C.S.: If an artsist says his/her art is meant to mean nothing, like Tzara, does not mean that it really means nothing. Dada is the best example. If an art project would claim to have first of all a social goal, I would question if it is an art project. If you want to use the term subversion, I would say, my art or cyberfeminist art reflects on political and social power structures but with means of art. In that sense it is art, but also has a social impact. More important than provocation, which is another thing closely related to bourgeoisie, I would like to name irony and masquerade as strategies.
T.B.: Would it be possible or correct to talk of a 'cyberfeminist ethic'?
C.S.: I think it would not make much sense to talk of an ethic, as an ethic is a set of obliging rules for many individuals. And although the starting point may be the same or a similar one for all cyberfeminists structural discrimination in 3rd millenium there is many varying cyberfeminist answers to the question: "What shall we do?".
T.B.: What is the difference between women 'engaged' in the seventies and you?
C.S.: Well, there is even women who were engaged in the 70s, who now call themselves cyberfeminists, for example Faith Wilding. From my point of view as a kind of late 70s feminist (I am 42 years old today) I would say that there is several differences: 1. The rhetoric has changed. Today people are more aware that generalisations about 'men' and 'women' are not necessarily productive. 2. The standpoint has changed. One basic assumption of the 70s feminists was that women are victimized in our socitey. Today younger women do not want this victimisation as a starting point. They want to feel strenght, beauty and power, and fight fom there. 3. Many concerns which were not given in the 70s are now implemented in society (although that differs from country to county): birth control, abortion, legal right for same payment etc.
T.B.: And what is the difference between you and the women of today that you meet in the streets? I mean, I read the biographies of the members of OBN and I realized that most of you are sort of ubiquitous women, living in more places and cities at the same time, with a long experience in the universities, in the art academies, in the works of the 'electronic society'.
C.S.: It is still a privilege to get good education, but it is also hard work. All cyberfeminists I know are working like crazy, and not just in terms of their individual career, but also for idealistic goals like sharing knowledge, creating mutual support systems, contributing from where they work to develop new social models.
T.B.: You, old boyz, seem to be highly alphabetized and comfortably living in the wired society, but, what about the rest of the women?
C.S.: I cannot answer for all old boyz, but just for me. I don't live too comfotably, because for almost all work I do I am not getting paid. I feel responsibilty not just for the 'rest' of the women but for all underprivileged people. And I have choosen art as my profession which is highly suitable as mindopener for people over here. Other people have other professions, journalists for example, and use other means.
T.B.: I refer not only to those women who build the computers in Thailand or recycle them in China for a miserable salary, but also to the western women in general. Is your kind of feminism able to hit the off-line world, and how, or it is destined to be an autoreferential game? Or this is not one of your aims?
C.S.: Again there is a variety of approaches. There is cyberfeminists taking care and disseminating information about labour exploitation in 3rd world countries Ursula Biemann, subrosa for example, I myself was teaching students about anti-corporate art and activism as another example. Unfortunately none of us has a patent remedy to save the world exactly here and now, and completely. I know this is frustrating, and sorry for not giving you any false promises. But beware of people who pretend to have the right answers!
T.B.: Cyberfeminism is against what? The war? The financial globalization? The male-rooted society? The art system? Copyright of the softwares, of the art product, of the knowledge? Cyberfeminism is in favour of what?
C.S.: Cyberfeminism is AGAINST black-and-white thinking, against falsifying simplifications, against patent remedies. Cyberfeminism is FOR good weather, good sex, good food, and good music:-)