File spoon-archives/seminar-13.archive/cyberfem_1998-2000/seminar-13.9810, message 2


Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 10:33:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: CyberFeminism



>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 18:41:25 +1000
>From: Julianne Pierce <jules-AT-sysx.apana.org.au>
>Subject: INFO HEAVY CYBER BABE
>
>INFO HEAVY CYBER BABE
>Julianne Pierce
>Sydney, March 1998
>
>(written for the 'Cyberfeminist Reader' compiled by Cornelia Sollfrank)
>
>In 1991, in a cosy Australian city called Adelaide, four bored girls
>decided to have some fun with art and French feminist theory. Creating
>themselves as a mini corporation, VNS Matrix, they made their first
>text/artwork 'A cyberfeminist manifesto for the 21st Century'; with homage
>to Donna Haraway they began to play around with the idea of cyberfeminism.
>As with many corporate slogans, cyberfeminism caught on, and like a wave
>of grrrl glory it spread its tentacles to many far reaching places.
>
>Beginning as if by spontaneous combustion, from a few hot nodes in Europe,
>America and Australia, cyberfeminism became a viral meme infecting theory,
>art and the academy.  It arose as a response to popular culture - video
>games, the internet and especially Gibson's notion of cyberpunk. If the
>new breed of techno-cowboys could jack-in at will, well so could the
>grrrls. And with a vengeance, girls got digital and used the language of
>the new techno-culture to create their own conceptual vanguard.
>
>Cyberfeminism was about ideas, irony, appropriation and hands-on skilling
>up in the data terrain. It combined a utopic vision of corrupting
>patriarchy with an unbounded enthusiasm for the new tools of technology.
>It embraced gender and identity politics, allowing fluid and non-gendered
>identities to flourish through the digital medium. The post corporeal
>female would be an online frontier woman, creating our own virtual worlds
>and colonising the amorphous world of cyberspace.
>
>This first version of cyberfeminism was a flame, a moment, a spam which
>became hip. It was an impulse which became a commodity.
>
>Cyberfeminism is an incredibly important 'movement', it somehow embraces a
>growing groundswell of activism and access for women using all forms of
>digital media. It is certainly a 'feminism', as it advocates that women
>participate in creating and defining the present and future of techno
>culture. But somehow the 'feminism' is the problem, some of the old guard
>see it as a vacuous fashion statement (a sort of cyberspice), and the
>young guard don't need feminism anymore. So in this time of labels and
>brand names, perhaps we should abandon 'cyberfeminism'. There is no longer
>one cyberfeminism, there are now many cyberfeminisms - as it grows and
>mutates and is adapted by the growing number of digital tribes.
>
>The updated version of cyberfeminism is more about networking, webgrrrls,
>geek girls, FACES, OBN, online publishing, career prospects, list servers
>and international conferences. It's about Hybrid Workspace and the 100
>anti-thesis, it's about getting grants and funding to create opportunities
>to meet and make work. It's about training and creating opportunities,
>making money, doing business and doing deals. It's embracing diversity and
>difference, being opinionated, being loud and at times staying quiet. But
>the key to all of this is information, in the information society, to get
>ahead you must control the commodity. Information is political, it's a
>weapon, and the more knowledge we have, the more powerful we are.
>
>The early heady days of cyberfeminism created a space where the
>imagination could fire, gender could be re-written and the promise of the
>post human released us from the drudgery of post modern identity crisis.
>These spaces are important for dreaming, for creating a space for
>otherness - but while we confront our subjectivities, Bill Gates is making
>$500 a second. Big Daddy is flourishing and the suits control the data
>stream. The new cyberfeminism is about confronting the top-down with the
>bottom-up, creating a culture where the info heavy cyber babe can create
>her own space within a complex and clever info society. It's about
>creating foundations to build upon, so that in the next millennium we can
>carve own our paths, create our own corporations...in the words of VNS
>Matrix - "unbounded, unleashed, unforgiving...we are the future cunt".
>
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>julianne pierce po box 1085 potts point
>nsw 2011 sydney, australia
>tel + fax (02) 9130 3061 international (+612)
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>



##################################################################
Radhika Gajjala

moderator third-world-women
moderator women-writing-culture
moderator technology
co-moderator sa-cyborgs
co-moderator postcolonial


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__________________________________

email: radhik-AT-bgnet.bgsu.edu
URL: http://ernie.bgsu.edu/~radhik
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 "The computer, as designed, embodies the command-and-control structure
			     of a hierarchical society." Iain A.Boal (1995).



   

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