The Cyberfeminism Index project, which takes the form of an online exhibition and book, has attracted much attention in the international art, technology, and design worlds. In conjunction with the visit to Japan by Mindy Seu, a designer and researcher, and the curator and author behind the project, Civic Creative Base Tokyo will host an edition of its talk and lecture series CCBT Meetup.
The event considers art and technology in Japanese society in terms of feminism and the history of technology, and provides the first comprehensive showcase in Japan to the Cyberfeminism Index’s practices. By referencing creative activities that utilize art and digital technology, the event offers an opportunity to rediscover previously neglected works and contexts, and also encounter images and discourses that transcend gender differences.
The Cyberfeminism Index is a book and online exhibition jointly created with Rhizome, an organization affiliated with the New Museum, New York, that exhibits, digitally archives, and preserves born-digital art. Cyberfeminism refers not only to resistance to gender hierarchies in art and science, and the feminist activism that has developed and spread through the internet, but also to Donna Haraway’s seminal 1985 essay “A Cyborg Manifesto,” which employed the concept of the cyborg (a living creature with mechanical parts) to argue for a departure from binaries like nature and culture, public and private, and man and woman, and advocate for global and societal change that transcends such dichotomies. Since its publication, the essay has been incredibly influential in gender studies as well as entertainment and art, and various works and activities embodying Haraway’s cyborg concept have emerged particularly on online platforms. The Cyberfeminism Index contains over seven hundred different online practices, from academic texts to social movements, art projects, net art, and new media art, and continues to be updated. It reveals discourses and practices by diverse kinds of people about images of the body and identities that go beyond conventional human gender differences.
On “Intersectional Bodies/Genders/Images/Technologies: Ambiguous Practices and Theory in the Cyberfeminism Index”
Curation: Mizushina Mami
The Cyberfeminism Index launched online in 2020. The accompanying book was published in 2022 and a tour marking the release has held events around the world. This lecture and symposium forms part of that book tour with the aim of showcasing and introducing the concept of cyberfeminism in Japan.
Notably, the content of the index brings together contributions from both experts as well as the website visitors, and the indexing makes a conscious effort to center non-Western practices. Rooted in a critique of feminism, this approach has resulted in a highly diverse collection of resources. The index contains works and practices from different fields, with a focus on art but also encompassing activism, manifestos and theories like Dona Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto,” and critiques of such discourses.
As Mindy Seu writes in her introduction to the book, the Cyberfeminism Index neither deals exclusively with feminism nor focuses only on technology. The individual practices it contains engage with various problems from our present reality and cannot be encapsulated in a single definition. This event will begin from that unfinished, incomplete state of mutation.
Ambiguous Practices and Theory in the Cyberfeminism Index
Date & Time: November 25 (Sat), 2023 13:00 pm –19:00 pm (doors open: 12:30 pm, incl. break)
Venue: Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT]
Capacity: 90 (first come, first served)
with simultaneous Japanese-English interpretation
Mindy Seu (Designer, Technologist)
Melanie Hoff (Artist, Organizer, Educator)
Shikata Yukiko (Curator, Critic))
Takahashi Sakino (Translator)
Fuse Rintaro (Artist)
Mizushina Mami (Independent curator, Art coordinator)
［Part 1］Meetups for the Past to Come
- Lecture 1 “Cyberfeminism Index: The Volatile, Drifting, Invisible Body”
Speaker: Mizushina Mami
- Lecture 2 “Cybernetics of Sex” *Title has been changed.
Melanie Hoff *Online
- Lecture 3 “Body as a Site and Node”
- Lecture 4 “Lovers in the Network : 30 Years of Body, Gender and Reality”
［Part 2］Thinking about Future Art/Design from the Cyberfeminism Index
- Keynote “Cyberfeminism Index Performative Reading”
- Discussion and Q&A
Panelists：Mindy Seu, Shikata Yukiko, Takahashi Sakino, Fuse Rintaro, Mizushina Mami