2014 A Feminist Server Manifesto [EN]

A Feminist Server Manifesto

https pad constantvzw org p feministserver

2014

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

Has an awareness of the materiality of software hardware and the bodies gathered around it

Treats network technology as part of a social reality

Is able to scale up or down and change processing speed whenever resources require

At the risk of exposing her own insecurity opens up processes tools sources habits patterns

Does not strive for seamlessness

Talk of transparency too often signals that something needs to be made invisible

Radically questions the conditions for serving and service experiments with changing client server relations where she can

Avoids efficiency ease of use and reliability because they can be traps

Knows that networking is actually a parasitic promiscuous and often awkward practice

Is autonomous in the sense that she tries to decide for her own dependencies

Takes control because she wants networks to be mutable and read write accessible

Faces her freedom with determination

Vulnerability is not an alibi

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

Tries hard not to apologise when she is sometimes not available

Judy Wajcman Feminism confronts technology 1991 It is impossible to divorce the gender relations which are expressed in and shape technologies from the wider social structure that create and maintain them

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

And we must face and seize freedom with determination rather than fear and alibis

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

As 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

Please use and abuse

License for the manifesto added March 2017 copyleft Constant 2014 FAL http artlibre org licence lal en

As a feminist server this text has many pre parallel and afterlives

For some geneologies see below elsewhere and here http www newcriticals com exquisite corpse page 8