How can present-day witchcraft lead to important new practices of bioart, technofeminism and transhacktivism?
/ Five-week Live* Online class begins 14. April ends 12. May
/ Every Wednesday, 8pm-10pm, CET
/ Small class of participants
Witches gain access to protected spaces through deviant pathways, twisted beings that they are. Are they twisted to begin with, or do they become distorted through necessity for such navigational means? This course will examine some of the historical underpinnings of, and resultant contemporary responses to, convoluted institutional restrictions around science and technologies concerned with the sexed body. Specifically, how present-day witches wend their ways around these structures, which are embedded with and reinforced by (colonial) capitalist modes of knowledge specialization and social classism.
Drawing predominantly on works of feminist scholars and witchcraft historiographers, we will explore how ideas about patriarchal capitalism have wrought a prominent, new witchy identity: artists who deliberately bend technologies towards counterhegemonic ends, revelling in the shapeshifting ‘witch’ as a natural fit for propagating circuitous access to high-tech manipulations of biological (and biotech knowledge) systems.
The importance of dissecting the sociocultural establishment and continued maintenance of a patriarchal ‘normal’ as it pertains to control of knowledge around biology and health care, is evermore salient as new biotechnologies are constantly developed faster than policies to mediate them. Also important to understand, is the subsequent medicalized and moralized othering of anyone who strays from the norm—through a process called deviantization.
In this five-week course, we will engage with the practices of bioartists, technofeminists and transhacktivists who work with materiality and mutability through tech magic. Through them, we will explore some key themes: posthuman interspecies relationships, transmogrification through tech, body materials as transgressive media, postnatural constructions of bodies, and spell-crafting.
Inspired by these artists and their works, together we will work hands on with kitchen science techniques to craft our own beautiful glass petri dishes from recycled materials, create microbial soups and self-portraits through at-home, DIY bacteria culture techniques, co-author the Bioart Coven manifesto through DIT (do-it-together) spellcasting, and toast to our successes by sharing our own home brews and recipes through an online closing ritual. There may be an opportunity for the future publication of some of the course artifacts we create together.
In this course you will be introduced to
· the world of (bio)technofeminist witchcraft
· how to reclaim deviance as a tool of contemporary witchcraft
· DIY hardware and wetware kitchen lab techniques
· co-authoring spells and making rituals
· kitchen science: microbial brewing and petri dish culturing using grocery store materials
· automatic membership in the Bioart Coven