Cyberfeminist House: Challenging Inscriptions of Normalcy from Our Embodied Experiences

Enter a room in the house by clicking on the floor plan.



Can technologies originally intended for the military, global domination, control of information, and surveillance be used to foster self-expression and critique of visual culture? We, the interdisciplinary team creating CYBERFEMINIST HOUSE, believe so. The purpose of CYBERFEMINIST HOUSE is to engage people to reflect on messages prevalent in visual culture. Participants respond to images and create visual self-representations through an online game. This Web-based arts game will teach how to investigate the complex ways that power, oppression, and resistance work in our media-saturated visual culture. Web-based gaming technology can provide an environment for (a) problem solving, critical thinking, and personalized/group discussion, (b) multimedia presentation of art, (c) global resources, (d) connectivity, and (e) visualization of social aspects of discussion and communication.

In CYBERFEMINIST HOUSE (under construction) the dominant computer game values of hierarchy are changed to promote equality, destruction to cooperation, greed to collaboration, and violence to connectivity.

We use the term HOUSE as an analogy for an ecological system of complex connections between people, institutions, and for radical breaks from institutionalization. The Greek word oikos, [ée-kos] literally house, means all aspects of what works together to make a house function as a whole. Consider the meaning of oikos/eco as prefix in concepts such as ecology, ecofeminism, and even economics. A house analogy denotes an ecological system of people, institutions, and ideas connected to each other in complex ways. This concept of interrelations is how we use the word "house" metaphorically to express the ideology (in)forming CYBERFEMINIST HOUSE. The virtual house is a collaborative, fluid entity that grows from the participation of its use. CYBER refers to its virtual nature. A virtual community, by its nature is a borderless and fluid, yet connected, entity that can be understood as oikos or "house." FEMINIST, in the title of the project, refers to a specific theoretical and pedagogical approach in which one is empowered to participate in the world in a way that is self-critical of the impact of one’s actions. By empowering self, one empowers the larger community. The teaching methodology is based in feminist pedagogy, an empowering approach toward self-representation, nonhierarchical power relations, and a respect for difference.

The five rooms initially constructed in the CYBERFEMINIST HOUSE concern how we are inscribed in spaces and how to transform those inscriptions to match either our embodied experiences or the potential of our lived experiences. Key questions are:

(1) How are individuals inscribed in house spaces?

(2) What are their embodied experiences in houses?

At present the CYBERFEMINIST HOUSE revisits issues raised by Womanhouse (a 1971-72 collaborative installation and performance work by Judy Chicago, her students at Fresno State & Miriam Shapiro), Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique (1963), Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), and Strindberg's (1888) play, Miss Julie concerning how we are inscribed in houses and how that inscription shapes and denies our lived experiences in the 21st century. We collected and considered house as symbol, allegory, analogy, and as a physical and psychological interactive space.

2002© Karen Keifer-Boyd


East/West Hybrid Taipei Room  
Bringing the Outside In: Inclusion  
Yellow Wallpaper Transformation  
NYC Artist Studio in the Aftermath  
Emotional Inscription  

How I became a . . . Transformation Room
Body & Mind Reconciliation Room
Cyberperformance Room
Cybertongues Room
Crystal Ballroom
Invented Spaces, Internal Spaces
Community Spaces, Needed Spaces

CYBERFEMINIST HOUSE will be a place to create,
communicate, cooperate, collaborate, connect, & critique.