OPEN CALL: Reconsidering Cyberfeminism – New Media Caucus @ CAA

CALL FOR ART – Unbounded Unleashed Unforgiving; Reconsidering Cyberfeminism in 2021

Exhibit Dates: February 10, 2021 @ CAA Conference and New Art.City
Deadline to Enter: 1/1/21
Entry Fee: FREE
Eligibility: Open to all artists 18+

All media will be considered, but must be able to be presented or performed digitally. Preference given to the following forms: new media, digital art, queer art, feminist art, activist based art, performance art, work that incorporates the archive, speculative fiction/design, and digital nonfiction.

We seek artists’ work for the panel Unbounded Unleashed Unforgiving; Reconsidering Cyberfeminism in 2021. Works affiliated with this panel will be installed virtually via New Art.City, and selected artists will be asked to give short accompanying artist talks virtually on February 10th at 6:00 PM (EST).

We are seeking work that responds to the title Unbounded Unleashed Unforgiving; Reconsidering Cyberfeminism in 2021. This return to the term cyberfeminism, is an attempt to reconsider it, in an age of never offline. Instead of focusing on cyberfeminism from a historical perspective, we question the multiple ways in which artists and scholars are engaging in contemporary methods of cyberfeminism as practice.

VNS Matrix’ The Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century first oozed into our collective consciousness 30 years ago, demanding inclusivity by way of viscera within a techno-chauvinist culture. Similarly, Donna Haraway’s 1985 essay, A Cyborg Manifesto presciently considers the increasingly porous nature of virtuality and physicality, and how that porousness affects identity for users online and off. Cyberfeminist’s original ideas proposed how technology could “un-gender” us, but in doing so this effort often erased disabled, queer, nonbinary, and trans* bodies, and failed to acknowledge different forms of embodiment and disembodiment.
These works and their many responses (Faith Wildling’s 1998 essay Where is The Feminism in Cyberfeminism notable amongst them) have come to define scholarship and discussion on the topic of cyberfeminism ever since. Most recently, in #GLITCHFEMINISM, Legacy Russell describes the body as one that “is abstract, and inconceivably vast.” As a glitch feminist, she wants “to make abstract again that which has been forced into uncomfortable and ill-defined digital material.” “The glitch is a tool: it is socio-cultural malware,” Russell writes. Jillian Weise rethinks the cyborg as a tryborg, “a nondisabled person who has no fundamental interface.” In Faith Wilding’s “Visual Orgasms,” she creates excessive moving image collages that depict metaphors for orgasms without any actual depictions of the body or of sex. Angela Washko describes herself as a “digifeminist,” and rejects the term cyberfeminism as an identity. In Martine Sym’s “Afrofuturist Manifesto” she reminds us that “dream(s) of utopia can encourage us to forget that outer space will not save us from injustice and that cyberspace was prefigured upon a ‘master/slave’ relationship.”
This exhibition and panel will focus on the contemporary intersectionalities that play a vital role in attempting to understand and reclaim cyberfeminism. Through digital tools – like memes, avatars, video, social media performativity, manifestos, and an acknowledgment of marketplace feminism – we hope to raise various questions related to the intersections of feminism, the body, and technology. We are also particularly interested in discussing methods of world-building outside of imperiality, capitalism, binary, and white patriarchal narratives.

Some questions to consider are:

  • How can the body be technology?
  • How is technology forming future bodies and ideas of embodiment?
  • How do bodies interfere with narrative?
  • What is a “rebel body,” and how is it formed or tamed?
  • How are physical, digital, and/or virtual ‘bodies’ translated across physical, digital, and/or virtual spaces?
  • How does widespread identity performance online affect intersectionality?

Please submit work sample(s) and a 50 word bio via Google Form: