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Computer Grrrls

Dortmunder U | Ebene 3 | 10/26/2018 - 02/24/2019

Opening: on 26 October 2018 at 7 pm

Before the word "computer" described a machine, it referred to a profession that, at the beginning of the 20th century, was primarily practiced by women; to calculate was considered a female activity.

In recent years, historians have described this development and made biographies of important female programmers such as the "Eniac Girls" public knowledge. But what are the reasons that computer science turned into such a masculine field of activity? Why is the number of professional female computer scientists decreasing since the end of the 1960s and even more since the advent of the microcomputer in 1985? And how does society deal with the fact that women are marginalized as creators of technological developments?

The exhibition Computer Grrrls addresses these questions and brings together artistic positions that negotiate the relationship between gender and technology in past and present.

Computer Grrrls deals with the complex relationship between women and technology from the first human computers to the current revival of cyber-feminist movements. A comprehensive timeline will cover these developments from 1750-2018. The exhibition gathers contemporary works of young artists adressing this unrecognized story and challenging the hegemonic imaginaries around technologies today. Invited are artists, hackers and theoreticians who are working on how to think differently about technology: By questioning the gender trends in big data and Artificial Intelligence, promoting an open and diversified Internet, developing participatory ways of working and designing utopian technologies and prototypes.

After Dortmund, the exhibition moves to La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris (FR) in the spring of 2019, where it will be extended by performative formats, and to MU in Eindhoven (NL) in the fall of 2019. There will be film screenings, artist talks and experimental workshops at all three venues.

HMKV, Dortmund, Germany (27 Oct 2018 – 24 Feb 2019)
La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris, France (13 March – 21 July 2019)
MU, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (August – September 2019)

Curators: Inke Arns (HMKV), Marie Lechner (La Gaîté Lyrique)

Artists: Morehshin Allahyari, Manetta Berends, Zach Blas & Jemima Wyman, Nadja Buttendorf, Elisabeth Caravella, Jennifer Chan, Aleksandra Domanovic, Louise Drulhe, Darsha Hewitt, Lauren Huret, Hyphen-Labs, Dasha Ilina, Mary Maggic, Caroline Martel, Lauren Moffatt, Simone C. Niquille, Jenny Odell, Elisa Giardina Papa, Sondra Perry (tbc), Tabita Rezaire, Erica Scourti, Suzanne Treister, Lu Yang

An exhibition by HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein), Dortmund (DE), in cooperation with La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris (FR)

Funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Funder HMKV: Dortmunder U - Centre for Art and Creativity


For press handouts and photos please visit our press section.


Today, 9/20/2018
Public Guided Tour „Korpys/Löffler“
18:00 | Dortmunder U

Sun, 9/23/2018
Public Guided Tour “Korpys/Löffler”
16:00 | Dortmunder U

Fri, 10/26/2018
Opening „Computer Grrrls“
19:00 - 22:00 | Dortmunder U