Sensing a constellation: dancing forward a desirable future
Margaret Westby (Metropolitan College of New York)
Paper short abstract:
How can contemporary techno-feminism generate a constellation of hopes, solidarities, and intersectional practices in order to dance forward a desirable future? I present an analysis and reflection on an interactive installation "Sensing a Constellation" (2017) by goldjian and Westby.
Paper long abstract:
How can contemporary techno-feminism generate a constellation of hopes, solidarities, and intersectional practices in order to dance forward a desirable future? For the EASST 2018 conference, I would like to present an analysis and reflection on an interactive installation "Sensing a Constellation" (2017) by Westby and goldjian that occurred at the Curating and Public Scholarship Lab in Montréal, Canada. This constellation is part of a larger project, developed by goldjian, who started to conceptualize the work during a residency at Mur.at in Graz, Austria. The paper addresses what strategies were created, what methodologies were used, and what possibilities are achieved through thinking through feminist, healing, decolonial, and hacking practices. Goldenberg and I are influenced by the concept of commons (Cornelia Sollfrank) in which art acts as a speculative tool to imagine alternative modes to ownership and collective ways of being. We weaved a constellation of different forms of phenomena including healing sounds, poetry, text, images, paintings, and videos. The work of writer, social justice facilitator, and healer Adrienne Maree Brown's theory of emergent strategies motivates our process. Moving forward from science fiction writer Octavia Butler's explorations of our human relationship to change, Brown details her visionary incantation to transform systems of power in order to counter-impose the world shaped by hierarchical thinking. She invites us to "feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen" (Brown 2017). This is the first iteration into an ongoing process.
Feminist figures: crafting intersections in theory and practice