October 6, 2017

"Is Technology Sexist? Technology, Post-humanity, and the Role of Gender in the Development of a New Media Practice and Education"

Institute Art Gender Nature, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel

Adrian Lamo and Chelsea Manning chat logs.

The international symposium is an initiative of Chus Martínez—head of the Art Institute—with the support of the Federal Office of Culture. It consists of two public sessions moderated by Paul Feigelfeld and an internal workshop in the context of the artistic collaborative project WHO WRITES HIS_TORY?

Speakers include: Alan Bogana, Raffael Dörig, Paul Feigelfeld, Hannes Grassegger, Mavie Hörbiger, Matylda Krzykowski, Shusha Niederberger, Filipa Ramos and Emily Segal.

Artists have largely been concerned with questions that the technology industries consider secondary: what role do women play in the development of technology, and how has technological change affected the roles of women and ideas of gender? How does technology offer possibilities for new social relations and how should we evaluate these possibilities?

A series of experts—local and international—will present and discuss the relevance of gender, race, class, and sexuality in today’s understanding of technology and the development of new technological tools. We consider the art context—and the educational context of the academy—ideal to introduce these questions to a larger audience interested in how art and culture may help neutralize an un-critical approach to media, its presence in our everyday lives, and its contribution to a more equal social future.

Media technologies are a crucial part of our future, and neither an antagonism towards nor celebration of them allows us to better understand what they are and, more importantly, how we act around them. Art has played a seminal role in discussing and contesting the politics of media. Since media, media tools, and technology are representational-based languages, it is not surprising that art and artists were among the first communities to pay attention to the new forms of gender and race relations they provide and confront us with.

The symposium is intended to introduce ideas, but also practical examples, images, works by artists, as well as best practices that address a different use of the media, as well a new user language.

Session one
#Feminism!? Do Virtual Bodies Contribute to New Forms of Gender Relations?
October 11, 10am–6:30pm, Aula (open to the public)

Media technologies play a large role in creating social norms, because various forms of media—including advertisements, television, and film, but also the architectures of our technologies down to circuit design—are present almost everywhere in current culture. Gender roles, as an example, exist solely because society as a whole chooses to accept them, but they are perpetuated by the media and hardwired into the design of our technologies. Conspicuous viewers and users must be aware of what the media is presenting to them, and make sure they’re not actively participating in a culture of oppression and inequality.

Session two
Misandry Online, And How We Can Contest It
October 12, 10am–4pm, Aula (open to the public)

This session will revolve around the lack of diversity and presence of misogyny in tech-culture, the myth of meritocracy, and the growing belief in “misandry” online.

WHO WRITES HIS_TORY? with Daniela Brugger, Katharina Brandl, Nicole Boillat and Lysann König
October 13 (for students of the Art Institute only)

WHO WRITES HIS_TORY? is a collaborative project to question structural discrimination on the Internet and especially on Wikipedia. The aim is to hold recurrent writing workshops (Edit-a-thons) on the subject of Art and Feminism to influence information sustainably, to scrutinize the historiography, and add a feminist perspective to it. Wikipedia is a prominent tool to generate and conciliate knowledge and the web-based research is a basic instrument of the artistic work and is a daily practice. But the relevant contemporary question is how knowledge and information is spread and how it is funded? WHO WRITES HIS_TORY? is an open source project in cooperation with Wikimedia,, artists and supporters.

More information and full program:

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