JUNE 3-7 2019
Presenting my research during the ︎︎︎IV International Summer School on Grounded Theory and Qualitative Methods
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF PISA, ITALY
Making Space. Exploring new Environments of Hacking and Making with the Feminist Turn.
For an increasingly globalized and digitized society, continually new opportunities, challenges and questions arise such as for identity, knowledge sharing, labour or means of production. At the same time, the DIY (Do-it-Yourself) culture has expanded to the digital space and digital technologies, allowing individuals a potentially higher degree of agency and social self-determination. A big stake in all of this carries the open source movement, which is a decentralized community of informal online- and offline spaces attempting to enable and facilitate an unrestricted access to knowledge (Raymond, 2000) and technological production. Many tools that emerge out of this scene address issues such as digital rights, privacy and autonomy. However, despite the emphasis on ‘openness’, the open source community evinces an even stronger lack of diversity than any other tech-related context (Zlotnick, 2017). In this context, we have been researching initiatives that are either exclusively open to female- and LGBTQI people, or communicate an explicitly feminist agenda. To this point, an extensive desk research has been carried out with focus on the European continent to locate space-based initiatives. In an ongoing empirical study, qualitative interviews have been carried out with representatives from these environments, in order to collect perspectives on aspects such as the politics of open technology, the entanglement of gender and technology, new modes of techno-feminist activism, and strategies of self-inclusion. The insights gained will be categorized and clustered, extracting phenomenon and tendencies that will form the base of our own practice-based research, in which we will explore these through ad-hoc prototyping, DIWO (Do-it-with-Others) interventions and design experiments. The intent of the project is to investigate the creative and socio-cultural potential of open source infrastructures to challenge information hierarchies and practices that dismantle aspects of politics that are built into current technologies.