.
The cyborgs populating feminist science fiction make very problematic the statuses of man or woman, human, artefact, member of a race, individual endty, or body.
The Female Man is the story of four versions of one genotype, all of whom meet, but even taken together do not make a whole, resolve the dilemmas of violent moral action, or remove the growing scandal of gender.
John Varley constructs a supreme cyborg in his arch-feminist exploration of Gaea, a mad goddessplanet-trickster-old woman-technological device on whose surface an extraordinary array of post-cyborg symbioses are spawned.
Octavia Butler writes of an African sorceress pithug her powers of transformation against the genetic manipulations of her rival (Wild Seed), of dme warps that bring a modern US black woman into slavery where her actions in relation to her white master-ancestor determine the possibility of her own birth (Kindred), and of the illegidmate insights into idendty and community of an adopted cross-species child who came to know the enem' as self (Survivor).
In Dawn (1987), the first instalment of a series called Xenogenesis, Butler tells the story of Lilith Iyapo, whose personal name recalls Adam's first and repudiated wife and whose family name marks her status as the widow of the son of Nigerian immigrants to the US.
A black woman and A mother whose child is dead, Lilith mediates the transformation of humanity through genetic exchange with extraterrestrial lovers/rescuers/destroyers/genetic engineers, who reform earth's habitats after the nuclear holocaust and coerce surviving humans into intimate fusion with them.
It is a novel that interrogates reproductive, linguishc, and nuclear politics in a mythic field structured by late twentieth-century race and gender.
In a fiction where no character is 'simply' human, human status is highly problematic.
Orca, a genetically altered diver, can speak with killer whales and survive deep ocean conditions, but she longs to explore space as a pilot, necessitating bionic implants jeopardizing her kinship with the divers and cetaceans.
Transformations are effected by virus vectors carrying a new developmental code, by transplant surgery, by implants of microelectronic devices, by analogue doubles, and other means.
Lacnea becomes a pilot by accepting a heart implant and a host of other alterations allowing survival in transit at speeds exceeding that of light.
Radu Dracul survives a virus-caused plague in his outerworld planet to find himself with a time sense that changes the boundaries of spatial perception for the whole species.
Superluminal stands also for the defining contradictions of a cyborg world in another sense; it embodies textually the intersection of feminist theory and colonial discourse in the science fiction I have alluded to in this chapter.
This is a conjunction with a long history that many 'First World' feminists have tried to repress, including myself in my readings of Superluminal before being called to account by Zoe Sofoulis, whose different location in the world system's informatics of domin-ation made her acutely alert to the imperialist moment of all science fiction cultures, including women's science fiction.
A cyborg body is not innocent; it was not born in A garden; it does not seek unitary identity and so generate antagonistic dualisms without end (or until the world ends); it takes irony for granted.
Intense pleasure in skill, machine skill, ceases to be a sin, but an aspect of embodiment.
Up till now (once upon a time), female embodiment seemed to be given, organic, necessary; and female embodiment seemed to mean skill in mothering and its metaphoric exten-sions.
Feminists have recently claimed that women are given to dailiness, that women more than men somehow sustain daily life, and so have a privileged epistemo-logical position potentially.
There is a compelling aspect to this claim, one that makes visible unvalued female activity and names it as the ground of life.
Cyborg gender is a local possibility taking a global vengeance.
Race, gender, and capital require a cyborg theory of wholes and parts.
There is a myth system waiting to become a political language to ground one way of looking at science and technology and challenging the informatics of domination-- in order to act potently.
For salamanders, regeneration after injury, such as the loss of a limb, involves regrowth of structure and restoration of function with the constant possibility of twinning or other odd topographical productions at the site of former injury.
We require regeneration, not rebirth, and the possibilities for our reconstitution include the utopian dream of the hope for a monstrous world without gender.
Cyborg imagery can help express two crucial arguments in this essay: first, the production of universal, totalizing theory is a major mistake that misses most of reality, probably always, but certainly now; and second, taking responsibility for the social relations of science and technology means refusing an anti-science metaphysics, a demonology of technology, and so means embracing the skilful task of reconstructing the boundaries of daily life, in partial connection with others, in communication with all of our parts.
It is not just that science and technology are possible means of great human satisfaction, as well as a matrix of complex dominations.
Cyborg imagery can suggest a way out of the maze of dualisms in which we have explained our bodies and our tools to ourselves.
This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful infidel heteroglossia.
It is an imagination of a feminist speaking in tongues to strike fear into the circuits of the supersavers of the new right.
Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.
RIOT GRRRL MANIFESTO [EN] (1989)
BECAUSE we are angry at a society that tells us Girl = Dumb, Girl = Bad, Girl = Weak.
RIOT GRRRL MANIFESTO [EN] (1989)
BECAUSE I believe with my wholeheartmindbody that girls constitute a revolutionary soul force that can, and will change the world for real.
-=-=-=-= A POLITICS FOR ALIENATION =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Laboria Cuboniks =-=-=-=.
0x00 Ours is a world in vertigo.
It is a world that swarms with technological mediation, interlacing our daily lives with abstraction, virtuality, and complexity.
XF constructs a feminism adapted to these realities: a feminism of unprecedented cunning, scale, and vision; a future in which the realization of gender justice and feminist emancipation contribute to a universalist politics assembled from the needs of every human, cutting across race, ability, economic standing, and geographical position.
XF is not a bid for revolution, but a wager on the long game of history, demanding imagination, dexterity and persistence.
Freedom is not a given -- and it's certainly not given by anything 'natural'.
Its uses are fused with culture in a positive feedback loop that makes linear sequencing, prediction, and absolute caution impossible.
Technoscientific innovation must be linked to a collective theoretical and political thinking in which women, queers, and the gender non-conforming play an unparalleled role.
0x04 Xenofeminism is a rationalism.
To claim that reason or rationality is 'by nature' a patriarchal enterprise is to concede defeat.
But this is precisely why feminism must be a rationalism -- because of this miserable imbalance, and not despite it.
There is no 'feminine' rationality, nor is there a 'masculine' one.
Science is not an expression but a suspension of gender.
Rationalism must itself be a feminism.
XF marks the point where these claims intersect in a two-way dependency.
0x05 The excess of modesty in feminist agendas of recent decades is not proportionate to the monstrous complexity of our reality, a reality crosshatched with fibre-optic cables, radio and microwaves, oil and gas pipelines, aerial and shipping routes, and the unrelenting, simultaneous execution of millions of communication protocols with every passing millisecond.
Whilst capitalism is understood as a complex and ever-expanding totality, many would-be emancipat- tory anti-capitalist projects remain profoundly fearful of transitioning to the universal, resisting big-picture speculative politics by condemning them as necessarily oppressive vectors.
Such a false guarantee treats universals as absolute, generating a debilitating disjuncture between the thing we seek to depose and the strategies we advance to depose it.
Much of twenty-first century feminism -- from the remnants of postmodern identity politics to large swathes of contemporary ecofeminism -- struggles to adequately address these challenges in a manner capable of producing substantial and enduring change.
Given that there are a range of gendered challenges specifically relating to life in a digital age -- from sexual harassment via social media, to doxxing, privacy, and the protection of online images -- the situation requires a feminism at ease with computation.
This is not an elision of the fact that a large amount of the world's poor is adversely affected by the expanding technological industry (from factory workers labouring under abominable conditions to the Ghanaian villages that have become a repository for the e-waste of the global powers) but an explicit acknowledgement of these conditions as a target for elimination.
This is a politics that, in wanting so much, ends up building so little.
Likewise, suggestions to pull the lever on the emergency brake of embedded velocities, the call to slow down and scale back, is a possibility available only to the few -- a violent particularity of exclusivity -- ultimately entailing catas- trophe for the many.
0x0B A sense of the world's volatility and artificiality seems to have faded from contemporary queer and feminist politics, in favour of A plural but static constellation of gender identities, in whose bleak light equations of the good and the natural are stubbornly restored.
To tilt the fulcrum in the direction of nature is a defensive concession at best, and a retreat from what makes trans and queer politics more than just a lobby: that it is an arduous assertion of freedom against an order that seemed immutable.
Like every myth of the given, a stable foundation is fabulated for a real world of chaos, violence, and doubt.
The 'given' is sequestered into the private realm as a certainty, whilst retreating on fronts of public consequences.
The time has now come to tear down this shrine entirely, and not bow down before it in a piteous apology for what little autonomy has been won.
0x0C If 'cyberspace' once offered the promise of escaping the strictures of essentialist identity categories, the climate of contemporary social media has swung forcefully in the other direction, and has become a theatre where these prostrations to identity are performed.
These puritanical politics of shame -- which fetishize oppression as if it were a blessing, and cloud the waters in moralistic frenzies -- leave us cold.
The task of collective self-mastery requires a hyperstitional manipulation of desire's puppet-strings, and deployment of semiotic operators over a terrain of highly networked cultural systems.
Under patriarchy, such a project could only spell disaster -- the notion of what is 'gendered' sticks disproportionately to the feminine.
Let a hundred sexes bloom!
'Gender abolitionism' is shorthand for the ambition to construct a society where traits currently assembled under the rubric of gender, no longer furnish a grid for the asymmetric operation of power.
'Race abolitionism' expands into a similar formula -- that the struggle must continue until currently racialized characteristics are no more a basis of discrimination than than the color of one's eyes.
Ultimately, every emancipatory abolitionism must incline towards the horizon of class abolitionism, since it is in capitalism where we encounter oppression in its transparent, denaturalized form: you're not exploited or oppressed because you are a wage labourer or poor; you are a labourer or poor because you are exploited.
0x0F Xenofeminism understands that the viability of emancipatory abolitionist projects -- the abolition of class, gender, and race -- hinges on a profound reworking of the universal.
Intersectionality is not the morcellation of collectives into a static fuzz of cross-referenced identities, but a political orientation that slices through every particular, refusing the crass pigeonholing of bodies.
This is not a universal that can be imposed from above, but built from the bottom up -- or, better, laterally, opening new lines of transit across an uneven landscape.
A bsent such A universal, the abolition of class will remain A bourgeois fantasy, the abolition of race will remain A tacit white-supremacism, and the abolition of gender will remain A thinly veiled misogyny, even -- especially -- when prosecuted by avowed feminists themselves.
Xenofeminism seeks to construct a coalitional politics, a politics without the infection of purity.
Wielding the universal requires thoughtful qualification and precise self-reflection so as to become a ready-to-hand tool for multiple political bodies and something that can be appropriated against the numerous oppressions that transect with gender and sexuality.
The universal is no blueprint, and rather than dictate its uses in advance, we propose XF as a platform.
The very process of construction is therefore understood to be a negentropic, iterative, and continual refashioning.
Xenofeminism seeks to be a mutable architecture that, like open source software, remains available for perpetual modification and enhancement following the navigational impulse of militant ethical reasoning.
Sorting the subversive possibilities from the oppressive ones latent in today's web requires a feminism sensitive to the insidious return of old power structures, yet savvy enough to know how to exploit the potential.
A s the embodiment of ideological constellations, the production of space and the decisions we make for its organization are ultimately articulations about 'us' and reciprocally, how A 'we' can be articulated.
With the potential to foreclose, restrict, or open up future social conditions, xenofeminists must become attuned to the language of architecture as a vocabulary for collective choreo-graphy -- the coordinated writing of space.
0x16 From the home to the body, the articulation of a proactive politics for biotechnical intervention and hormones presses.
The rise of the internet and the hydra of black market pharmacies it let loose -- together with a publicly accessible archive of endocrinological knowhow -- was instrumental in wresting control of the hormonal economy away from 'gatekeeping' institutions seeking to mitigate threats to established distributions of the sexual.
To trade in the rule of bureaucrats for the market is, however, not a victory in itself.
We ask whether the idiom of 'gender hacking' is extensible into a long-range strategy, a strategy for wetware akin to what hacker culture has already done for software -- constructing an entire universe of free and open source platforms that is the closest thing to a practicable communism many of us have ever seen.
Without the foolhardy endangerment of lives, can we stitch together the embryonic promises held before us by pharmaceutical 3D printing ('Reactionware'), grassroots telemedical abortion clinics, gender hacktivist and DIY-HRT forums, and so on, to assemble a platform for free and open source medicine?
Like engineers who must conceive of a total structure as well as the molecular parts from which it is constructed, XF emphasises the importance of the mesopolitical sphere against the limited effectiveness of local gestures, creation of autonomous zones, and sheer horizontalism, just as it stands against transcendent, or top-down impositions of values and norms.
The mesopolitical arena of xenofeminism's universalist ambitions comprehends itself as a mobile and intricate network of transits between these polarities.
A s pragmatists, we invite contamination as A mutational driver between such frontiers.
0x18 XF asserts that adapting our behaviour for an era of Promethean complexity is a labour requiring patience, but a ferocious patience at odds with 'waiting'.
Calibrating a political hegemony or insurgent memeplex not only implies the creation of material infra-structures to make the values it articulates explicit, but places demands on us as subjects.
How do we build a better semiotic parasite -- one that arouses the desires we want to desire, that orchestrates not an autophagic orgy of indignity or rage, but an emancipatory and egalitarian community buttressed by new forms of unselfish solidarity and collective self-mastery?
0x19 Is xenofeminism a programme?
Not if this means anything so crude as a recipe, or a single-purpose tool by which a determinate problem is solved.
We prefer to think like the schemer or lisper, who seeks to construct a new language in which the problem at hand is immersed, so that solutions for it, and for any number of related problems, might unfurl with ease.
Xenofeminism is a platform, an incipient ambition to construct a new language for sexual politics -- a language that seizes its own methods as materials to be reworked, and incrementally bootstraps itself into existence.
Ours is a transformation of seeping, directed subsumption rather than rapid overthrow; it is a transformation of deliberate construction, seeking to submerge the white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy in a sea of procedures that soften its shell and dismantle its defenses, so as to build a new world from the scraps.
0x1A Xenofeminism indexes the desire to construct an alien future with a triumphant X on a mobile map.
This X does not mark a destination.
It is the insertion of a topological-keyframe for the formation of a new logic.
In affirming a future untethered to the repetition of the present, we militate for ampliative capacities, for spaces of freedom with a richer geometry than the aisle, the assembly line, and the feed.
In the name of feminism, 'Nature' shall no longer be a refuge of injustice, or a basis for any political justification whatsoever!
A msterdam/Cologne, 2009/2010 http://rosa-menkman.blogspot.com The dominant, continuing search for A noiseless channel has been, and will always be no more than A regrettable, ill-fated dogma.
The elitist discourse of the upgrade is a dogma widely pursued by the naive victims of a persistent upgrade culture.
The user has to realize that improving is nothing more than a proprietary protocol, a deluded consumer myth about progression towards a holy grail of perfection.
The quest for complete transparency has changed the computer system into a highly complex assemblage that is often hard to penetrate and sometimes even completely closed off.
Sometimes, they use the computers’ inherent maxims as a façade, to trick the audience into a flow of certain expectation that the artwork subsequently rapidly breaks out of.
A s A result, the spectator is forced to acknowledge that the use of the computer is based on A genealogy of conventions, while in reality the computer is A machine that can be bend or used in many different ways.
In this way, a distributed awareness of a new interaction gestalt can take form.
Become a nomad of noise artifacts!
But when noise is explored within a social context, the term is often used as a figure of speech and as such has many more meanings.
Sometimes, noise stands for unaccepted sounds: not music, not valid information or what is not a message.
Noise can also stand for a (often undesirable, unwanted, other and unordered) disturbance, break or addition within the signal of useful data.
Here noise exists within the void opposite to what (already) has a meaning.
Whichever way noise is defined, the negative definition also has a positive consequence: it helps by (re)defining its opposite (the world of meaning, the norm, regulation, goodness, beauty and so on).
Noise thus exists as a paradox; while it is often negatively defined, it is also a positive, generative quality (that is present in any communication medium).
The voids generated by a break are not only a lack of meaning, but also powers that force the reader to move away from the traditional discourse around the technology, and to open it up.
Through these voids, artists and spectators can understand the politics behind the code and voice a critique towards the digital media.
It can be a source for new patterns, anti-patterns and new possibilities that often exist on the border or membrane.
The glitch is a wonderful experience of an interruption that shifts an object away from its ordinary form and discourse.
For a moment I am shocked, lost and in awe, asking myself what this other utterance is, how was it created.
Is it perhaps .. .a glitch?
But somewhere within the destructed ruins of meaning hope exists; a triumphal sensation that there is something more than just devastation.
A negative feeling makes place for an intimate, personal experience of A machine (or program), A system showing its formations, inner workings and flaws.
A s A holistic celebration rather than A particular perfection the glitch can reveal A new opportunity, A spark of creative energy that indicates that something new is about to be created.
The glitch has no solid form or state through time; it is often perceived as an unexpected and abnormal mode of operandi, a break from (one of) the many flows (of expectations) within a technological system.
But as the understanding of a glitch changes when it is being named, so does the equilibrium of the (former) glitch itself: the original experience of a rupture moved passed its momentum and vanished into a realm of new conditions.
The glitch is a new and ephemeral, personal experience.
Use bends and breaks as a metaphor for difference As an artist, I find catharsis in disintegration, ruptures and cracks.
These works stretch boundaries and generate novel modes; they break open previously sealed politics and force a catharsis of conventions, norms and believes.
Glitch art is often about relaying the membrane of the normal, to create a new protocol after shattering an earlier one.
Once the glitch is understood as an alternative way of representation or a new language, its tipping point has passed and the essence of its glitch-being is vanished.
The glitch is no longer an art of rejection, but a shape or appearance that is recognized as a novel form (of art).
A rtists that work with glitch processes are therefore often hunting for the fragile equilibrium; they search for the point when A new form is born from the blazed ashes of its precursor.
This is why an intended error can still be called glitch art and why glitch art is not always just a personal experience of shock, but has also become a genre; a schematic metaphor for a way of expression, that depends on multiple actors.
Moreover, some of the techniques I (and others) used became easily reproducible for other people, either because I explained my working process, or sometimes because of the development of a software or plugin that automatically simulated or recreated a glitching method (that then became something close to an ‘effect’).
The procedural essence of glitch art is opposed to conservation; the shocking experience, perception and understanding of what a glitch is at one point in time, cannot be preserved to a future time.
The beautiful creation of a glitch is uncanny and sublime; the artist tries to catch something that is the result of an uncertain balance, a shifting, un-catchable, unrealized utopia connected to randomness and idyllic disintegrations.
The essence of glitch art is therefore best understood as a history of movement and as an attitude of destructive generativity; it is the procedural art of non con-formative, ambiguous reformations.
They skip the process of creation-by-destruction and focus directly on the creation of a formally new design, either by creating a final product or by developing a new way to re-create or simulate the latest glitch-archetype.
This can for instance result into a plug-in, a filter or a whole new 'glitching software'.
T h i s f o r m o f ' c o n s e r v a t i v e g l i t c h a r t ' o f t e n f o c u s e s m o r e o n d e s i g n a n d end products then on the procedural breaking of flows and politics.
There is an obvious critique: to design a glitch means to domesticate it.
When the glitch becomes domesticated, controlled by a tool, or technology a human craft) it has lost its enchantment and has become predictable.
It is no longer a break from a flow within a technology, or a method to open up the political discourse, but instead a cultivation.
For many actors it is no longer a glitch, but a filter that consists of a preset and/or a default: what was once understood as a glitch has now become a new commodity.
But for some, mostly the audience on the receptive end, these designed errors are still experienced as the breaks of a flow and can therefore righteously be called glitches.
They don’t know that these works are constructed via the use of a filter.
Therefore, the products of these new filters that come to existence after (or without) the momentum of a glitch cannot be excluded from the realm of glitch art.
If there is such a thing as technological freedom, this can only be found within the procedural momentum of glitch art; when a glitch is just about to relay a protocol.
Not when “one disruptive click is just about to create a new design”.
Celebrate the critical trans-media aesthetics of glitch artifacts I use glitches to assess the inherent politics of any kind of medium by bringing it into a state of hypertrophy.
In these works, the glitch emphasizes what is normally rejected as a flaw and subsequently shows that accidents and errors can also be welcomed as new forms of usability.
This fatal manner of glitch presents a problem for media and art historians, who try to describe old and new culture as a continuum of different niches.
To deal with these breaks, historians have repeatedly coined new genres and new media forms to give these splinter practices a place within this continuum.
A s A result, an abundance of designations like databending, datamoshing and circuitbending have come to existence, which in fact all refer to similar practices of breaking flows within different technologies or platforms.
For them, terms like post-digital or post-media aesthetics frequently offer a solution.
Unfortunately, these kinds of terms are misleading because in glitch art ‘post’ actually often means a reaction to a primer form.
But to act against something does not mean to move away from it completely - in fact a reaction also prolongs a certain way or mode (at least as a reference).
I think that an answer to the problems of both historians and theoreticians could be found when glitch art is described as a procedural activity demonstrating against and within multiple technologies.
On the one hand, these aesthetics media show a medium in a critical state a ruined, unwanted, not recognized, accidental and horrendous state).
These aesthetics transform the way the consumer perceives the normal (every accident transforms the normal) and describe the passing of a tipping point after which the medium (might) become something new.
They challenge its inherent politics and the established template of creative practice while producing a theory of reflection.
The nomad of noise travels the acousmatic videoscape I am a voyager of videoscapes: I create conceptually synesthetic artworks, that use both visual and aural glitch (and other noise) artifacts at the same time.
These artifacts shroud the black box, as a nebula of technology and its inner workings.
What actually happens when a glitch occurs is unknown, I stare at the glitch as a void of knowledge; a strange dimension where the laws of technology are suddenly very different from what I expected and know.
Here is the purgatory; an intermediate state between the death of the old technology and a judgement for a possible continuation into a new form, a new understanding, a landscape, a videoscape..
Whenever I use a ‘normal’ transparent technology, I only see one aspect of the actual machine.
I have learned to ignore the interface and all structural components, to be able to understand a message and to use the technology as easy and fast as possible.
They shroud its inner workings and the source of the output as a sublime black veil, while they confront me with a message that I cannot understand.
In the acousmatic videoscape synesthesia exists not just as a metaphor for transcoding one medium upon another (with a new algorithm), but as a conceptually driven meeting of the visual and the sonic within the newly uncovered quadrants of technology.
http://videoscapes.blogspot.com I curate a Vimeo video pool about conceptual synesthetic artifact videos: http://vimeo.com/groups/artifacts