The Pussy Code, 2017

A reconfiguration of technological practice. With code, wool and circuitry. In collaboration with Stefanie Wuschitz.

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The symbol of the womens march 2017, the pussy hat, sparked discussions about wether it is appropriate to choose a self knit thing to stand for emancipation and womens rights. Some of my friends argued, that knitting has been used to keep women at home busy, even to disciple unruly girls. And I do remember crafts in school being gender separated, driving girls to household chores. And I remember my feelings of injustice and unability to do anything about it back then. Since these days, a lot has changed. I self thaught me to code, learned to weld and get my hands dirty on a lot of technical things, but knitting was burned land for me. Until the pussy hat.

What had changed? With these discussions, I realized that there is something wicked in what counts as technology, and what is relegated as crafts. Why is coding technology, but knitting just crafts? And yes, I think the answer is: because girls do it. Technology is what men do. Only in the political context of the Womens March I was able to reconsider knitting as a technological practice. And that is what I did.

For CKSTER Festival in Berne I teamed up with Stefanie Wuschitz, founder and member of Mz Baltazars Laboratory, a feminist hackspace in Vienna. Together we organized a workshop on technology and gender, featuring the “Pussy Hat Code” (the knitting instruction in processing notation), sound circuitry and a knit-in, where all participants were invited to share their experince with gender and technology while knitting a pussy hat.

The wool was generously sponsored by Lang Yarns Switzerland.