The Journal of Peer Production - New perspectives on the implications of peer production for social change New perspectives on the implications of peer production for social change
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JoPP Signal:
13/15
Title: Situating Making in Contemporary Latin American Feminist Art
Author/s: Claudia Costa Pederson
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Abstract:
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.

Keywords:
Feminism, Latin America, Spain, Making, Situated Knowledge, Crafts, Digital Arts.

JoPP Signal:
10/10
Title: Hacking the Feminist Disabled Body
Author/s: Laura Forlano
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Abstract:
This article develops feminist understandings of hacking the body through a personal engagement with the socio-technical systems that are used to manage chronic disease and disability. Drawing on science and technology studies along with feminist studies about the mediated body, this essay develops a feminist understanding of hacking through an ethnographic account of the first several years of living as a Type 1 diabetic with an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. In particular, I will describe the ways in which these devices discipline everyday activities including: the tensions of being embedded with competing proprietary systems: the ways in which I disobey the devices and they disobey me; the ways in which we collaborate; the invisible labor required to navigate everyday life; and, the ways in which this experience challenges and extends notions of what it means to be human during a time of networked things and bodies. This critical analysis of the embodied experience of using and becoming part of a network of medical technologies serves to complicate the revolutionary claims about hacking and technology. Instead, they bring to life the ways in which these technologies reconfigure definitions around what it means to be human, enable unique socio-cultural hacking practices even among mundane activities in everyday life, reshape the boundaries between public and private, allow for failure, and create new kinds of bodily labor. Through this analysis, I argue that a feminist hacker ethic(s) features the disabled body (along with all of its features and bugs) as an important site of socio-technical engagement.

Keywords:
Disability, Body, Feminism, Feminist Hacker Ethic, Diabetes.

JoPP Signal:
10/10
Title: Towards a Feminist Hackathon: The "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck!" Hackathon
Author/s: Catherine D'Ignazio, Alexis Hope, Alexandra Metral, Willow Brugh, David Raymond, Becky Michelson, Tal Achituv, Ethan Zuckerman
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Abstract:
In this paper we articulate a vision for incorporating a feminist design perspective into hackathons by presenting an in-depth case study of the "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck!" Hackathon at the MIT Media Lab in 2014. In recent years, there have been a proliferation of hackathons for social impact. Skeptics point out numerous shortcomings with hackathons, including poor problem-selection, diversity and inclusion issues around who participates, the exploitation of unpaid labor, limited impact, and the dangers of positing purely technological solutions to sociotechnical issues. In this paper we propose that incorporating a feminist design perspective can help mitigate some of these critiques. We articulate one vision for what a feminist hackathon looks like by leveraging our distinct backgrounds in Critical Making, Human-Centered Design and Interventionist Art Practice in tandem with Feminist Human Computer Interaction. We describe how we applied this vision to making the breast pump not suck. The focal object—the breast pump—is a sociotechnical design object and pain point at the intersection of social norms, historical and structural inequality, technological (un)innovation and flawed policy. We outline the breast pump hackathon's structure and our methods for evaluating its impact. Finally, we detail our findings from the hackathon in relation to our six proposed tenets of a feminist hackathon and offer a discussion of critical considerations and strategies to strengthen social impact hackathons by incorporating a feminist design perspective.

Keywords:
Feminist design, Feminist Hackathon, MIT Media Lab, Breast Pumps

JoPP Signal:
14/15
Title: Inquiry through Inversion: Collisions of feminism and design in two workshops
Author/s: Sarah Fox and Daniel K. Rosner
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Abstract:
This paper exposes tensions between mainstream design perspectives and feminist ideals. Drawing on workshops in feminist hackerspaces in San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA, we argue that it takes more than good intentions to turn design exercises toward a feminist agenda. We expose the strength and subtly of normative expectations and "user" misconceptions underlying science and engineering developments within spaces of feminist thought.

Keywords:
Feminist Design, infrastructure, feminist hackerspaces, infrastructural inversions, space.