Opening: 10. 01. 2020 / 19:00
Running Time: 11.01. – 01.02. 2020
Opening Times: Fridays 14:00-18:00 & Saturdays 11:00-16:00 and by appointment (email@example.com)
16. 01. / 18:00: Roundtable discussion (Re)Actions to the Great Chinese Firewall
24.01. / 18:00: Cyber Feminism: an evening of feminist hacktivism
Curated by Aline Lara Rezende & Julia Hartmann
Constant Dullaart, Kate Durbin, Martina Menegon, Joyce Lee, the Peng! Collective, Ye Hui and the presentation of activist groups.
Search for…Feminism c ritically investigates the online world from a feminist point of view. The exhibition encompasses works by six international artists and the presentation of different activist groups, who, on the one hand, involve technologies that further social change and gender equality, and, on the other hand, critically investigate these same digital tools. The word “Feminism,” for instance, was the most googled search term in the US in 2017, which indicated a rising awareness of feminism and an accumulation of outrage and solidarity on the Internet. In the same year, the #metoo-movement gained momentum and is just one of numerous examples of an unprecedented force of empowerment, activism, and social change online. We might thus be experiencing a new wave of feminism that centers around the potential of the Internet as an emancipatory platform for women*: Whisper networks or secret FB-groups are
the new safe spaces; online petitions and hacking are the contemporary way of social disobedience; hashtags, memes, and selfies become tools for emancipation. As we now know, the Internet and its social media outlets enable women to link, unite, and empower each other within a heartbeat or one click.
It is another known fact that everything we do on the Internet is being tracked and that web searches and filter bubbles are guiding our decision-making processes according to the information we provide our computers and smartphones with; it less known, however, that the same technologies that potentially enhance equality and fight discrimination, also influence women’s private spheres differently than men’s. As algorithms, autocompletes, news feeds, apps, smart devices, voice recognition software etc. are largely developed by corporations and governments (and their values and incentives) and standardly trained on databases collected from (white) male users, it regularly happens that search results, social media feeds, and online ads automatically amplify stereotypical biases and subliminally transmit sexist and racist opinions. Women and particularly women of color are subjected to bullying, abuse, and hateful language purely because of their gender and opinions (“slut” and “whore” were tweeted 6 million times in just over a month one report found); they are the target of so-called Incel groups who anticipate their rape; they are descriminiated against by biased algorithms that decide on job applications or insurance policies; and a woman in her thirties is very likely bombarded with ads for pregnancy tests or fertility treatments. Finally, societies need to find new ethical guidelines in order to ensure that “what’s on your mind” or whatever we “search for…” does not get institutionalized. We are far from an equal, unbiased, fair, and safe Internet.