by Mindy Seu
Hackers, scholars, artists and activists of all regions, races and sexual orientations consider how humans might reconstruct themselves by way of technology
When learning about internet history, we are taught to focus on engineering, the military-industrial complex and the grandfathers who created the architecture and protocol, but the internet is not only a network of cables, servers and computers. It is an environment that shapes and is shaped by its inhabitants and their use.
The creation and use of the Cyberfeminism Index is a social and political act. It takes the name cyberfeminism as an umbrella, complicates it and pushes it into plain sight. Edited by designer, professor and researcher Mindy Seu (who began the project during a fellowship at the Harvard Law School's Berkman Klein Center for the Internet & Society, later presenting it at the New Museum), it includes more than 1,000 short entries of radical techno-critical activism in a variety of media, including excerpts from academic articles and scholarly texts; descriptions of hackerspaces, digital rights activist groups, bio-hacktivism; and depictions of feminist net art and new media art.
Contributors include: Skawennati, Charlotte Web, Melanie Hoff, Constanza Pina, Melissa Aguilar, Cornelia Sollfrank, Paola Ricaurte Quijano, Mary Maggic, Neema Githere, Helen Hester, Annie Goh, VNS Matrix, Klau Chinche / Klau Kinky and Irina Aristarkhova.
Both a vital introduction for laypeople and a robust resource guide for educators, Cyberfeminism Index—an anti-canon, of sorts—celebrates the multiplicity of practices that fall under this imperfect categorization and makes visible cyberfeminism’s long-ignored origins and its expansive legacy.
“This invaluable research tool will hugely expand, update, and perhaps even revolutionize the feminist discourse. It might even be considered a work of conceptual art in itself." —Lucy R. Lippard, author of Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972
“This book served as my doorway to cyberfeminism and I now see what an energetic continent awaits me. Anywhere I stepped it burned my hair off, it’s that brilliantly intense." —Kevin Kelly, founding editor Wired magazine
“You can use it as a reference, follow a thread, or just access it at random and it delivers wit and wisdom from over three decades of one of the most politically and intellectually challenging movements of our era. What happens between sexed flesh and gendered tech? More than ever we all need to know."—McKenzie Wark, author of A Hacker Manifesto