#GLITCHFEMINISM

#GLITCHFEMINISM


[Barbara Lewis “Hello Stranger”] ♪ My baby ooh ♪ ♪ It seems like a mighty long time ♪ [CHORUS]
♪ Shoo-bop shoo-bop, my baby,
shoo-bop shoo-bop ♪ [SOLO]
♪ Ohh, my my my my ♪ [CHORUS]
♪ Shoo-bop shoo-bop, my baby,
shoo-bop shoo-bop, my baby ♪ [SOLO]
♪ I’m so happy ♪ ♪ that you’re here at last ♪ ♪ Ohhh ♪ [music fades] [MHYSA “Tonight”]
♪ Tonight, I’ll be your naughty girl ♪ ♪ I’m calling all my girls ♪ ♪ We’re going to turn this party out ♪ ♪ I know you want my body ♪ ♪ I’ll be your naughty girl ♪ ♪ calling all my girls ♪ ♪ I see you look me up and down ♪ ♪ and I came to party ♪ ♪ IIII’d love to love you, baby ♪ ♪ IIII’d love to love you, baby ♪ ♪ II–ee-yah’d love to love you, baby ♪ ♪ Oooh, I’d love to love
you baby ♪ ♪ tonight ♪♪ [Frank Ocean “Pink + White”] ♪ Yeah yeah oh ♪ ♪ Yeah yeah ♪ ♪ That’s the way everyday goes ♪ ♪ Every time we have no control ♪ ♪ If the sky is pick and white ♪ ♪ If the ground is black and yellow ♪ [music cuts] [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
Question: What is glitch feminism? [LEGACY]
It’s a good question. Glitch feminism is a creative and political exploration of how the Internet as material
can expand, or glitch, the construct
of the binary body. It deploys the language of glitch in positing that an error within the
flawed machine we operate within, one that disproportionately enacts
violence on historically othered bodies, is not an error at all, but rather an integral systems correction to
the mechanics of culture and society as we know it. A glitch is an error, a mistake,
a failure to function. [ROBOTIC FEMALE VOICE]
This is the glitch feminism manifesto. Sit down and shut the fuck up. We don’t care about your fragility,
your patriarchy, your privilege. [LEGACY]
Within technoculture, a glitch is part of a machinic anxiety, an indicator
of something having gone wrong. This built-in anxiety naturally spills over
when the language of glitch is applied to AFK, away from keyboard,
scenarios. A car engine calling it quits, getting stuck
in an elevator, a citywide blackout. Yet these are rather micro examples
in the broader scheme of things, if we step back much further, considering the larger
and more complicated systems that have been used to shape
the machine of society and culture, gender is immediately identifiable
as a core cog within this wheel. Gender has been used as a weapon
against its own populace. Each of us held hostage
by the construct, the idea of body carries this weapon. Gender as the weapon protects
the body from becoming limitless, from claiming its infinite vast,
from realizing its true potential. [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
One. Glitch is cosmic. [LEGACY]
So, there are many ways
to think about the body. This idea of the corporeal that has been
expounded on so much across history. When poet and artist Anaïs Duplan speaks
of cosmic bodies in their epic “One Poem,” they advance us along a unique turn, this cosmic providing exciting insight into how
we might approach the body as an architecture. Right here, when we consider
glitch as a tool, it is useful to consider how this tool can help us
better understand the body as an idea. The body is an idea. The body is an idea that is cosmic and,
in being such, as cosmic is defined, it is inconceivably vast. We’ve only just begun to scratch
the surface of what the body is, what it can do,
and what its future looks like. Body is a world building word, filled with potential, and as with glitch,
filled with movement. When body is used as a verb, it is defined
as “giving material form to something abstract.” [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
Two. Glitch throws shade. [LEGACY]
Noun and verb alike, we use body to give material form
to something that has no form, something in it that
is abstract and in being so, is inconceivably vast. We all began in abstraction, ungendered,
but biologically sexed bodies that as we develop, take on a gendered form,
either via performance or via the construct
of social projection. To dematerialize, to abstract,
the body and transcend its limitations, we need to make room
for other realities. The internet is
a room of one’s own. Art critic Gene McHugh in his essay
“The Context of the Digital” observes, “For many people who came of age
as individuals and sexual beings online, the internet is not
an esoteric corner of culture where people come to escape reality
and play make-believe. It is reality.” Thus the term “digital native”
as applied to the generations who remember nothing other
than a life bound up within the internet. McHugh notes artist Ann Hirsch’s
two-person play, Playground in 2013, as an example of such negotiations
of play, reality, and sexuality. Hirsch’s performance explored her relationship
as a preteen digital native with an older man online during a period of time
where the offline world around her wasn’t providing sufficient opportunities
for emotional and intellectual development. And therefore, what she felt and learned about the world,
her body, and sharing time with another individual through the online relationship
was, if nothing else, very real, complicated, and
to a great degree, enriching. In this day and age,
has become a common experience. Glitch feminism identifies
the application of IRL, in real life, vis-a-vis the discussion of gender-sex
play online as deeply flawed. The limits bound up within this idea of “real life”
violently finishing worlds rather than expanding them. IRL falters in its skewed assumption that
constructions of online identities are latent, closeted, and fantasy-oriented, not real,
rather than explicit, empowered, and illustrative of that
which is very real and very capable of living on
away from the space of cyberspace. Glitch feminism, in turn, embraces AFK, away from keyboard,
as a uniquely feminist opportunity, a turn within this discussion
of the digital, with AFK actively undermining
the ongoing fetishization of real life, and giving weight to those selves we
create through the material of the Internet as being primary catalyst
of self-actualization, the road to realizing
other realities offline. [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
Three. Glitch ghosts. [LEGACY]
So, what does it mean
to ghost on the body? What is that asking of us, to end a relationship
with the social practice of the body as we know it? To let go of the material
of the normative, gendered architecture of the body
to withdraw from it, and to manifest a new understanding of it
that embraces the abstract as the material itself. It means we can dis-identify
and via dis-identifying, we can make up our own rules as we search
to resolve and/or reconcile this problem of the body. We want new framework.
We want new skin. [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
Four. Glitch is error. [LEGACY]
Glitch feminism calls for this. It asks us to look at the deeply flawed society
we are all currently implicated by, participating in and to confront the violence
this society has done to bodies who dis-identify, to bodies who exists
within the liminal, and embrace the in-between as a core
component of survival, of futurity. Glitch feminism calls for us to seek out opportunity to trigger
errors within this flawed system. Glitch feminism also embraces
the causality of error, turning the implication
of glitch on its ear. This glitch is a correction to the
machine, in turn, it’s a positive departure. An erratum. [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
Five. Glitch encrypts. The decoding of gender becomes as much about how it
is constructed as whether it can or cannot be read Glitched bodies, those blurry bodies that aim
to exist in a space between, are encrypted. Existing in-between, they push back against algorithm
built for and by a white, straight, normative mainstream. Glitched bodies pose
a threat to social order. They cannot be programmed. Judith Butler observes in “Excitable Speech:
A Politics of the Performative,” “One exists not only by virtue of being recognized,
but by being recognizable.” Let us make space for ourselves by broadening
the realm of the unrecognizable. Let glitch be deployed
as something other than enemy, a political agent that adroitly
threatens the capital of consumption, aimed at infiltrating
and complicating systems, testing boundaries, traveling along limens,
and defying limits. [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
Six. Glitch is antibody. [LEGACY]
Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson’s “antibody,” surfaced in her “Romancing the Antibody:
Lust and Longing in (Cyber)space,” a really wonderful essay that lays useful groundwork
for applying the language of mechanical glitch as a mode of resistance
against body binary. “Like computer viruses,”
Hershman Leeson writes, “antibodies escaped extinction through
their ability to morph and survive, they exist in perpetual motion, navigating parallel conditions of time and memory.” Intersectional with these antibodies,
the glitched body answers to world conditions in its aim to transform the
socio-economic machine of gender. Thus the glitch,
and the body that claim it, can be both subversive tool
and radical technology in and of themselves. [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
Seven. Glitch refuses. [LEGACY]
Glitch bodies refuse order. They wander within a wildness of unrecognizable being. They actively reimagine
and recenter neoteric realities. Glitched bodies hack gender. They vivify and live on by the material
of the Internet. Thus these bodies, always online,
remain current in their presence, and as such, are not placed
within the quiet annals of history. They stretch beyond an archival construct as yoked to
or embedded within a specific moment in time. The mythologies as driven by narrative history
only surface in the 20/20 perspective that comes with the privileges
of hindsight. It is the archiving of material that allows
for those perspectives to deepen as time passes. The architecture of the internet archive rises
out of the ordering of data material into categories, often building towards
some sort of narrative arc. By reviewing pieces
of material and order, sense can be made lending
toward an integrated understanding, the data of such
a program, processed. Counter to this, the glitched body remains contemporary,
it rejects historical processing and celebrates its disorder as a mark
of success within a social system that strangles with the fetishization
of categorization. In turn, glitch feminism ever
operates as a living network, its data celebrated
in its refusal, in its lack of linearity. [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
Eight. Glitch is remix. [LEGACY]
Glitch feminism calls
for a breaking of the hegemonic, structured system
infused with pomp and circumstance. Infused as well with patriarchy. One that for too long has marginalized bodies and within this,
has done violence to female-identifying bodies, continuing to offend our sensibilities by only giving us
a piece of the pie and assuming our satisfaction. As glitch feminists, we want to claim
for ourselves permanent seats at the table, an empowered means of demarcating space
that can be possessed by us in entirety, a room of our own that despite the strides
made via feminist political action, has yet to be truly inclusive,
or to truly belong to us. Except we don’t want a room.
We want the world. Glitch feminism looks to the digital
as a means of building these worlds. It underscores at the binary code
of male/female, and the code of real life, as posited
by the language of IRL, pitted against the lives
we lead online, somehow taken is less real,
as being too rigid, not allowing for
that slip and slide, that is a reality of how gender and sexuality,
and the cosmic bodies they occupy, exist today, have existed yesterday, and will
continue to evolve, survive, and stay alive. [ROBOTIC MALE VOICE]
Nine. Glitch mobilizes. [LEGACY]
The selves we occupy online and then
carry out into the world are important. We must continue to experiment,
bloom, and build. Artists play a key role in this experimentation,
acting as a bridge between what happens online, and what happens AFK,
and strengthening the loop there. The internet is not a fantasy space. It is a future space, a space where glitch feminists
can mobilize the imaginary as an activist tool, To point toward a futurity that, though
still buffering, is en route to being realized. To invoke Jack Halberstam, “We refuse to ask for recognition. We want to take apart, dismantle, tear down the structure that right now,
limits our ability to find each other, to see beyond it, and to access places
that we know lie outside its walls.” Embracing the glitch, we advance
an urgent course-correct. We empower ourselves through the maintenance
and protection of our free movement via the channels of digital space. We make skin of walls, porous thresholds
that caress the impossible. In mobilizing, we find others like us,
and in doing so we find ourselves. In mobilizing, we remain fugitive. We stand on the outside, Not to look in, but, stateless,
to occupy, and grow with intention. This mobility is unregulated,
slippery, keyed up, and catastrophic. It is the thing that keeps us blurry and unbound,
pushing back against the hegemony. 10 glitches toon Artists like a Jane with avatar alter-ego Mesa Manuel r2 Abreu and Shani Michaleen Holloway are doing essential work here creative architects finding ways to stretch this idea of body to its limits To return it to the immaterial and to celebrate its abstraction as a political tool First and foremost I’d like to welcome you to my garage these artists create new constructs of the body online and in doing so Empower themselves and empower others and ask us to bring our cosmic bodies offline out into the world at large Through their respective practices we can see the plausibility of quite literally becoming one’s avatar The selves we play out and perform as online They are blueprints for new bodies cosmic in their capacity vast in their virtuality But also with the potential to be very real 11 lives Glitches conjured is finding its etymological roots in the yiddish glitch Meaning slippery area or perhaps german glitch end to slip to slide it is this slip and slide that makes the glitch possible a swim in the liminal a transformation across self domes Well glitch an iris so what can we learn from a computer virus a computer virus corrupts data a Computer virus costs capitalism. It’s a question of Labor Degrading the plausibility of productivity within the machine a computer virus is a threat to the function of the machine But also to its economy when we embody virus as a vehicle of resistance We are putting a span into the machine occurs of gender striking against its economy How can we expire the binary body and the rules that govern it? What can be done to distribute male and female and in turn masculine and feminine? across an ecstatic spectrum Judith Butler Melancholy points out that the positions of masculine and feminine are established in part through prohibitions Which demand the loss of certain sexual attachments and demand as well that those losses not be allowed and not be grieved As butch feminists we must claim the right to grieve as part of processing the trauma of gender and as part of this morning actively refuse a history of prohibitions creating pathways were previously they might not have been possible as We aimed hock gender. We also need to re-examine the snap Redistribution of power as a too simplistic tool toward achieving equality Surely this Act presents an obvious paradox Resituated power between two gendered points is inherently gendered Assuming power is not a straightforward task of taking power from one place and transferring it intact and then in there making it one’s own The act of appropriation may involve an alteration of power such that the power Assumed or appropriated works against the power that made that assumption possible Such an act does not automatically give rise to the empowerment of agents therein Performed within an ongoing system failure this act cannot guarantees freedom of new directions nor new definitions Gender is a replicating virus in the social machine and as fire fights fire So does the error of glitch as it goes up against this virus a virus in its own, right? Finding victory in the new configurations it presents 13 glitch survives in 1993 one year before sadie plant coined the term cyber feminism Black poet Lucille Clifton wrote the poem won’t you celebrate with me? Glitch feminism calls on it here celebrating with Clifton at her Qwest and sharing with each of you her transformative words Won’t you celebrate with me what I have shaped into a kind of life. I had no model Born in Babylon both non-white and woman. What did I see to be except myself? I Made it up Here on this bridge between Starshine and clay my one hand holding tight my other hand Come celebrate with me that every day something has tried to kill me and is failed We the glitch Travel the passageways between the Starshine of the digital and the clay of afk We are otherworldly modeled on no model like Clifton We have held our own Hands, and the hands of one another with little else to lean on but each other in our blur our slip our slide What do we see to be accept ourselves? We are the generator that activates subverts shatters the electric mirror in tandem with the world beyond the screen the glitch in our embodiment of it is an expression of spatial desire a Curious inquiry done in service of remapping the physical form and how we perform and restructure it We demand an interrogation of the collective consciousness that has embedded gender binary as prosthetic memory a supernatural trauma The glitch is a psychic portal as an undoing advancing the work of breaking the machine by refusing to function for in Today’s gender is a meme not only a construct like a meme the gender of now travels the online Afk continuum via performative imitation the amplification of its logic. However Violent or incoherent stemming from its ability to reproduce with speed and add a pandemic scale The binary born from a gendered blueprint keeps us distanced from our cosmic body That playful individual who can carry the corporeal as an abstraction a proud return to our most range full self ‘dom this cannot continue What glitch feminism is proposing here then is the We will embody the catastrophic error If this is a spatial battle, we will become an architecture. We will riot with scars seams and everything in between We will not consent to be a single being but every single being and every single avatar that makes this dystopic engine of modernity hiccup heave and screech to a halt We will let our liquidity roared with the deep decibels of waves We will cruise as wild amorous monstrous malfunction. We will find life joy Longevity in the break as that is where experience lives and that is where new possibilities congesting In the break is where the world body is brought to new heights by the digital Extravagantly fail to be hypothetical as they become actualized Sharp realities we are ready to carve with 14 glitches liquid Simone de beauvoir is famous for positing. That one is not born but rather becomes a woman The glitch posits one is not born but rather becomes a body The glitch becoming is a process a consensual diaspora toward Multiplicity that arms us as a tool carries us as device Sustains us as technology allowing us to persist survive and stay alive So get glitched Become your avatar and stay cosmic Take Take mikheil meskhi member tammini the Middle Ages Canada neither tombe torneo The Fokker she could he focuses other thought the Moriscos champagne? Amplifier Now I mentioned and we have alluded to the drug ecstasy or to talk a whole lot about You don’t have to tell you a personal story if you don’t feel like it But is it a fact that you gave the drug to your mother Michael? Joker this sure that there’ll be ensue misinterpret our deficit volume you The austerity meet belong diverges on selfie mode The ready-made the moniker sauce sent a moment later Paulo trading medium hood to determine Victimology chemist Lu generally a centimeter making your hanukkah’s journeyer bones Thank you Hi, that was really awesome, thank you for sharing that I was wondering if you could just sort of point to some like Microcosms or examples of glitch that you kind of come across on, you know, just living in this world. I Mean for me. I think I sort started writing about glitch in around 2012 and it came out of Multiple things but you know most personally my queer identity and my identity as a black woman existing in the world And you know I think as with my family identity and you know those things I’m intersecting with my kind of queer community the idea of glitch was something that was meaningful because it allowed me to consider what kind of acts of history have Me identities like mine and the kind of process where I stand and where many people in my community stand you know appear to be something other than worth celebrating And I do feel like that You know as the kind of personal example of speaking from that place because I do feel like it’s most useful It’s you know Wonderful to consider the idea of the things that actually are errors as an opportunity And a way of kind of being able to speak about those things and creatively like looking through various artist practices which you know, you you saw a few examples of that and the presentation on But as well thinking about our individual selves and how there are opportunities to kind of undermine aspects of how we are read using the digital as primary material and especially given with like You know technologies like these recognition and etc Like, you know, I think that there are ways to play with that and a large part of that is figuring out opportunities where we don’t necessarily have to perform to a sort of binary Representation of what it is to exist in the world a lot of these technology are created by straight white men and you know as someone who’s both Straddled art and tech for a long time You know, I I find it also you know really inspiring to see people like Florence Okoye a talking actively about Who’s a really wonderful theorist based in the UK and you know speaking actively about how? actually You know with all the things that like we can’t control about data that actually within this there are Opportunities for us to control the kind of like constant which is ourselves and so You know if we’re going to be using these materials to use them in ways that are subversive to create things that actually are illegible to the algorithms that are being built because they’re not Necessarily being built to read us and they’re not really being built with us in mind So yeah, I mean in a nutshell that kind of speaks to that That was incredible, I’m yeah. Yeah. Just amazing performative lecture just in general the form of it and then the content also very meaningful to me and I just have a question about you talked about a virus ‘no sinned in two different ways, and I just wanted to Hear you like connect them a little bit and you talked about glitches virus as something that cost Capitalism which is very exciting you also talked about Gender as a virus that reproduces that’s with speed and at pandemic scale and that it cannot continue it’s can you talk about the two different ways to use virus poses like a positive almost medicinal virus and another as a Bit like a problematic thing. Yeah. I mean, I guess um Kind of seeing virus through the lens of capitalism where you can kind of look at Gender as a virus in itself and it is mimetic. It’s something that you know, I feel like it’s you know not rocket science to say that it travels and it’s something that you know drives how we buy how we see how People are you know purchasing homes how people are you know? looking for partners like it it infuses every component of how exist so, you know literally, you know It’s very difficult to go a day without being forced to make some of those choices and so I feel like part of the the language of glitch and what it does, you know when we think of it as Equally a virus is that you know we can kind of consider the Machine of possibilities of what happens when you kind of like pit virus against virus and that Actually, you know, it’s within that Kind of standoff that there are really exciting things that can happen And so, you know this notion of thinking about often which I do feel like it comes up a lot. It’s like, okay What other systems do we have outside of capitalism are there ways that we can kind of propose? new modes of economy And it’s a really obviously very difficult challenge one that has not been resolved. And I don’t think will be resolved anytime soon But I I do think that ways to challenge the economy of gender is a really important Glitch we can be considering and you know within that that’s kind of where the other side of this virus comes out We’re thinking very critically about you know why it is that we engage within these systems and how you know We might be able to subvert them by presenting new bodies and also allowing for As you know we’ve seen today and yesterday in many different ways the first talks that have happened new possibilities in kind of creating communities around those new systems so Yeah, I think that you know, it is Labor Gender basically is a component of capitalism and it’s an in that it allows for us to you know Feel like that. We have to kind of work towards it and work to maintain it and kind of perform through and around it and I think that you know, it’s like what if we just didn’t and you know, I think that there are often examples of kind of how You know capitalism it can be of course very coercive and you know It can allow us to potentially fail at points Because it makes it very difficult. I think to kind of present alternatives within it But again, I feel like that You know a core component of why it’s really important to be looking at creative material as an opportunity to see and imagine the world differently and then also not only to see that but To see it as a blueprint to a challenge to kind of create those worlds outside of the internet you know as being core to this discourse, so You know when for example at the talk show in the piece at the end It’s like it’s useful to think about this idea of avatar or something. That didn’t just come out of the 1990s and it didn’t just come out of digital material like the concept of avatar has traveled through Punk It’s travelled through, you know queer nightlife It’s something that you know has been a core component of black culture and so You know within that it’s kind of a subversive remix that has been a core component of allowing movement where movement has been restricted So that for me is kind of the positive virus it’s thinking about on ways where we can kind of maintain autonomy over our movement and To support each other and you know making those steps Alright, thank you so much legacy. We’re just ran out of time. Yes. Thank you You

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