Their Cyberfeminist Manifesto is at once sexual, graphical and technical and, with its explicit language, evokes the ‘cunt art’ of the 1970s. It can also be identified with 1980s French feminist concepts like puissance and écriture which posit, respectively, pleasures and writing that exist beyond discourse and fixed meaning (which was identified as male and bound by conventional language). Further establishing its historical weight, the manifesto itself travelled as a graphic, inscribed in a circle defying linear trajectory – an allusion to the argument posed by feminist Alice Jardine that masculine aesthetics privilege linearity.
In an interview posted to Nettime, Josephine Starrs described the group’s goals and methods to Dutch art critic Josephine Bosma: ‘We started postering cities in Australia with that manifesto. We wanted to work with technology, we’re all from different backgrounds: writer, performance artist, filmmaker. I was from a photography background. We didn’t have access to any particular new technology, but we had access to a photocopier, so we just started writing about technology, because we were worried that it seemed such a boys’ domain at that time, in the artworld and so on…. We had this agenda of encouraging women to get involved if they want to look at their relationship with technologies, to get the[ir] hands on the tools and to have fun with it. Part of the project was to use humour in this process…. We tried to make it like technology isn’t intimidating, it’s fun to use.’
- Book Section
- Early Internet Art: Cyberfeminism
- Internet Art, pp. 62–65, Ch. 2, 2004, English
- Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, UK