[ISEA2023] Paper: Andrea Tešanović — Cyberfeminism Index: Noah’s Archive of Cyberfeminist Art and Culture


Third Summit on New Media Art Archiving

Keywords: Cyberfeminism Index, digital archives, preservation, cyber-feminist art, future-proofing, politics of care, hyperlinks, de-centralization, non-hierarchical structure, feminist heritage.

This research examines the connection between cyberfeminism and the preservation and archiving of digital art. Utilizing Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction” (1986) as a poetical framework, which suggests that the first tool created by humans was a basket, not a spear, the paper offers a speculative interpretation of the history of technology that emphasizes the significance of gathering and sharing over hunting and domination. The field of digital art is particularly susceptible to technological obsolescence, making collecting and preserving such work even more critical. The Cyberfeminism Index provides a valuable case study for tracing the genealogy of digital artifacts of cyberfeminist art from the 1990s and 2000s through collecting and curating them and ensuring their preservation for future generations. It is a web-based plat-form that facilitates the collection of digital art while also preserving the autonomy of each individual artifact and serves as an ex-ample of an archive that is imagined, organized, constructed, and maintained in a manner that aligns with cyberfeminist visions of building a feminist Internet. This study addresses the question of how to create more feminist archives and aims to explore the question of what to do with digital art that is already available online. By selecting, reinterpreting, and presenting existing digital art in new contexts, cyberfeminist artworks can be revitalized and given new meaning.