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<nettime> interview with Cornelia Sollfrank
Josephine Bosma on Mon, 7 Jul 1997 21:57:36 +0200 (MET DST)


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<nettime> interview with Cornelia Sollfrank


Cornelia Sollfrank is a professional artist from Hamburg Germany.
She regrets doing too much work, nine projects at the moment. She
spends a lot of her time organising her work, putting up schedules,
making lists, creating databases.
She was interviewed at the nettime meeting in Ljubljana in May this
year. She is one of the women involved in organising the workspace
block at Documenta about cyberfeminism.

*


Q: Could I say you are mostly known for your work with the
   group Innen?

CS: Thats certainly a very important part of my work. In this group
I am together with three, meanwhile four other women. The concept of
the group if that whenever we show up in public, we all look the same.
Its a bit confusing for people to identify a single person. We never
use our own names when we show up with Innen, we always say 'we', we
all have the same opinion and we all look the same. So we created the
identity of one person consisting of five different. Its the opposite
phenomenon of what is known as schizophrenic, where one person is
split up in many. We are suffering from the opposite symptom: we are
many and we all became one. I won't talk about the philosophy behind
it. I just say it works well.

Q: You were asked by Geert Lovink to fill up one of the blocks in the
   Documenta workspace. What do you want to do?

CS: First I said no, because its not *me* that is going to do it. I
won't do it as one person. So I asked some more people if they would
like to contribute or join me for everything and we set up an
organisation which is now responsible for this block. The name of the
organisation is "Old Boys' Network". Its the first cyberfeminist
organisation worldwide as far as I know.
What we are going to do at Documenta is we are going to think about
what cyberfeminism could be. As far as I know there are no definitions
or there are many different ones. We'll try to bring together all the
different notions of this term. We'll think of strategies of how this
term could perhaps help to set up a new goal, a new political goal.

Q: You say you want to explore what cyberfeminism is or find a new
   definition: does that mean it doesn't have one yet?

CS: They are so different that they are really no definition. It also
seems not very spread. Its only in a few countries, a certain group of
people uses this expression. One plan of our Documenta appearance is
that we want this term heavily spread all over the world. We want
everybody talking about cyberfeminism.

Q: But why if you don't know what it is, if you don't have a
   definition yet and you don't know what cyberfeminist issues are,
   why the hell do you want to spread it all over the globe?

CS: Because people will ask themselves what it is. They will find out
that they won't find out, so the next question is: what could it be?
They have to start thinking for themselves what they want it to be.
Its very open so maybe what I want it to be, could be the definition
of cyberfeminism. The basic question is:
where do I work, what is my goal, where do I want to go to.
I want to use cyberfeminism to rethink these things.

Q: Does that mean you are missing something in feminism or you want
   to continue something from feminism into the new digital age?

CS: I think the phenomenon about cyberfeminism is that it became kind
of tabu in the nineties to be a feminist. Nobody actually wanted to
talk about it. This certainly has reasons for women. I think we all
live of the benefits of feminism, women, but also men. There are
however some very problematic aspects that came along with feminism.
It took many years, it took lets say the nineties to think about these
things. What were good things we use and what were the bad things, to
become aware of it. I'ld like to break this tabu of feminism and
rethink the whole history of feminism. I'ld like to connect to it again
after this whole period of not using it anymore.

Q: How do new media come into that?

CS: All kinds, mostly as a means of distribution, of exchanging, of
connecting.

Q: Do Donna Harraway's ideas come into it at all? The cyborg notions
of technology and biology being sort of undermined by some of these new
technologies, that produce new models of different ways of looking
at gender, does that come into it at all?

CS: Certainly. She is very important. She used this model of a cyborg
as a projection without gender. So as a model for trying to think not
genderrelated. Thats very interesting. But I don't think it is the
right time to use these big names. For me cyberfeminism is a concept
for every single person to start thinking by themselves and not reading
the big thinkers.

Q: Do you think there any specific issues for women online?

CS: No, I don't think so really.

*


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