Wuschitz, S. (2022). A feminist hacklab’s resilience towards anti-democratic forces. Feminist Theory23(2), 150-170. DOI: 10.1177/14647001221082298

Makerspaces and hacklabs are believed to encourage a positive attitude towards gaining computer skills. Within these communities for peer production, citizens can apply cutting-edge technologies in DIY projects. In recent decades, mushrooming makerspaces and hacklabs were embraced by the tech industry and governments alike. Feminist makerspaces and hacklabs, however, as they are centred around a queer feminist agenda, have raised eyebrows. In order to foster diversity in tech development, they create safer spaces for self-expression. Here, feminist lay(wo)men* (To emphasise that the category ‘Woman’ is constructed and that more people than only those who identify as women are being included, one uses the sign * after the term ‘women’ ), makers, designers, artists and tinkerers experiment with open-source hardware and software. Art and design projects emerging from feminist hacklabs focus on issues of representation and democratic participation in digital media, as well as on ways of reclaiming one’s own body. This article tries to unpack how, after an exhibition on sexual health norms, a feminist hacklab was attacked by local right-wing and conservative politicians. The attack resulted in the defunding of the feminist hacklab. But it also started a transformation process within the collective, as members became aware of critical interferences of diffracting marginalisations. The crisis triggered a discussion on how each member was threatened to very different degrees; for example, there was more at stake for members depending on their legal status in the country. The right-wing and conservative campaign against the feminist hacklab damaged the initiative, but at the same time, it pushed the collective to generate increased vehemence and resilience.

Torosyan, T., Reis, P., & Wuschitz, S. (2021). Proceedings of Politics of the machines – Rogue Research 2021 (POM 2021).

Interferences of the Multitude is an introductory analysis of the perspectives collected under the umbrella of the homonymous track, presented during the Rogue Research edition of the 3rd Politics of the Machines Conference in Berlin (September 14–17, 2021). The paper examines the implementation of arts-based research into the new modes of techno-ecofeminist imaginaries. It investigates its generative potential for the enactment of the new materialist and feminist ethics of care, collaboration, and solidarity. The projects presented and discussed span the entangled fields of human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, material sciences, critical design and making, architecture, machine learning, interactive art, and post-human performance.