Event Announcement

CF+ Lab Meeting "Pulling the Strings Together: Techno-Politics, Practices and Strategies at the Intersection of Computing/Theory/Arts"

It's not clear what the image displays as it is visually modified. There seem to be ropes and/or cords, there are a lot of bright colors (yellow, red, orange, blue and green) as well as black.
Vision Modification, Isabel Paehr

The last Lab Meeting of CF+ project will bring the three intersecting strands together: cyber/techno-feminism, new materialism and computing. After having explored technofeminist trajectories, feminist data and techno-practices, and interdisciplinary methodologies that take materiality seriously, for this last meeting we have invited members of the CF+ network to contribute with their own take on intersections between feminist new materialist theory, computational practice and design from their perspectives.

Participants of this last Lab Meeting will be invited to think together with us: what is at stake in contemporary computing in the way it re/figures materiality (of bodies, subjects-users, objects)? What are the urgencies in the technopolitics of computing as it meets feminism and arts? What are the blindspots of critical theories that we have at our disposal when it comes to accounting for these urgencies and generating alternatives?

The Lab Meeting will be structured around three presentations from guest contributors:

Sandra Buchmüller (TU Braunschweig): "Design Research in the light of Techno-/Cyberfeminism, Critical Computing and New Materialism"

"I believe in the tremendous power of design, the power of (socio-material) matter and (physical, digital) artefacts to change the world, people’s minds and behaviour more than politics can do. Thinking about (gendered) power relations, their socio-material manifestations and searching for opportunities to change them during design research and development processes and after in use and everyday life contexts, belong to my core concerns as a feminist design researcher. I will take the 4th CF+ LabMeeting as an opportunity to make a kind of personal survey of my expertise in gender and design and reflect it with regard to Techno-/Cyberfeminism, Critical Computing and New Materialism, considering the aspects and insights I gathered from the previous CF+ workshops so far. The focus of my talk will be my power-critical and gender-aware design methodology that I developed during my PhD-Thesis. Unrestrictedly acknowledging the benefits of feminist science & technology as well as gender studies for design, I particularly want to draw attention to the way I made their abstract thoughts, concepts and theories applicable for design research and practice with regard to their contribution to concretely challenge power structures, to deconstruct or shift boundaries or finally question or overcome hierarchical dualisms like men/women, nature/culture, human/machine, the natural/ the artificial, but also theory/practice. I also ask myself what will change when design research models like "research-through-design” or “project-grounded research" that consider artefacts as materialized pieces of knowledge will be confronted with concepts of feminist new materialisms that may transfer "artefacts as epistemic things" into "onto-epistemological" or even "ethico-onto-epistemological things". Finally, I want to problematize and discuss my design framework that tries to establish design research & practice as a boundary-making and -shifting activity, denoting it as intra-face and intra-action design referring to Barad’s terminology while also still noting entities like designers, users, artefacts."

(For further information of Sandra Buchmüller's book visit the website of Logos Verlag Berlin.)

Isabel Paehr (artist, Berlin) on "Developing speculative game mechanics"

"What if the rules at play in climate change provoked shifts in playing? Recalculating the relations between players and virtual matter requires the development of speculative game mechanics. My idea is to explore playing with the trouble in an unruly game called Paradigm Shell. On an oil rig, petroleum comes into play as a transformative, vibrant, time-condensing form of matter. In this talk, I’ll share experiments in and with different materials such as code, theory, visuals and sounds."

Pat Treusch (TU Berlin) on "Knitting together/Living together: On human-robot collaboration through craft"

A final hands-on networking workshop will also be organised during the second half of the event.

About CF+

CF+ is a project of the Gender/Diversity in Informatics Systems research lab at the University of Kassel, Germany. The project aims to lay the groundwork for revisiting dominant modes and practices of knowledge and artefact production in computer science through cyberfeminist and feminist new materialist lenses. It also aims to consolidate a network of researchers, artists and designers working on and interested in these issues for on-going collaboration.

Attendance and Registration

If you wish to register for Lab Meeting, please send an email to Loren.Britton[at]uni-kassel[dot]de 

If you wish to become part of the broader CF+ network of scholars, artists and designers interested in the intersection between computer science and feminist theory, please also send a link to your work and a short biographical note to Loren.Britton[at]uni-kassel[dot]de 


If you need childcare during the event, please do let us know as soon as possible (before April 23 in either case), and we will do our best to provide childcare via University's Kinderbetreuung services.

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