1 May 2020 – ongoing
manifesto, social media campaign
Andreea Carnu, Magdalena Goetz, Christina Grammatikopoulou, Marlene Halser, Andrea Kelemen, Janine Sack, Cornelia Sollfrank

On 1 May 2020, #purplenoise is launching a technofeminist campaign on care. The old feminist topic of reproductive labor is moving to the center of public attention on the occasion of the beginning of the Corona crisis.
We are writing a manifesto and give an emphasis to our campaign through a large number of AI-generated faces of ‘people’ wearing our masks. The new gender symbol on the mask has similarities to a virus. We distribute a template for the mask and get numerous posts on our channels from real people wearing real masks with our symbols….

#technofeministcare Manifesto

Our manifesto #technofeministcare is a list of statements, observations and demands that aims at raising awareness and mobilizing solidarity. Please feel invited to contribute to the manifesto by making additions to the pad: https://pad.monoskop.org/p/%23pn_technofeminist_care_manifesto
or download the PDF-version:

#technofeministcare reading performance

Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
13 November 2021
Livestream via Zoom
Andreea Carnu, Magdalena Goetz, Christina Grammatikopoulou, Andrea Kelemen, Janine Sack, Cornelia Sollfrank

Piazza Virtuale was a pioneer piece of artistic communication infrastructure with this interactive television project hosted by documenta IX in 1992. It allowed its users to contribute content live and as such can be considered a predecessor of today’s social media. So called “piazzettas” run by local groups in many different cities helped to fill the nightly broadcasts with their performative contributions.

The artist group “frauen-und-technik” (women-and-technology) ran the Piazzetta Hamburg and contributed their “Penisneidspiele” (envy-of-penis-games).

Two members of this early feminist media art collective are meanwhile part of the technofeminist research group #purplenoise and initiated a performance during the official streaming time of the exhibition.

The #purplenoise did a collective reading of the manifesto #technofeministcare, which has been part of their Mayday intervention in 2020.

The reading streamed live on Zoom, a platform that has largely substituted human presence since the pandemic started. Each of the participants read at her own pace, synchronizing with the rest of the group only during brief pauses of silence. The distinct #purplenoise colours and symbols are seen in their individual window backgrounds, while the main Zoom window displays the #technofeministcare manifesto.

#technofeministcare manifesto

#technofeministcare: a mask for protection, for care, for visibility, for noise.

Stay at home, or wear a mask.
All over the world, government officials are finally clear in their announcement of the measures against the pandemic: we are all asked to mask ourselves. This is a welcome turn after the longstanding ban on face coverings.
The new regulation means, if you want to be safe in public space you have to be anonymous. We become unidentifiable if we want to be in public space. We need to be part of the masked crowd populating the streets, almost faceless and expressionless – except for the way we walk and move our bodies.

Hidden from view, our smiles will become an intimate expression.
Amidst a homogenous mask-wearing crowd, how will people show off their differences and privileges? The benefits of makeup, a nicely broomed beard and plastic surgery are rendered invisible in the public sphere. Masks now become the new item for individual expression as well as status: the big fashion brands are already taking steps to fix this bug by launching face masks for their spring collection, so that you can match your Gucci shoes with a Gucci mask.

Computer vision or a lack thereof
A homogenous crowd can be authority’s sci-fi fantasy or nightmare. Those laws against niquab wearing need to be rethought of, as the government actually wants us to hide our faces. It is also time for all CCTV cameras to be turned off now! Their facial recognition algorithms will stop receiving data about our whereabouts, meaning that we win the privacy battle in the streets – while losing it online.

No surveillance?

Our faces are still visible in online protests, but it is hard to know if these faces are real or created by algorithms; we can use AI generated faces as noise to blur our traces. As for the street protests, we will need to figure out how to maintain a distance of two meters from our peers and still form a purple bloc. It used to be the case that only riot police had the right to hide their faces, now protesters will have this privilege too!

So is the mask a big equator?
Even though the danger of the virus is the same for everyone, the crisis that it has created is not. Many people cannot afford to stay at home, because they risk their jobs, others who have already been made redundant, or who have barely survived the last financial crisis, only to be catapulted into the heart of a worse one.

Everyone will be wearing masks, but our screams will be audible.
The #purplenoise mask is for those who make noise even when they are being forced to be invisible – hidden at home or faceless in the streets. It’s for the people who have carried the weight of the pandemic, precarious labourers, care workers and families at home. We stay safe, but we defend diversity against homogenization, while we remain aware of the rising inequality.

A mask for protection, for care, for visibility, for noise.

Text by Christina Grammatikopoulou