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Digital Feminicity: Predication and Measurement, Materialist Informatics and Images

Colman, F (2014) Digital Feminicity: Predication and Measurement, Materialist Informatics and Images. Artnodes. ISSN 1695-5951


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“Feminicity” is the term for a predicate register that enables feminist work be accounted for as relational “active-points” (as an alternative formulation to standpoints) that collectively can be seen through what they have achieved. But going further, it marks where those active-points contribute to the dynamic field of feminist epistemologies and where change occurs. This article contributes to my larger project’s discussion of this concept. Broadly, feminicity argues that the active-points of feminist practices (practical and conceptual) need to be understood within their situated fields as materialist informatics. In the digital era, examples of the affects of digital feminicity are as identified in works such as those by Wajcman (1991; 2004); Haraway (1993; Nakamura, 2003), Hayles (1993; 2012), VNSMatrix (1991), Adam (1998), Plant (1998). Collectively, such authors and artists opened a creative, and sometimes radical discourse of the digital field as multidirectional, multidimensional, multitemporal platform of “gender actions”. Taken as a predicated field (using Gottlob Frege’s (1964) sense of the term “predicate”), this work contributes to the feminist materialist reappraisal of feminist epistemology (cf. Alaimo and Hekman, 2008; Van Der Tuin, 2014), and larger radical feminist deconstructive projects (Malabou, 2011; Fraser, 2013). Thus conceived, the genealogy of digital feminicity problematizes the monopolitical terms of feminism in its collation of actions, enabling a re-situation of feminist practices as positive material interventions and expressions of the ontological constitution of the political sphere. Feminicity does not propose a chronological account of the active-points, but processually and systemically addresses the terms of generational epistemological political change (Olkowski, 1999; Van Der Tuin 2014). This article describes the ways in which a materialist constructed register – “feminicity”– can be used to think about encounters between the domains of gender, politics and technology, as manifested by materialist informatics. For reasons of brevity, this article focuses on just two aspects of feminicity: the terms of predication of the female as gendered, and the issue of the image, as digital informatics, comprised of activitypoints of feminist practice. Consequently, these are measurable and offer practical resources for the general problem of gendering politics that operate in governance, resource distribution and a non-equal opportunity social/cultural power structure, under which minorities are disadvantaged. Feminist practice here refers to forms produced through feminist activities, ie, forms generated through relations with the matter of life through specific modalities of needs-based practices (inclusive of intuition, compulsion, capitalist-driven practices of utility, theory and art).

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