M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online #2
Collectivity and
Collaboration: subRosa

Faith Wilding (FW): The artworld is composed of many intersecting smaller worlds that together create quite a broad cultural economy. Oppositional or "alternative" cultural workers often imagine a monumental bunkered artworld with an impenetrable hierarchy of museums, galleries, international shows, important curators, collectors, magazines, etc. which they will never crack. And of course this system does exist and is more powerful than ever before in some ways. Monumentality is the business of capitalist culture. But it lives and feeds off a much more fragmented cultural economy where varying and shifting power relations operate. Oppositional and resistant cultural producers must be careful not to romanticize and essentialize "outsider" positions because these are easy to categorize, co-opt, and render ineffectual. But, in fact, I don't think radical and resistant artists need to worry a whole lot about co-optation. The strategy should be to pirate anything we can from the top-feeders and use it to nourish the bottom-feeders. More than ever, inventive tactical thinking and action are necessary. I have been around long enough to know first hand that the art system works in cycles. In my own case I experienced it something like this: Feminist art (and the Feminist Art Program which produced Womanhouse) was cutting-edge and hot in the 70s; condemned and silenced as essentialist and non-theoretical in the 80s; rediscovered, imitated, and historicized in the 90s; and food for dissertations, publications, exhibitions, and new formations -- especially cyberfeminist formations in the 21st century. I don't feel connected to (or very interested in) the artworld at the moment except insofar as it is always interesting to see how its trends show the surfacing of what has been brewing in minoritarian cultures for a while. A good example is how museums like the Whitney (in its BitStreams exhibition, 2001) or San Francisco MOCA are now jumping on the electronic and net art bandwagon. Of course, it is their job as museums to do so as this is a significant new wave in art-making. On the other hand they as usual are museumizing this work and showing work that is for the most part easy, pleasurable, and entertaining. And of course it is still on the model of the art star or lone genius, the signatory, owned, and copyrighted work. That's to be expected. Museums can't afford to become part of the gift economy that operates among the best of the critical artists and activists in electronic culture.

In my current collective practice with subRosa I do benefit from my connections to diverse aspects of the art world. Writing, lecturing, and teaching pay our production bills. So there's always the round of university lecture trips, artist residencies, teaching jobs, and publications (which in Europe and Canada actually pay real money). I've also connected to the electronic culture circuit especially in Europe, and subRosa is beginning to be invited to perform at festivals and colloquia there.

Currently, I have submerged my individual career with that of the subRosa collective. Such an act can be sure death in the artworld although with prominent exceptions such as Group Material, for example. It is actually an interesting experience to try to re-educate people and legitimating institutions -- such as granting institutions, universities, museums, etc.-- about how to deal with a collective rather than with the already certified quantity of a prominent artist or personality (which to my surprise I seem to be in some of those little art world circles we've talked about). It makes for a sometimes difficult but enormously educative dynamic within the collective also, by the way.

I see the artworld as a limited and specialized platform. And it is the platform that I think I have the least credibility in. My interest is in continuing to build across platforms and to sully the waters of what an art "career" might be.

Brett Stalbaum (BS): You point out the symbiotic relationship between the model of the artist as genius/outsider, and the top-feeders of the art institutional world. Opposed to this are the models of collaboration and the "gift economy." Reading between the lines a bit, I think you point to problems for the gift/collaboration model that are related, (but sometimes extend beyond), questions about art-career considerations and resources. There are issues of contradiction, leadership, identity, credit, tactics, consensus, accounting and accountability that impinge, (from both inside and outside), as collaborations enter the consensual sphere of the art system. Many art collaborations can't sustain their internal relationships, living fast but dying young. Yet there is a joy in being submerged that is strongly cohesive. Could you tell us something more about this dynamic in the context of collaborations like Womanhouse and SubRosa?

FW: I’m a little puzzled by your phrase "consensual sphere of the art system." Do you mean the internal consensus the system has about how it functions?

I'll try to talk a bit about my experience with aspects of collectivity -- which I don't think is the same thing as collaboration. Collaborations usually have a more informal or less ideological basis than collectives; they are usually entered into on the basis of pooling expertise and for the purpose of getting a specific project done. There are many examples of collaborations in the artworld, for example, painters collaborating with dancers; video artists with performance artists, and the like. Usually each collaborator is credited by name. Ownership of the work redounds to each artist separately.

Collectives on the other hand are usually formed for political or ideological purposes. Collective members usually share similar political goals and desires -- though they may have different degrees of political radicality. Collective members also share the desire to work together and to count this process as part of their "work." Many collectives use only the group name for identification and don't label individual parts of works produced with the name of the member who was responsible for making it. This is often a problematic negotiation when it comes to trying to enter the artworld system.

Using the above criteria Womanhouse was a collaboration. It was done by a class of students, under the leadership of two teachers, in the first academic year of the Feminist Art Program at California Institute of the Arts (1971-72.) Some women artists from the community were brought in to collaborate with us and were separately credited. Each room within Womanhouse, and each performance, was credited with the name of the woman who made it. The content and form of Womanhouse was evolved through consciousness-raising sessions. Since we were always working together, there was constant feedback and response for the work and lots of informal kibitzing about processes and aesthetics. Each room strongly carried the stamp of the artist who made it, and in a way owned it. At the end of Womanhouse we auctioned off as many of the artifacts as possible in order to make money for the Feminist Art Program. After Womanhouse we never made another project that involved all the members of the same group.

It is interesting to track the way that Womanhouse has been credited in the process of historicizing the Feminist Art Program. For example, you at one point used the phrase "Judy Chicago's Womanhouse." And indeed Womanhouse was usually credited to "Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, and their students" in any write-up about it at the time, and it has largely remained this way until recently. For example, in the 1995 exhibition Division of Labor: Women's Work in Contemporary Art (curated by Lydia Yee at the Bronx Museum of Art and traveled to MOCA, Los Angeles in the same year) several of the original Womanhouse rooms were recreated, and artifacts represented, including Beth Bachenheimer's Shoe Closet, Judy Chicago's Menstruation Bathroom, Sherry Brody’s Lingerie Pillows, Brody and Miriam Schapiro’s Doll House, and Faith Wilding’s Womb Room. Also exhibited was the Womanhouse film by Johanna Demetrakas that features many of the performances from Womanhouse including my performance Waiting. The catalog for the exhibition lists the individual names of the artists and the titles of their works. Since the original of my Womb Room had been stolen from Womanhouse in Los Angeles, I created an entirely new crocheted room in the Museum. (Footnote: I have written about my ambivalence in remaking this piece in "Monstrous Domesticity", published in M/E/A/N/I/N/G # 18, November 1995, ed. Susan Bee and Mira Schor; reprinted in M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism, ed. Bee and Schor, Duke University Press, 2000.)

Waiting also has had a rather astonishing history of publication and exhibition. To my surprise it has become a signature piece of feminist art in general, and a large part of my "claim to fame" in particular. I am baffled by the paradoxes this poses for me ideologically. On the one hand, Waiting came out of a feminist process and context of collaboration, and a feminist art politics which was trying to break down all manner of art world hierarchies and the notion of individual genius. On the other, I find myself being sought out as the creator and performer of Waiting. Long ago I hit on the tactic of permitting Waiting to be performed by anyone who wants to perform it. Now I permit people to use it in publications if they run a text credit that contextualizes the performance within feminist art practice and the Womanhouse collaboration.

Jump cut to my current work with the subRosa collective, which began when I became a Fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University in fall 1998. The STUDIO was founded to encourage and facilitate art, science, and technology collaborations mainly between people on the CMU campus. Previous to coming to CMU (as a visiting professor in 1995) I had spent about ten years in New York, working and exhibiting in various guises as individual artist, a member of the Heresies mother collective, a founding member of WAC (Women's Action Coalition), a member of Old Boys Network (a cyberfeminist group based mostly in Germany), and in association with Critical Art Ensemble. My intention as a STUDIO Fellow was to form a cyberfeminist collective and to initiate a multi-part project called “Sex and Gender in the Biotech Century.” Consequently a group of between 15-20 women graduate students, faculty, and non-university affiliated women began meeting regularly mostly at my house for a reading, discussion (and eating) group. We focused on biotechnology, new reproductive technologies, feminist health activism and critique of the medical/military system, feminist theories of difference, feminist cyborg and body theory, and issues related to gender and technology. Gradually, the group began to self-organize as we started our first projects: a campaign flyer announcing the founding of subRosa as a "(reproducible) cyberfeminist cell"; an interdisciplinary public forum on women, health, and biotechnology; and two issues of a newsletter/flyer called @Second Opinion. (See the subrosa website for texts and descriptions.)

As we began to work together our differences became more and more evident, as did our very differing desires about working together. Only one or two of the women in the loose group had actually been part of a collective or collaborative group before; nor had many of them been in a women-only group. We debated a great deal about how -- and whether -- to form a closed group and if so on what basis since there were so many differences between us. In a way the current subRosa cell of about 6-8 core members is still forming and coalescing. It is as much through embodying our differences and our conflicts as through conviviality and working together that we are evolving the forms of our collectivity. In the past year we have done three different performances/exhibitions (Knowing Bodies, Miller Gallery, CMU; Sex and Gender Ed in the Biotech Century, ISA Digital Secrets think tank, Arizona State University; Expo EmmaGenics, Intermediale Festival, in conjunction with the 7th Annual Performance Studies International conference in Mainz, Germany) which have centered on the market forces and eugenic thinking that drive the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Currently we are also working on a text/image piece for nparadoxa; an article for a book to be published by Kunst Forum in Germany, and a subRosa book. In other words, we have been intensely active for a new fledged collective all of whose members have full-time day jobs.

SubRosa works with new media and digital technologies in tactical ways. Currently we are quite self-contained technologically within the collective whose members between them have skills and experience in video, digital imaging and animation, photography, WEB pages, graphic design, desk-top publishing, writing, plus the usual traditional art skills of sculpture, painting, drawing, fiber arts, printmaking, sound, and installation work. At the moment we have no members who can do advanced programming, 3-D animation, robotics, or machining. We are interested in combinations of high and low tech, and in detourning consumer electronics. Currently, half of our members do not live in the same city so we do a lot of work and communication on-line and virtually. Yet we are committed to embodiment and conviviality as an important part of our practice of trying to live our differences. Thus we spend time and money to have flesh meetings, embodiment (spa) days, and retreats. Nevertheless all of us feel the alienation of physical distance acutely. And it has made our work together more slow and more difficult.

Another factor which is having a strong impact on the collective is the increased competition and professionalizing of art careers within graduate schools and universities which a tight job market and overproduction of MFAs have contributed to. Almost all subRosa members are now MFA grads and are either in their first jobs as professors or as graphic or WEB designers. In all these professional positions there is pressure to produce and show one's "own" work. No matter how successful a collective may be, it is hard to use collective work in personal application, promotion, or professional experience packages. Never mind that many artists are now practicing collectively or collaboratively; never mind that the process of working with electronic media and digital technologies often requires interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge, the professional (art) world still wants its geniuses and its signature artists. It still wants to know (on grant applications and in hiring and promotion interviews) "What part of this work did you do?" These hard realities begin to create problems when it comes to documenting and crediting collective work. For example, if the best way of documenting a performance is to make a short video piece about it, should the emphasis be on making the best possible documentation of the piece, or making sure that everyone's contribution gets pictured (represented) in the video?

What of the person(s) who did not perform/make something that is visible in the video such as designing the WEB page or writing the script or doing the documentation during the performance? What of the member who could not travel to a particular performance and thus is not documented? My personal principle is that the work should be shown to its best and clearest advantage no matter who is personally pictured or not pictured, because a strong representation of the collective helps everyone in it. But then I am in a very different position professionally than all the other members of subRosa who are younger than I am and for the most part are just starting out professionally. So we try various tactics of satisfying both the need of making the collective work look good and the need to make each individual look good. It is at these moments that the real differences between collectivity and collaboration become quite evident. One tactic we use is to credit a project with our collective name, and then we usually append a list of the names of collective members and associates who collaborated. Each member is also free to make separate documentation that highlights her particular contribution for her own vita. This brings up another difference between collectivity and collaboration. Collective work is often not separable into individual contributions especially in the conceptual phase. While we each have distinct skills and expertise, we evolve concepts together and several members often work together on various component of the performance/installation.

Ownership is a topic that arises in several connections. Who owns the collective work, especially if the collective membership changes or the collective dissolves? It seems self-evident to say that it is owned by those members of the collective who made the work together. But things are never that simple. For example, with Womanhouse, the question has come up many times about who owns the rights to reprint documentation of Womanhouse. The concept of gift economy and joint ownership is a difficult one for the capitalist economy of the artworld to understand. It has been pointed out that women are often more reluctant to participate in the gift economy because they have less capital (in every sense) to give away. Again, my personal practice is gift economy and anti-copyright and free circulation and use of ideas and images. But this raises many tricky questions when one is dealing with the work of people who are not being paid, or are being underpaid and who are working full-time at a job in order to support themselves and their art practices. There's also the problem of commissions and/or support from institutions or grants that want to have some ownership or credit recognition in work that they fund. Trying to keep one's work out of the capitalist economy so it can circulate freely in the gift economy means that one must be very canny in the way one accepts support money. These are some of the issues of collectivity I've encountered in different guises in every collective I've been part of.

BS: I'm really interested in your ideas about sullying the waters for the model of the art career. Can you list a few of your favorite tactics?

FW: I think I've already mentioned many of them: gift economy; anti-copyright; interdisciplinarity; allowing others to perform your work for free with no strictures on how they do it; working collectively, anonymously. Not confining oneself to performing or showing in art spaces or recognized museums, but seeking audiences everywhere and anywhere; refusing signature styles or purity of method, media, or materials (Feyerabend's Against Method is always a good kick in the pants). Working with consumer media and electronics that don't have the patina of "art media" on them. Experimenting with audience participation which cannot be controlled or predetermined -- this is different that most so-called interactive art where viewer interactions are essentially preprogrammed and limited to a set of responses. In the kind of information theatre subRosa is interested in we hope to set up a situation in which the exclusivity of expertise and specialization is debunked, and viewers are given contextualized information that they can choose to respond to in many ways. In our performances we try to deflect questions as to what we think towards what the participant thinks, to encourage more autonomous thinking and action on the viewer’s part. I further “sully” my art career by writing, lecturing, teaching, and including all those things as part of my self-definition of being an artist.

BS: A remarkable element of all of your practice is that it is interventionist. Copy-left, feminist, and collective work, are types of market intervention. SubRosa's information theater intervenes in bio and body discourses in an intentionally pedagogical, audience-shifting manner. I use the term interventionist because almost as soon one says "political" or "activist" alongside the word art, a number of models immediately glom onto the conception of what that kind of art is all about, and tie its meaning very strongly into an orbit of history and practices. I'm only observing this; it can be unfortunate, fantastic, or neutral. The point I'm working toward is that artist-activists need to understand the art and activist models, (not always one and the same), that the artists are situated in. So I'd like to ask you a few questions on behalf of artists who are doing work in this general territory. First, what are your observations about the models that run behind the activist art of today?

FW: I think you are right that people tend to associate "activist" with a certain kind of historical practice. I remember that at the “Last 5 Minutes Tactical Media Festival” (1999) in Amsterdam I got rather sick of the word "activist" because it was being applied so loosely to every kind of project that had a hint of political content. I think there can be political art without it being activist (all art is political in the sense that all art operates in a social/political context). But "activist" is perhaps not really a useful term anymore since it connotes so many different things to people.

Same problem with "artist." Same problem with "cultural worker" or "cultural producer." Same problem with "feminist" or "cyberfeminist" for that matter. I like the terms "resistant" and "interventionist" and even "pedagogical" more because they are more specific to the goals or aims of this kind of work. Most so-called "activist" practice these days seems to follow two main models:

1. Direct actions against specific targets such as companies, government authorities; or specific campaigns to influence legislation or public opinion and policy. Examples might be the Clean Clothes campaign, No More Prisons, Boycott Monsanto, WTO sit-ins and demos, and the like. This model uses activist political tactics against authority like strikes, boycotts, sit-ins, occupations, net-terrorism, hacking, etc. This model is usually more is more territorially specific.

2. More discursive, exploratory projects whose goal is to create interventions into and disturbances of the public spectacle and representations of complex contemporary issues such as biotech and bioinformatics, the Human Genome Project, globalization, restructuring of work, eco and environmental policies, and the like. This model uses performative, participatory, and/or pedagogical tactical media, often creating a kind of information theatre in which participants manipulate objects, perform experiments, or actions which give them understanding and tools to make more informed decisions about the issues. This model adapts itself situationally to various venues and audiences.

BS: What level of understanding does a group need in order to successfully mediate, (or perhaps debunk authority), in fields other than art?

FW: That is an interesting question that can often be answered only in the doing. The kind of projects we're talking about here take a certain amount of theoretical research and reading, and learning some basic hands-on processes. This is really no different than learning coding, or Photoshop, or machining. Collectives such as Critical Art Ensemble have worked with scientists on specific parts of projects such as obtaining recombinant yeast with human DNA in it for the “Cult of the New Eve” project (about the Human Genome Project) and creating transgenic bacteria. It is relatively easy to learn enough science to demonstrate or teach people to perform certain experiments or processes that will help them understand basic scientific procedures (thus debunking much of the authority of science. As my doctor used to say, "A monkey could learn to do a Pap smear"). subRosa has consulted and worked with doctors, biologists and fertility experts, as well as business entrepreneurs, to produce some of our projects like Vulva de/ReConstructa; Sex and Gender Ed in the Biotech Century; and Expo EmmaGenics. We are always trying to combine real information and experience of the subject matter or system, while providing critical ways of exposing the ideologies that drive these discourses. So there is an interesting combination of the Real, the metaphorical, and the critical -- which is where the art of it comes in, I guess. Irony, mimicry, appropriation, detournement mingle with the Real in complex and not always transparent ways. Our disclaimer is that we are not scientists, but that we are informed artist amateurs creating a platform for public debate and critique of authoritarian structures or systems of knowledge.

BS: What future opportunities do you see for effectively intervening in systems?

FW: I think there will always be ways of intervening. No system or structure is impregnable or monumental. It will become harder and harder but people will become more and more ingenious. Finding ways of teaming up with people who work in these systems is a good tactic because there are dissidents and disgruntled or critical workers everywhere. It should be possible to find models of intervention that do not make individuals too vulnerable to punishment. In my experience, it is pretty easy to tap into people's desires for autonomy and their hatred of authority. That's the affirmative energy activist artists can try to free up for creative resistance. Currently, for example, subRosa is very interested in looking at the medical system with particular emphasis on women's health and treatment. Now we know that practically everyone has a problem with this system and there's tons of potential resistance right there waiting to be tapped. And there are precedents in the Feminist Women's Health movement of the 1970s and in subsequent activist groups like ACT UP, WHAM, and WAC. As long as we stay flexible, situational, and think tactically, we should be able at least to create a substantial disturbance.

This interview has been adapted from a May 5, 2001 interview in Switch with Brett Stalbaum.


Hyla Willis Response

I must confess that I have grown weary of questions about collaborative vs
individual practice. Is it really still such a novelty? What is the nature
of dining alone versus in a large cafeteria? Is your experience of eating
and digesting different if you dine alone, in an anonymous crowd, or with
people you know well? In what ways do you cook differently at home by
yourself than you do when preparing a potluck dish or big dinner party?

Collaboration in the art world is much harder than in some other worlds
because it is constantly treated as an aberration. Because it is an
aberration, there is a lot more paperwork when it comes to finances and a
lot more explaining/correcting when it comes to having the work credited as
a group, not individuals. Beyond that, collaborating on artwork is a lot like collaborating on other things, such as sharing living space or music making: there are a bundle of trade-offs but it is generally a richer life experience to share.


Steffi Domike Response

I’ve been working with subRosa over the past 5 years as one of several collaborative initiatives, so it is not my only commitment. In subRosa each member of the collective brings her own specialty to the group, whether writing or digital production or drawing, to produce a larger piece together. The participation is always uneven, that is, some people feel that they are making more contribution than others, and the contributions vary from project to project and from performance. In spite of the difficulties, the group continues to produce collectively and to initiate new and exciting projects.

My individual practice is limited to a few productions… I have always worked in partnership or in larger collectives as my work always involves lots of research and production and often culminates in a large media production, such as a television piece or a film, that demands collaboration in it’s making. Working with subRosa has been different from other collaborations in a number of ways. For one thing, it is ongoing, not project specific. My collaboration with the Recombinant History Project, for instance, produced only the interactive history engine TERMINAL TIME. With subRosa we have produced five or six large projects and have another one started. The projects are related and build upon previous work, but are still independent works.

This work has made me more aware of the power of performance and, even though it is a great challenge for me personally, I hope to continue to work in a performative vein. I have never found collaboration easy, but it has always seemed to me to be worth the trouble since we can always make more together and have a greater impact with our work.


Lucia Sommer Response

At the moment, the majority of my art practice is with the subRosa collective. I am also involved in the Artists Emergency Response Video Petition Project, a video petition of North Americans speaking out against the Occupation of Palestine, which I think of more in terms of activist work. In reality these distinctions -- between 'art practice' and 'activist practice'-- make little sense other than as tactical labels, which are interchangeable depending on context. Of course subRosa is also activist practice, and the Video Petition Project is aesthetic practice as well.

I have a fairly long history of doing activist work, so by now the question for me isn't whether to work collaboratively, but rather how. I used to paint, but I became frustrated with the limitations of the medium to address social concerns in a way that I was interested in doing, and I became tired of spending so much time alone in my studio.

The poetic in the subRosa work happens in other ways — often, for example, through writing, through the unpredictability of the performance itself, and through the conceptualization of the work. It also happens in the ways we experience the nonrational in the collaborative process, how we negotiate our relationships and how we treat each other in every day life.

subRosa employs a situational mode of interactive performance which involves the use of multiple forms of media. In this information theater, participants become performers. It would not be possible to do this kind of work other than collaboratively. As individual cultural producers none of us has all of the skills necessary, from writing and research to various kinds of digital media, to sculpture and performance, that go into creating such an experience. There is also a kind of collective intelligence that develops when the members of a collective are all actively engaged in a project, that is experienced in a pleasurable way.

I think collaborative work tends to get a bad rap because most artists experience it in the form of short-term projects, in which conflicts around distribution of labor are common. But in a true collective, in which members commit to a longer-term process, there is time to build the trust necessary to true collaboration. Also, the distribution of labor tends to even out over time, with individual members able to periodically step back when they need a break and allow others to shoulder the work.


The participatory theatre model that subRosa employs is site-uational because the work is determined in relation to a particular context and audience. Different media and tactics are employed to reach different audiences. For example, Expo EmmaGenics was performed at Intermediale Art Happens Festival in Mainz, Germany; here subRosa staged a three-hour American style commercial Trade Show, to "familiarize Europeans with the convenient consumer marketing of Repro-Tech now available to Americans." This information theater taught and demystified some of the science involved in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies), and allowed people to directly experience and participate in the generally unspoken social codes for normalization of new technological processes, and revealed the authoritarian structures and economic coercion that operate in every day life. "Human Caviar at Expo EmmaGenics"


In 'US Grade AAA Premium Eggs' at Bowling Green State University, subRosa adopted the identity of Express Choice, a subsidiary of the Technical Advantage Genetics Center (TAGC), to critique the commodification and rationalization of the flesh in the new biotechnologies. The performance targeted students who are being invited to participate in the Flesh Machine through the “donation” (sale) of their gametes--eggs and sperm cells. Students used a website to Calculate their Net Worth on the Flesh Market. Participants scoring above a certain value received a Certificate of Flesh Worth. However, there were some disqualifying factors: If one was ‘not a normal woman’, if one was an artist, or not of Northern European descent, one's gametes were determined to be 'genetically undesirable' -- however, one could still be a Non-reproductive Donor and sell one's organs! It became apparent that within this global market, biotechnologies have different effects, and place different values on different bodies in different locations. Students were horrified to learn that most of the texts were culled from actual web sites involved in the trade in human gametes, tissues, and organs. The next day, an interdisciplinary seminar examined the local and global impact of the 'revolution' in Advanced Reproductive Technologies and other bio-technologies.


subRosa’s Biopower Unlimited! is a site-uational project begun while artists-in-residence at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. This ‘tactical media laboratory’ drew from Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s reformulation of the Foucaultian concept of bio-political production in their recent book Empire. Biopower Unlimited! foregrounded the life-producing, life-sustaining production, reproduction and maintenance labor largely done by female, poor, immigrant, and minority populations within the community and globally. A participatory series of events, including a subRosa performance at the campus Art and Tech Fair, a campus-wide installation and mapping project, and an interdisciplinary colloquium, examined the ways in which this labor is inextricably bound to immaterial labor. The project enabled students to see how they participate in various globally networked ‘cultures of technology’, to understand some of the manifestations of biopolitical production in their every day lives, and to think about how they already, or might begin to, contest some of biopower's oppressive effects.

In collaboration with students, faculty, and community activists, subRosa designed and produced an educational/consciousness-raising/mapping project that revealed intersections of biotech/agritech/digitech cultures on the BGSU campus and surrounding town and farmlands, including globalized Factory Farming. subRosa’s 'Cultures of Technology' online map, traces how the specific cultures of the technologies on the BGSU campus and in the surrounding community and farmlands intersect and influence each other; a Real Life version of this map was distributed in interactive mailboxes located at corresponding sites throughout the campus. Participants analyzed how these 'Cultures of Technology' are interlocked; how they change people's every day lives and govern student education; what cultures are developing around them; and how people can engage with them in critical and activist ways. The project also produced curricular materials and campus computer interventions.

*ALL images/texts are: Anti-copyright subRosa 2002. These images and ideas may be freely pirated and quoted for non-commercial purposes; subRosa would like to be informed.

Faith Wilding is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and educator who often collaborates with groups and individuals both nationally and internationally. She works with subRosa, a reproducible cyberfeminist cell of cultural researchers that produces artworks, contestational campaigns and projects, sneak attacks, publications, media interventions, and public forums that make visible the interconnections between technology, gender, and difference; feminism and global capital; new bio and medical technologies; and the changed conditions of labor and reproduction for women in the integrated circuit. subRosa has appeared on college campuses, at media festivals, and at public venues in the U.S., and Europe, as well as Singapore, and Russia.
Visit our website at: www.cyberfeminism.net

Hyla Willis is a Senior Graphic Designer at EDGE studio in Pittsburgh. Her art practice combines sound, performance, installation and electronic arts. She has taught conceptual art, electronic/time-based media and pre-press production. She has performed in the US, Europe and Canada with the art collective subRosa as well as with experimental music groups from Seattle and Pittsburgh. Her home page is: www.edge-studio.com
Steffi Domike is a professor of Art at Chatham College in Pittsburgh where she developed the digital arts program. In her art practice she produces television and electronic media works that question traditional narratives of history and gender roles. Her individual work has been broadcast and performed in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Her home page is: http://home.earthlink.net/~steffidomike
Lucia Sommer is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and activist. She has taught art in various settings from public school to museum, and has been active in anti-militarism, feminist and social justice activism since 1986. She is working with Artists Emergency Response on the Video Petition Project, a video document of North Americans speaking out against the Occupation of Palestine, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago as part of the exhibition, “War (What Is It Good For?)”
Laleh Mehran is also a member of subRosa but was unable to respond to the question. She is a professor of Digital Media at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. Her work is metaphorical and veiled focusing on issues of politics, technology and science. Her work has been shown individually and as part of the collective subRosa in the US and Europe.
Table Of Contents:


Susan Bee and Mira Schor

02. Kenny Goldsmith and David Wondrich
On Collaboration
03. Jane Hammond and Raphael Rubinstein
On Collaboration
04. Mimi Gross and Douglas Dunn
On Collaboration
05. Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese
The Joy of Collaborating
06. Charles Bernstein and Susan Bee
An Interview with James Shivers
07. Faith Wilding and subRosa
Collectivity and Collaboration: subRosa
08. Matthew Lusk and Rachel Owens
After School Special
09. Michael Mazur

Brett Littman