Presentation back2back w/ super smarty ︎︎︎Marie Kochsiek in the Panel ︎︎︎Engaging Health Activim, Sexual Politics and STS 

AUGUST 21ST 2020

Body Literacy Through Collective Tech Spaces

What happens if you invite feminist hackers, technologists, designers and researchers to speculate about health technologies and explore materials and production processes for rethinking body knowledge in the context of sexual health. We are exploring the potentials arising from free software and free fabrication infrastructures in the realm of gender to envision other possibilities of health technologies. Technological artifacts, that refer to a different kind of approach towards body knowledge and self-determination that doesn’t exclude the collectivity, the social, cultural or even political entanglement of health, body and mind.

The pledge of precision attached to quantification leads to a lack of trust in self-knowledge, own body awareness and the over-reliance on technology, which in turn makes users vulnerable. Self-observation and a vagueness of qualitative self-knowledge could serve as an alternative to the notion of universality and determinism. This paper reflects upon our practice-based research in a series of varying workshop settings,
that stimulated interexchange on production of social meaning by materializing the contexts in which these discourses take place. The gatherings aim to encourage (so-called) lay people to engage with their bodies and getting knowledge specifically about menstrual and sexual health as techno-political territory. Demystifying technology in Do-It-With-Others spaces becomes a strategy to free oneself from knowledge hierarchies and production dynamics of the market. Narratives of technology can be appropriated to build artifacts that articulate dissent. The engagement with materiality is providing technology with one’s own narratives and shifts agency of all these discourses and the production of meaning to the person that makes. At the end of the last millennium Haraway told us to look into the spectrum of the binaries between biology and technology, body and mind, nature and culture. We aim to look beyond dichotomies of expertise versus lay knowledge, quantitative versus qualitative data.