New writing, publications, papers and talks by the centrefeministmedia research team.
Research Subjects: Feminist Practices, Methodologies, and Policies of Identification in the Cultural Field
The presentation focuses on the ways of Knowledge production as well as on the methodological practices of feminist research, conceptualizing research as work in the expanded cultural field of the globalized -knowledge and information- economy. It starts with questions posed by feminist epistemologies and derives from the materialist field of postmodern theory; from the emerging field of the knowledge genealogies of new materialisms; as well as from theories of the broader cultural field, the economy of culture and the new media theory.
It further questions the transformative perspective of feminist posthumanist discourse in both the research and artistic practice and through the study of specific examples, it examines the relationship between the material and the discursive with the notion of affect. This process leads to meta-methodological approaches and to coalitions that establish new posthuman pedagogical practices of vulnerability.
It also attempts to map the conditions under which bodies are configured, the technology and matter involved in the production of subjectivity as well as the emergence of new feminist subjectivisations through the dynamics of knowledge systems as well as the performativity of diffractive methodologies.
The presentation, therefore, refers to a current and ongoing cartography of feminist initiatives and to the epistemological tools of the research practice. These tools activate and transform the research process as well as the relationship between the researcher and the phenomena under study, as they attempt a shift from the researcher's 'I' to a collective body of multiple research subjectivities. The goal of this research is the emergence of distributed, open networks of knowledge, where feminist voices can be situated and understood as manifold social positions in the rhizomatic network cartography.
An archive in flux: digital and networked images, durable evidence
This paper derives from the work of the Centre of New Media and Feminist Public Practices that took place in the Department of Architecture at the University of Thessaly in the academic year 2019. The paper was presented in the opportunity of the MedPhoto festival in Crete in November 2019.
The paper, titled 'Archive in Flux: digital and networked images, durable evidence' responds to the MedPhoto panel theme of 'Archives in the Making' and looks at the Google search engine as an archive in flux. More specifically it starts from the proposition that Google Image Search could be studied as a visual archive since its structure and use relate to the politics of classification, policies of categorizing, and the history of (photo) archive making.
The paper is using, as its core example, the case of public media broadcasting of the images of HIV-positive women and sex workers in Greece in 2012. The online and networked images of these women's vulnerable bodies that appear in the Google Image Search results until today (despite the legal decision to remove all their visual material and personal data from the public domain) act as evidence of their public targeting and criminalisation as dangerous for the heteronormative, orthodox, greek family. The classification and presentation of these images in the vast image archive of Google are indicative of a dominant narrative and the systemic processes behind the circulation of information and knowledge.
Departing from this example the paper discusses the expanded life of images online and the networks of power and circulation that visual documents take part in. It examines the role of digital archives formulated by search engines as well as applications that use machine vision techniques for indexing and classifying visual content; techniques that relate strongly to the (re)production and representation of identities, bodies as well as to the construction(s) of reality.
MedPhoto Event ‘Archives in the Making’, Rethymno, Crete
November 6, 2019
Aesthetic Techniques and the Gendered Body
(Αισθητικές Τεχνικές και το Έμφυλο Σώμα)
From the start of its function the Centre is dedicated to organise series of seminars looking into existing hybrid feminist art practices but also to contribute to the production of new practices that deal with technology, social media, the violence against women as a theme, and post-gender practices of personal and sexual identity and to investigate through art practices how their expressions vary widely and are strongly differentiated by their local political cultures and social conditions, temporalities and economic cycles. This year’s seminar was dedicated to Feminist practices in the globalised technological era, with invited guests artist Vassiliea Stylianidou, visual anthropologist and filmmaker Alexandra Donofiro and performer and writer Erica Scourti.
Ongoing project, which started during this year’s seminar, coordianated by the artist Vassiliea Stylianidou. Stylianidou invited participant students to work on the events of two killings that recently shattered greek society. The murder of Zak Costopoulos aka Zackie Oh, at the centre of Athens and the murder of Eleni Topaloudi at the island of Rhodes. These two recent events of extreme public violence, homophobia, misogyny, and the public narratives produced around these issues became the starting point for a project around technology and vulnerable bodies. Zak Kostopoulos’ / Zackie Oh!’s inhuman lynching and murdering in a public view in the center of Athens not only happened in time proximity to the rape and killing of Eleni Topaloudi in Rhodes, but it is also the symptom that indicates the vulnerability of specific, targeted bodies. The female* body as well as the body of queer and trans* subjects, is perceived as a vulnerable body in the public space, as a body without protective tissue. The participants in the seminar searched the images and the narratives that circulated in the media regarding these two cases. Trying to understand the similarities and distinctions, the hierarchy of the circulated information regarding the gendered particularities of these two murders. During the seminar we have worked with image and discourse analysis for deconstructing modes of representation, incorporating the contemporary feminist theories and multi modal narratives: oral, textual, sound and visual, which Stylianidou intoduced in a performative way (mattering as simultaneously materially and representational) that initiated the process and discussions undertaken by the students. Stylianidou's performative call turns our attention to the examination of the device itself in order to understand and ‘interlock the connections between the social, the natural world and the ‘vital’ corporeal ‘embeddedness’ of the human in the non human’.