We Make Art with our Cunts:

Wet Subjects in the Making

Georgia Dearden

Implying iridescence, the blue purple colour of the backdrop used in ‘Cyberfeminist Manifesto’ (1991) calls upon the quintessential images of the sea so commonly used as desktop backgrounds: calm, blue and tranquil. This would-be serene passivity is visually ruptured, both by the content of the collage and the wording of the manifesto itself. The work we are using as a focal point here is is ‘Cyberfeminist Manifesto’, made by Cyberfeminist collective The VNS Matrix. The collective made these works in response to the popular idea, put forth by thinkers such as Michael Benedikt, that technology provides an ‘advancement’ for the body, rendering the fleshy meat of the body obsolete in light of the Internet’s power to ‘free up’ subjects to wander the terrain of the web.

The VNS Matrix sought to subvert these ethereal conceptions of the cyber- corporeal in an attempt to reclaim their flesh whilst also maintaining an online agency and presence. These works insisted upon the sensual and erotic character of human-computer interactions in an online economy dominated by ideas of transcendental subjectivities. This article will analyse the critical implications brought about by ‘Cyberfeminist Manifesto’, and consider how despite now being 25 years old, this artwork’s call to arms retains a sense of urgency due to its demand to rethink nature/culture and corporeal/cerebral divisions.

Publication Details

Online Journal
We Make Art with our Cunts: Wet Subjects in the Making
Georgia Dearden
Pyura Chilensis, Imogen Bakelmun, Sabeen Chaudhry (eds.), issue 1, seapunk, 2017, English
Pyura Chilensis, London, UK

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Projects Referenced