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Performing the Electrical: Ecologies of the Imaginary and Fem-technologies

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As speculative aesthetics, what might feminist ontologies and artist imaginings do for rethinking the "real" assemblages and infrastructures of our quotidian experience, particularly with respect to those that standardize aggressive

As speculative aesthetics, what might feminist ontologies and artist imaginings do for rethinking the "real" assemblages and infrastructures of our quotidian experience, particularly with respect to those that standardize aggressive capital agendas, maximum industrial output and extreme waste? This paper draws connections between female artists' image and event-making, speculative design and tacit knowledge, as sensing tools for technological possibilities at a time when energy dependency, in the form of electricity, is the greatest generator of fossil fuel waste and pollution. I use Remedios Varo's paintings from the mid 1930-1960s as a springboard to think about sustainability and ecological design from an embodied, fem-magic and deep-time perspective, and I draw from other female artists whose work explores technologies and energy, such as Alice Aycock, Tania Candiani, Cassie Meador and Hito Steyerl. An analysis of these artists' works allows me to explore the ways that feminist imaginings function as an ontological orientation that shifts power away from contemporary infrastructures, to decolonize and re-feminize electrical possibilities as alternative ways of engaging with and sensing assemblages.

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  • 2019-03-12