Web Weavers: Can the Internet be a Feminist Space? 

A panel discussion hosted by Helena Adalsteinsdottir
Featuring Lauren Hill, Anneasha Hogan, Lida Lida and Kana Higashino

Released Thursday 9 July 2020

Web Weavers: Can The Internet Be A Feminist Space? is a panel discussion hosted by artist-curator Helena Aoalsteinsdottir and features artists Lauren Hill, Anneasha Hogan and Lidia Lidia, as well as Kleio’s own Kana Higashino. The event will explore their practices in relation to the digital space, and dive into art and feminism’s relationship with the internet, using the panellists’ personal experiences as a starting point.

In the wake of COVID-19, the digital has migrated into every aspect of our lives. This is especially pertinent in the case of artists, whose must increasingly rely on the digital space for creation, discussion and connection. It is therefore vital that we take this moment to reflect upon the platform which continue to swallow our days. This event asks: Can the internet be a feminist space? How inclusive is the digital space? Is the internet the new frontier of activism? And many more, in order to explore the potential of a space central to our lives.

This panel was recorded on Zoom and the video can be seen below. An audio (podcast) version is also available here:

Panel discussion References, Resources and Notes:

Follow along using the links, resources and visual aids below. They act as an extention to the conversation. This list is by no means extensive, and we encourage you to continue our research. Click to view the links. 

[00:00:50]  - Intro to Helena Aoalsteinsdottir and her practice
            - ︎ @hl33n33
            - ︎ www.helenaadalsteinsdottir.com

[00:01:40]  - Intro to Lidia Lidia
            - ‘The Waiting Room’ (2020) for Feather Dusting/Future Lusting exhibition
            - ︎ @justlidialidia

            -︎ www.lidialidia.com

[00:03:40]  - Intro to Lauren Hill
            - ‘Slaving Away’ (2019) and Prize Bird’ (2020) for Feather Dusting/Future Lusting exhibition
            - ︎
            - ︎ www.laurenhillart.co.uk

[00:05:05]  - Intro to Anneasha Hogan 
            - ‘But I’m having so much fun!!!’ (2016) for Feather Dusting/Future Lusting exhibition
            - ︎ @anneasha
            - ︎ www.anneasha.online

[00:06:07]  - The internet as a patriarical system
            - ‘Internet Misogyny: How Online Patriarchy Operates’ by Rubyfruit2 for Sisterhooddispowerful
            - ‘Why is the Internet So Overwhelmingly Male? by Ian Sample for The Guardian

[00:10:22]  - Slacktivism’ definition
            To support a cause by performing simple measures but are not truly engaged or devoted to making change. (nonprofithub.org)
            - ‘What is Slacktivism and is it Even Helping?’ by Hana Musli
c for Nonprofit Hub
            - ’This ‘Imagine’ Cover Is No Heaven’ by Jon Caramanica for the New York Times

[00:10:36]  - Censorship Definition
            - The changing or the suppression or prohibition of speech or writing [or art] that is deemed subversive or the common good. (Britannica.com)
            - ‘Why Is Censorship Destructive for Artistic Representation?’ by Jelena Borojevic for Medium.com

            - ‘Don’t Delete Art: A Virtual Gallery of Art Censored by Social Media’ by National Coalition Against Censorship
            - ‘How the Art World Can Fight ‘A Culture of Censorship’ by Chris Charratt for Frieze

[00:11:13]  - Technology, coding, and inequality by infrastructure
            - ‘How is Face Recognition Surveillance Technology Racist?by ACLU.org
            - ‘Silicon Valley Sexism: Why It Matters That The Internet Is Made By Men, For Men’ by Soraya Chemaly for the New Statesman
            - ‘How Women Are Rebuiling A Man-Made Internet’ by Andrea Barrica for Forbes

[00:20:55]  - Activism and the internet
            - ‘Social Media and Activismby Bart Cammaerts
            - ‘Exploring the Pros and Cons of Online Activism’ by Nicolette Loizou
            - ’Online Fever: The Subversive Social Media Activism Movement’ by Sanika Mahajan for Harvard Political Review
            - ’Online Activism: how petitions and social media campaigns have changed the world.’ by Helle Abelvik-Lawson for GreenPeace

[00:22:55]  - Lidia and censorship on the internet
            - ‘Global Study on Homicide 2019’ by the United Nations
            - ‘Booklet 5: Gender-related killing of women and girls
            - The Global Terrorism Database (GTD)

[00:23:57]  - ‘Global Homicide’ Definition
            - The infliction of homicide on a global scale.

[00:24:36]  - ‘Femicide’ (or ‘Fem(in)icide’) definition
            The most extreme form of violence agianst women, and the most violent manifestation of discrimination against them and their inequality. It is not an isolated or sporadic case of violence but results from unequal power structures - rooted in traditional gender roles, customs and mindsets - where women and girls often find themselves in a subordinated and/or marginalized position. (Fem(in)icide Watch)
            - ‘The must-knows of femicide’ by Fem[in]icide Watch

[00:25:35]  - 1:16 - Femicide Emergency’ (2019)

[00:26:40]  Lidia and ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence by UNWomen.org
            - ‘1:16 - Femicide Emergency Part II’ (2019)

[00:29:00]  Lidia and complaints/censorship of ‘Girls World
            - Girls World’ (2019) series

[00:33:13]  - ‘Algorithmic Bias’ definition
            - The unfair treatment of a group (e.g. an ethnic minority, gender, or type of worker) that can result from the use of an algorithm to support decision-making. (Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation)             - ‘Landscape Summary: Bias in Algorithmic Decision-Making’ by Dr. Michael Rovatsos, Dr Brent Mittelstadt, and Ansgar Koene for the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation
            - ‘Why Algorithms can be racist and sexist’ by Rebecca Heilweil for Vox
            - ‘Artificial intelligence and algorithmic bias: implications for health systems’ by Trishan Panch, Heather Mattie, Rifat Atun for National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

[00:41:25]  Lauren’s ‘Icing Hides a Multitide of Sins’ (2018)

[00:43:12]  - ‘Domesticity’ definition

            Life at home, taking care of your house and family. A role often associated with women and used to personify femininity. (Cambridge Dictionary)
            - ‘The Art of Being at Home’ by Anna Pook

[00:49:44]  - Anneasha’s Honey Bun Baby (2016)

[00:58:56]  - Lidia’s#LadyTandBabyT’ (2019) performance

            - Lidia’sFree Xmas Cards’ (2018) series

[00:59:42]  - The lack of female curators
            - ‘It’s 2018. Why Can’t Museums Let Female Curators Do Their Jobs?’ by Michael Wilson for garage.vice.com

[01:02:06]  - ‘New Normal’ definition
            - A previously unfamiliar or atypical situation that has become standard, usual, or expected. (Diversity Dictionary by The Other Box)

[01:10:47]  - ‘Capitalism’ definition
            - An Economic system characterized by private or corporate owndership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. (Merriam-Webster)

[01:11:28]  - Sheroes’ by LONART
            - ‘Sheroes in Quarantine’ online exhibition by LONART

[01:17:35]  - Podcasts recommendations (comedy, feminism, activism, inclusivity)
            - ’The Read’ with Kid Fury and Crissle
            - ’The Guilty Feminist’ with Deborah Frances-White
            - ‘2 Dope Queens’ with Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams
            - ‘Watching Us’ by BBC Radio
            - ‘Popaganda’ and ‘Back Talk’ by Bitch Media
            - ’She Who Persisted’ by the Nasty Podcast
            - ‘What Would A Feminist Do’ with Jessica Valenti for the Guardian
            - ‘Secret Feminist Agenda
            - ‘The Femtastic Podcast
            - ‘The Feminist Internet Podcast

[01:23:30]  Instagram accounts to follow (around art, feminsim, activism, inclusivity)

[01:24:27]  - ‘Monetisation’ definition
            To coin into money. To utilise (something of value) as a source of profit. (Merriam-Webster)

[01:24:38]  - ‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) definition
            - The hashtag #blacklivesmatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayon Martin’s murder. Since then, the hashtag has sparked into a global movement, due to the deaths of many black civilians caused by police brutality. This includes the death of Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Michelle Cusseaux, and George Floyd and so much more.(Blacklivesmatter.com, npr.org)
            - Black Lives Matter Resources
            - ‘Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism’ (Chapter 2: ‘Constant Devaluation of Black Womanhood) by Bell Hooks

Additional Resources:

We have compiled a list of resources as an extension to the topics discussed in the audio guide. Click to view the links. 

Second Wave Feminism: Unfinished Business’ by Adrian Piper

Feminist Internet Collective

Xenofeminism- A Politics for Alienation’ manifesto

Gendered Embodiment in Internet Culture: The Practice of Women Internet Artists in Twenty-First Century Patriarchy’ by Jeanette Bisschops

What does a feminist internet look like’ by Chitra Nagarajan

Surfing Feminism’s Online Wave: The Internet and the Future of Feminism’ by Stephanie Ricker Schulte

Why the internet needs cyberfeminists more than ever’ by Sanjana Varghese

Black Circuit: Code for the numbers to come’ by Amy Ireland

Cyberfeminism’ by Encyclopedia of New Media

A Brief History of Cyberfeminism’ by Izabella Scott

Revisiting the Future’ by Cornelia Sollfrank

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst’ by e-flux

Coronavirus online activism confronts digital authoritarianism’ by Jonathan Pinckney

#TrendingFeminism: The Impact of Digital Feminist Activism’ by Cassie Clark

In Defense of the Poor Image’ by Hito Steryls

Keyterms and definitions:

Below are just some of the key concepts that touched upon in the panel discussion.

A feminist movement concerned with countering the perceived dominance of men in the use and development of information technology, the Internet, etc. (lexico.com)

The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. (Merriam-Webster)

A doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue. (Merriam-Webster)

The Internet
An electronic communications network that connects computer networks and organisational computer facilities around the world. (Merriam-Webster)

To work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.(Merriam-Webster)

International Women’s Day
A global day celebrating the social, econoimv, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. (internationalwomensday.com)

A change in the way a country is governed, usually to a different political system and often using violence or war. (cambridgedictionary.com)

Passthejpeg wallpaper image: “6C” by Nicolette Teo

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