Mujeres en Red

Strategies for a New Cyberfeminism

Call Cyberfeminist International 1999

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*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*

Increasinly, 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, desperate, 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 and empowering use of communications technologies and attempting incursions into the masculinist *beloved* *mind-boggling* culture *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 creditcard number. Identify yourself. STOP. (ELSEWHERE)*

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 interventions: 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 an 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 the 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.

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.


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