This essay examines contemporary Latin American women artists working with open source and refuse technologies and combining art, science and technology to counter mainstream technologies and ideologies while developing experimental practices. The focus is on three projects, Amor Muñoz’s Maquila Zona 4MA4 (2010-2013) and Yuca Tech (2014-ongoing) realized in Mexico, and Carla Peirano’s and Orit Kruglanski’s Sexual Bricolage (BS) (2004-2010), realized in Europe and Guatemala. Muñoz’s work addresses issues relating to indigenous women’s labor in the electronics factories of Mexico. Carla Peirano’s and Orit Kruglanski’s project explores the gendering of sex toys from a queer perspective and through the deconstruction of consumer technologies. Parallel to maker movements, these projects employ deconstructive techniques to both speak to unequal power dynamics in the economies of globalization, as well as to create spaces and connections counter to these dynamics. Because these projects foreground issues about gender and race, power, and knowledge, this discussion also examines historical and contemporaneous strands of theory and practice relevant to their understanding through “situated knowledge,” a concept central to feminist epistemology. In this spirit, I argue, these practices open up maker culture to new sources and ways of doing and making beyond its current proprietary focus.
Feminism, Latin America, Spain, Making, Situated Knowledge, Crafts, Digital Arts.