File spoon-archives/sa-cyborgs.archive/sa-cyborgs_2000/sa-cyborgs.0003, message 16

Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 17:31:55 -0500
Subject: session 4.12

Session 4.12

Cyberfeminism and Digital Capital

"Cyberspace" comes into being at the intersection of digital and
material space embedded in virtual/real hierarchies shaped by
place-based production process. These production processes produce
geographies of power thus shaping communities and
their cultural, political, economic activities all over the world. In
this session, we will examine some "cyberfeminist" negotiations
and re-presentations of these material realities. The session will start
with a viewing of a video essay on "performing the border"
which is set in the Mexican-US border town Ciudad Juarez, where many US
industries assemble their electronic and digital
equipment. Following this, there will be a dialogue performed between
two members of the panel, juxtaposing sites of
production - digital and place-based, "first-world" and "third-world,"
re-viving "old" traditions and production processing and
negotiating "new" traditions digital production. Finally, the
discussants and audience will be given time to discuss the issues
raised in the presentations.

Organiser: Gajjala, Radhika, Bowling Green State University, USA,

Chair: Renata Klein, Deakin University, Australia,

1 Performing the Border

Biemann, Ursula, Switzerland,

With the recent euphoria of the use of digital media in art and cultural
spaces, a comprehensive, gendered analysis of global
capital with regards to the information industry seems more relevant
than ever. My attempt is to combine a materialist
perspective on international labor division with a more discursive
approach to the kinds of subjectivities, identities and sexuality
that are forming in these transnational zones.

2 "Analoging" the Digital: Can pre-colonial modes of Production,
Community and Culture appropriate

Mamidipudi, Annapurna, Dastkar Andhra, India,

Skeptical, yet curious, this paper is an exploration of possibilities of
e-commerce within "glocal" relations of power. From my
local contextual perspective which comes out of my experience as worker
for a non-governmental organization dealing with
handloom weavers in a South Indian village, a group of men and women
volunteers who are trying "revive" the precolonial
communities forrmed around production modes and technologies of
vegetable dying and cotton handloom weaving in a few
villages of South India., I critique the notion that cyber-technologies
can be used "subversively. Under what circumstances is the
digital economy "empowering" - for whom - how, when, why? Is it
necessarily "empowering" to all - globally? For e.g, I ask
how do the contradictions emerging within transnational/glocal
intersections force us to redefine roles and perceptions regarding
issues of technology, economics and policy (state intervention) within
the framework of local traditional industry and the larger
issues of globalisation.

3 Transnational Critical Cyberfeminism(s): Can it be more than old wine
in new bottles?

Gajjala, Radhika, Bowling Green State University, USA,

In this paper, I critique cyberfeminism's optimistic focus on the
liberatory potential of digital technologies. The Digital Economy
operates against an optimistic (euphoric) backdrop. Objectives of the
architects of Digital Capitalism are "to develop an
economy wide network that can support an ever-growing range of
intracorporate and intercorporate business processes." (Dan
Schiller, 1999) Various transnational issues occur at the intersection
of configurations of power that emerge out of Digital
Capitalism and transnational labor flow. I ask - what might be dominant
socio-cultural patterns and directions embedded in
Digital Capitalism. Will the implicit structuring of digital finance and
e-commerce allow for the "subversive" uses of technology
that cyberfeminists claim are possible? Can "cyberfeminism" be anything
but complicitous with colonial and neo-colonial
discourses about the (analogue) Other? My presentation is in dialogue
with the other presentations in this session and in session

Discussants: Wilding, Faith, Carnegie Mellon University, USA, And Hawthorne, Susan, Spinifex
Press, Australia,

Format: This session begins with a video showing and continues in a
discussion/dialogue format after presenters hand out brief
position papers and very quickly introduce. their academic/activist
locations, concerns and questions.


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