Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Deconstruct and Dissent: Subversive Technologies for the Modern Militant
Janna Ahrndt
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
Purdue University
Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Shannon McMullen
Supervisor e-mail
smcmullen AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Fabian Winkler, Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Electronic Time Based Art
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
DIY, Opensource, Art, Soft Circuitry, Political, Subversive, New Media.
Abstract: 200-500 words
By allowing artists to subvert physical spaces and expand on them through digital content to engage communities, I believe artists can create work that is more like the hybrid digital-physical lives we lead. In combining Maktivism and Craftivism, which will be explained in detail in the text to follow, a more effective feminist political art medium is created. This combination serves to critique not only targeted political issues, but also the exclusionary practices in technology along gender, class, and racial lines. As an artist working at this intersection, I feel this combination also provides a medium to question current exploitative economic systems that control the production of textiles, as well as information and communication technology (ICT). In the following sections, I discuss my attempt to combine tactical media and social aesthetics as a way to democratize political interventionist art and discuss the merits of maker and craftivist movements to fashion these interventions. I will outline a series of attempts to generate political artworks created at the intersection of art, DIY and feminism as a way to offer a mode of feminist activist art praxis. These works demonstrate different ways I position my practice within the ethical framework of these movements. As an artform, DIY gives me the framework to both involve the public in my work while still having the broader impact of Tactical Media. Whether it is deploying soft circuitry and craftivism as a collective opensource critical art medium in P@tch, combining social aesthetics and political intervention in Timely Warning, or overhauling a thrifted Karaoke machine for community political action in SoapBox Karaoke, my focus is on finding ways to engage communities in civic action while honoring the integrity at the heart of DIY. By bringing together Maktivism and Craftivism in these works, I aim to forge an effective feminist political art medium that explores current exploitative economic systems controlling the production of textiles, and information and communication technologies.