Date: 14-15 November 2016 | Location: House C, Fifth Floor, Niagara Building, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden
In recent years, the relationship between sound, gender and technology has gained increasing attention. There have been a number of practitioner networks, informational resources, theoretical interventions, archives and educational initiatives established in the hope of tackling the gendered exclusions from and disparities within the technocentric fields of electronic music and audio production. Many of these projects can be understood to share some of the concerns and ideals of cyberfeminism. Emerging in the early 1990s, cyberfeminism sought to explore the potentials and possibilities of technology, computing and Cyberspace for feminist praxis. However, to talk of cyberfeminism or indeed a cyberfeminist ethos in the singular is something of a misnomer: we consider it more appropriate to speak of plural cyberfeminisms, with various agendas, methods, perspectives and priorities.
This reading group will focus on the issue of decolonizing sonic cyberfeminisms. It will raise questions about the Eurocentric conceptualisations of technology, sound and gender implicit in much recent activism around these themes.
When: 14-15 November 2016
Where: School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden
Today the topic of design and politics is not unfamiliar to designers or those in politics. Yet despite designers’ engagement in community-based activities, design discourse has not been able yet to produce a useful lexicon of concepts that could offer possibilities of acting politically through design. The reason behind this could be seen in various complexities and difficulties involved in such possible discourses.
One way to approach such difficulties is through an intra-disciplinary engagement not with the fields of design and politics but with the effects that design and politics produce through a series of internal, mutual co-relations. These effects are manifested and produced not merely through legislative and institutional practices, but through designed artefacts, spaces, sites and technologies. Ranging from gentrified public squares to high security checkpoints, from precarious production lines to everyday gendered goods, such material co-enactments of design and politics regulate and manipulate people’s bodies, abilities, movements, inhabitations and life conditions in various ways, based on their race, ethnicity, social and legal status, gender and sexuality. From this perspective, the concept of intersectionality can be a useful frame and method to interrogate how design and politics co-shape each other through power relations across race, gender and class, as well as other identity attributions. Intersectionality teaches us that politics cannot be only understood through rigid power categories but through a matrix of forces and relations that produce different effects in different sites and moments, with different bodies and positions. Scholars in postcolonial feminism have discussed the concept of intersectionality widely and have used it as a method to interrogate various sites and spaces of power.