The Other Art History: The Forgotten Cyberfeminists of ’90s Net Art

By Alan Ralph on January 28, 2019 — 1 min read

Loney Abrams:

In 1991 the Internet was born. That same year, the term ‘Cyberfeminism’ was coined simultaneously by British philosopher Sadie Plant and by the Australian art collective VNS Matrix. Just as the tech bros of the dot-com boom optimistically believed the internet would change the world for the better, Cyberfeminists had techno-utopian aspirations for radical feminism. Cyberfeminists saw the virtual world as an opportunity to abandon the sexist social conditions of meatspace and rebuild equitable social relations in cyberspace. They found theoretical grounding in the works of theorist Donna Haraway—who wrote The Cyborg Manifesto that rejects the rigid boundaries that separate binaries like human/animal, man/woman, and natural/artificial—and Octavia Butler—a science fiction writer who described futuristic and extraterrestrial worlds that similarly espoused essentializing distinctions and rigid boundaries.

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