Josephine Bosma on Tue, 26 Jan 1999 23:50:53 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> second cyberfeminist international, March 99, Rotterdam

from (Cornelia Sollfrank)

Conference Call and Call for Proposals and Abstracts:

Strategies for a New Cyberfeminism
* Discourses * * of * * the * *New Cyberfeminism *

In recent years international telecommunications technologies have been
causing profound changes (globally) in social and political cultures.
* And elsewhere:
* in the Human -  immense growing prosthetic body, intellectual
restructuring to fluid patterns, emotions as reflex tracts of the
Data-Superhighways *
* In Art -   transgressive matter, conceptual pilings, haunting
specters of intelligent technologies *
*In Science - simulations, remote control systems, personal scientific
agents *

Increasingly,globalized society is being territorialized by western
aesthetic and market strategies and cultural formations.
* as society is territorializing market strategies as cultural formative.*
 Many "alternative" subversive strategies
* competing for the rare nishes in the system *
 have been harnessed
* quoted *
 by pancapitalism to capture
* invent *
 new markets and
consumers everywhere.
* to teach about resistance. *
This situation acts as a rallying cry
* as the state-of-the-art *
 for a
* of the *
 _New_ cyberfeminism for the 21st century.
* embracing every brilliant, sad, effective, lusty, intellectual,
wild, cool, sentimental, illogical, free, crisped and ugly premature
feminsm ever existing under new technological conditions. *

 A diversity of feminist critical,
* deconstructive *
* misfitting *
aesthetic, and cultural practices
* ways of thinking *
have become more and more relevant as
they decode, critique, and subvert
* imitate and falsificate *
the languages and practices of global
capitalist culture.

What are the specific possibilities offered by the new technologies for
a networked feminism? What are the specific possibilities and conditions
for agency and female subjectivity in a wired and globalised world?
Some energetic new cyberfeminists are already busy creating a liberatory
empowering use of communications technologies and attempting incursions
into the masculinist
* beloved *
* mind-boggling *
* shit *
 of the Internet. It is not to the  utopian
magic of a liberating technology
* another technological restructuring of ourselves *
 we can look for the hard cultural work
which needs to be done.
* which is the only real thrill left to do. *
Rather, women's
* the new cyberfeminists *
 tactical and imaginative uses of
the Internet are already bringing about new social
* neuronal *
formations and
associations among very different constituencies.
* The new Meta-Medium, the networked Computer, is being tested in
different ways (THE NEW CYBERFEMINISN IS A TEST) as it is testing our
abilities to change our pattern-recognition, to keep up with a lingering
subversion of tradition. (THE NEW CYBERFEMINISM WAS FASTER) *

To some extent the "alternative" feminist
institutions and services which sprang up everywhere in the 70s have
been reproduced on the Internet: Feminist data banks and electronic news
services provide information on war crimes against women, collective
economic actions,  international solidarity actions, and critical health
news. There are on-line feminist directories for job news, self-help
group organizing, starting your own business, managing your money,
socializing, technological education, and the like.
* Do "alternative"-cyberfeminists analyze the imitations of the feminist
institutions of the 70s on the Internet?
Do "baby"-cyberfeminists hack the tamagotchis homepage as smoothly as the
Pentagon's archives? Do "european intellectual" Cyberfeminists get their
kicks on clicking their mouses quickly (and writing a Phd about it)?
Click here. Click now. Enter your creditcardnumber. Identify yourself.

As Avital Ronell, Donna Haraway, and others have pointed out, it
behooves feminists to become technologically skilled and knowledgeable
lest the new technologies of global communication and domination once
again perpetuate and strengthen the same old male culture and power
structures. In this regard, feminists who have access to technological
privileges need to be particularly alert to cultural, racial, and
economic differences in the way women work, live, and use technology
globally-differences which are rapidly shifting and increasing with the
onrush of technological "advancement." Some female hackers
and computer engineers, as well as artists and tinkerers, are acquiring
enough technological knowledge which if used strategically could
seriously disrupt

and disturb the still overwhelmingly male culture of the Internet.

* It behooves THE NEW CYBERFEMINISTS to ask new questions on the 19th
century western gender dichotomy.
How do they call themselves feminists? Even women? Is this still a
Fin-de-Millenium decadence? What could this mean while constantly
undergoing sexual and gender orders in theoretical and practical ways, as
is the daily cyberfeminist's virtual bread? Bits of XX..., byte, the X!
You should find out about that ( if you call yourself a CyberXX too!) *

Such disruptions presuppose a close entwinement of political and tactical
thinking and technological know how-something which is quite possible
given current international feminist resources. One can imagine other
Feminist leaders
* 'And when my brain talks to me, he says:
Take me out to the Ballgame
Take me out to the Park
Take me to the Movies
Cause I love to sit in the dark
Take me to your leader
And I say: Do you mean George?
And he says: I just want to meet him
And I say: Come on I Mean I Don't even Know George!
And he says:
Babydoll! Ooo oo oo Babydoll, Ooo He Says:
Babydoll! I Love It When You come when I Call'
Laurie Anderson: Baby doll *

 and policy makers could communicate with activists working in
diverse locations with working-class and poor women (who are often not
connected to on-line resources)

* Note for the next meeting: Question: Isn't it a effective 'male'
capitalist's work to connect even more third-world-women to the more or
less qualified and jobs (from Data- Aquisition to Software-Engineering)
at the computer-terminals in the globally wired systems? And shouldn't
western capitalist feminists - promoting the liberating and educational
use of Online-Computers - make their living, being paid by the computer
industry? *

 on labor, employment, and displacement issues.
Feminist health, environmental, and medical workers could directly monitor
effects on  different groups of women of the new biomedical and genetic
technologies, etc. etc.

Instead of being subjected to the irrelevancies of Jennicam
* Jennicam: the realisation (and thus: suspension) of paranoia?
Historical reference to the case of Daniel Paul Schrebers:
'Denkwürdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken'. Jennicam: The old subject's
CYBERFEMINISM. *, perhaps we could figure out ways to become more
familiar with day to day living conditions and the new experiences of
women and girls in the global integrated circuit.
When the first Cyberfeminist International met at the Hybrid Workspace
in Kassel, we daily recorded our discussions on video, and also emailed
a daily report to the international women-only Faces list. Perhaps
this was the beginning of modeling a new feminist consciousness raising
for the 21st century-a networked, multi located, polyvocal
* voice 1 *
* voice 2 *
* Vocoder 2 *
* Letters 1b *
* Signifiers 0 and 1 *
* Information: as tunnel *
* Information: as skin *
* Information: as gender *

 conversation, embodied and gathered
locally and distributed globally by electronic means.

"Strategies of the New Cyberfeminism" hopes to address many of the issues
introduced above. We invite intense conversations, controversies,
speculations, papers,
projects, presentations in many forms. We invite paradoxical approaches
and diverse interpretations of cyberfeminist theory and practice. Our
hope is to expand our connections to a wider circle of women, and to
include an even greater mixture of cyberfeminists than participated in
the First Cyberfeminist International. Following is a preliminary plan
and structure for the Conference.

1. [What?] Second Cyberfeminist International. Title: Strategies of A
New Cyberfeminism.

2. [Who?] Cyberfeminist International. Hosted by TechWomen of Rotterdam,
obn (Hamburg), and attended by an interdisciplinary,international group
women artists, writers, scholars, media critics, scientists and

3. [When?]Dates: March 8-11 in Rotterdam
    Related presentation:
        March 12-14 Next Five Minutes, Amsterdam/Rotterdam
        March 12: Cyberfeminist Presentation at Next Five Minutes in
Participation at the conference will be free, but most participants will
need to raise their own travel funds as there will be very little
funding to assist in accomodations and travel

4. [Where?] Place: Rotterdam. (Culture cafe and possibly V2.)

5.[How?] Organizing group: Corrine Petrus (TechWomen, Rotterdam), Ingrid
Hoofd (Leyden,liaison with n5m and V2 in Rotterdam) Cornelia Sollfrank
Hamburg), Helene Oldenburg (obn,Rastede/Hamburg) Claudia Reiche (obn,
Hamburg), Faith Wilding (obn,Pittsburgh)  Yvonne Volkart
(obn,Zurich/Wien), Julianne Pierce (obn, Sydney).

6.[How?] Format: There will be a mixture of public presentations and
private discussions.
        Initially, we are planning to have public presentations (in the
afternoons and possibly one evening) at which up to 4 different
presentations consisting of lectures, panels, short papers,
performances,etc. will take place. Altogether we estimate that there
will be approximately 16 different presentations in the public program.

7.[What?] Content: Presentations will be planned around the following
main points of emphasis. More specific concepts of each topic will be
posted soon:

         Introduction: Myths, utopias, histories of CyberfeminismS. An
introduction to the topologies and territories. What happened at Kassel?
What are the New CyberfeminismS? The embedding of feminist technical
criticism, with women and gender studies (All).
        A. Women/Media/Politics/Technology (Claudia, Yvonne, Helene)
        B. Women Hackers; hacking strategies; Hacking as method and
           metaphor (Connie, Corrine)
        C. Feminist Activism/Resistance/Intervention/Globalism (Faith,

        Closing Summation and discussion.

        Private discussions among participants will also center on these
topics. And the discussions will also provide content for the planned
presentation at the Next Five Minutes Festival in Amsterdam.

8. Documentation: We expect to have well-organized video and radio
documentation of the entire conference. We also plan to issue a
publication on the model of the Cyberfeminist Reader.

9. Funding: A budget has been developed and funds are being solicited by
Corrine Petrus (TechWomen) from several local Rotterdam foundations, and
from other Dutch organizations. Additionally, Cornelia Sollfrank is
looking into funding for a publication of the proceedings from Germany.
It is expected that participants will try to raise travel and
accomodation funds for themselves from their local arts and culture

Call for Proposals/Abstracts: By February 1, 1999

The CI2 planning group is now calling for proposals for presentations of
many different kinds at the Conference. We are interested in the widest
possible interpretations of cyberfeminismS theories, strategies,
art-works, papers, performances, and actions.. Please prepare a brief
proposal describing your presentations content and form, and a
one-paragraph abstract or statement; include a two-line biography.
Please designate which main topic your presentation will fit best. Email
to: <>.


Statement for Funders:

The Cyberfeminist International is a diverse group of women from more
than 12 countries who met for the first time in l997 at the Hybrid
Workspace at
Documenta X in Kassel. One strong impetus for forming this group was to
research,discuss, and make information available about the many ways in
which the new communications, imaging, and medical technologies are
having profound impact on the lives, work, and health of women locally
and globally.

Historically, technology has been male dominated, and the new
technologies are still continuing this tradition. Women media
technicians, programmers,
computer scientists, hackers educators, home and office teleworkers,
electronic chip producers, artists, students, scholars, economists,
scientists, biomedical researchers, doctors--all have a common interest
in changing the male culture of the new technologies and becoming
centrally active in shaping economic and cultural policy for women in
the global communications and economic networks.

The Cyberfeminist International seeks to bring together women from many
>different fields of knowledge and interest to begin to work together on
strengthening women's involvement and visibility in the developing
policies and economies of electronic communications technologies and
networks. In this second conference we plan to present a series of
public programs which will consider many aspects of the way in which
the new technologies affect women specifically, and to discover what
strategies and techniques women are developing to meet these new

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