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Feminist Hacking: Building Circuits as an Artistic Practice

Project leader:
Stefanie Wuschitz (IKL)

Project team:
Patrícia Reis, Taguhi Torosyan

Funded by:
FWF – Austrian Science Fund | PEEK (AR580)


FWF I PEEK project
led by Stefanie Wuschitz, Institute for Education in the Arts
Duration: 1.3.2020 – 31.12.2023

The project aims to establish feminist hacking as a strategy and method for emancipation in the field of art, science and technology.

The project addresses the disbalance in presence and engagement of women* and non-binary artists. This bias is ubiquitously present in the field of media art, where male artists have received significantly more recognition than their female and queer peers. The project proposes to examine the potential of feminist hacking and feminist hardware as a medium of diversified artistic expression.

The project uses feminist hacking as art-based research method in order to enable female* artists to develop their own tools, aware of intersectional forms of discrimination. The final stage of our project will hopefully give an answer to the question: what is feminist hardware? We will observe how feminist hacking informs art practice and how it helps to envision, conceptualize and make different kinds of art. We intentionally create a collaborative environment in which unorthodox alliances can emerge.

We are a group of female* artist researchers that will intervene in the hardware production cycle by connecting with ethical hardware manufacturers. We will work in a systematic manner with manufacturers who are specialized in open and ethical hardware enabling production to be conducted in mindful architecture. In a first phase specific tools for media art projects will be developed taking into account fair modes of hardware production and its future open access and modification (licensed as open hardware). In a second phase, the hardware will be used and implemented during artist residencies at our national collaboration partner Mz* Baltazar’s Laboratory. The outcome will be presented in a mid-term presentation at our national collaboration partner ESC media art lab. This feedback will inform the next phase in which we host a series of workshops on the development and use of feminist hardware. Finally, we will publish extensively on documentation of our research process, focusing on the collaboration with ethical manufacturers demonstrating the particularities of the feminist hardware we developed in the form of an exhibition.