[-empyre-] Hacking as Art: Reboot the Art System

micha cárdenas mmcarden at usc.edu
Fri Jun 8 04:31:17 EST 2012

Pedro! Muchas gracias por las enlaces en espanol y ingles, estoy encantada
a leerlos! Parece como un fin de semana increible! Estuvo muy inspirado por
los hacklabs y hackmeetings para muchos anos hasta yo fui en uno en
Barcelona en 2005.

Pedro! Thank you so much for the links in spanish and english, i'm thrilled
to read them. The concept of transhackerfeminism is very interesting! I'm
also hugely inspired by the hacklabs and hackmeetings in spain and have
been for years since I had the good fortune to attend one in Barcelona. And
Alejo! I know him from EGS, I hope he may be on this list...  :-) I love
the title of that article en espanol, Reboot the Art System!!

Also, the citations in your link in english are so important (and i wish i
could see the photos!). From Brian Holmes discussion in the Affectivist
Manifesto that are needs to create another way of life to Luciana Parisi's
discussions of joy, pleasure, affect and abstract sex! (I think we invited
luciana to this discussion, I don't know if she replied or not...). I think
Brian Holmes essay and your account of Collective Emergencies situates the
stakes of our discussion in an important way, looking at the dire
ecological, economic, social state of the contemporary world and asking if
art is just entertainment for the rich or if it can be something more?

I am so inspired by your post, but mostly want to chime in and say that the
concept of hacking that Amanda brought up is also very central for me.
Especially since I came to the open source movment first, which led me to
media activism which led me to art, I still consider hacker methodologies
to be central to my way of thinking and practice. Hacking was also
something that I think of as some of my earliest conceptions of politics,
being for freedom of information and against corporate control, I helped
start the Miami 2600 meeting in the 90's when there wasn't one and finally
went to HOPE for the first time a couple years ago.

Amanda, also the game mods you brought up are so brilliant and remind me of
Fox Harrell's work which is so brilliant, but also of game mods that were
done by artists such as the PMS skins for Doom and other early feminist
game intervensions:


and work like Tekken Torture Tournament by Eddo Stern where he created a
version of tekken where players could feel real pain, which inspired in
part my own performance of Slaspshock with Elle Mehrmand where we created a
pain sharing device to consider intersubjectivity:


but this discussion of hacking again reveals a question, for me, of the
context of queer media art, namely that only the work of a small set of
very specific individuals "matters" as art. Why is all of the amazing
creative work done by game modders or hacklabs not considered art? Only
because it isn't called art. In a way it shows how art is perhaps an
insular world peripheral to the real concerns of people in thir daily
lives. But again, Nato Thompson's book Living as Form takes the awesome
step of including important social events and organizations alongside the
work of contemporary artists, whether it is called art or not, such as
Obama Election Night Celebrations in the same book with Tania Brugeria's

Thank you all for the amazing discussion and links!


On Thursday, June 7, 2012, pedro wrote:

> > For me, engaging queerly with technology is about tinkering, hacking,
> > modding - working around the system to create our own circuits of
> meaning.
> yes, totally ! i think its important to make the parallel between
> hackers of gender and hackers of machines & computers. The same
> principles of autonomy and self-determination, anti-hierarchical,
> humoristic, and, as you say so well "create our own circuits of
> meaning".
> however, often (usually) these worlds (queer / hacker) are very
> seperate and (generally) organised along gender lines (boys with
> machines and girls with bodies) - last summer in Gijón we experienced
> a meeting of these worlds - especially in the area of hardware. We
> call it transhackerfeminism ! The transfeminist block soldering and
> making their own instruments and performing all together, often the
> instruments worn on the body, ciborg stye. The boys drifting into the
> Install Party, a game devised by the Mery and her friends. Using the
> metaphor of the operating system (OS) for gender constructions, a
> group proposed to install concepts like postporno, s&m, or desinstall
> machismo etc. Individuals wore a logo on their sleeve indicating their
> speciality and participants would ask them to carry out the
> installation or desinstallation. At the same time another install
> party, Linux Ubuntu in Asturian, was going on alongside ... (as well
> as a lot of other things :  good report on the event - in spanish -
> here http://susanaserrano.cc/2011/09/02/reboot-al-sistema-del-arte/
> and here a text - in english - situating the summerlab in the context
> of collective emergency http://word.root.ps/?p=109 )
> bzzz
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au <javascript:;>
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

micha cárdenas
PhD Student, Media Arts and Practice, University of Southern California
Provost Fellow, University of Southern California

New Directions Scholar, USC Center for Feminist Research

MFA, Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego

Author, The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities,

blog: http://transreal.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20120607/3a7589f6/attachment.htm>

More information about the empyre mailing list