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07. June 2021

A situated Archiv of the Old Boys Network

The Old Boys Network described itself as "the first international cyberfeminist alliance." OBN was launched in 1997 at documentaX as part of the Hybrid Workspace  where it held the 1st Cyberfeminist International in September 1997. In the following years, the network held regular international conferences, published readers and books and served as a platform for a plethora of cyberfeminist activities. the network was active until 2001.

The obn_archive project is about the creation of an open-source and multi-lingual archive of the cyberfeminist alliance Old Boys Network. The guiding principles for the archiving process aresbased on a concept OBN itself proposed: “The mode is the message. The code is the collective.” The goal is to create an infrastructure that allows for research on cyberfeminism, its spirit, its objectives and its expressions in theory, art and visual culture, but also in hands-on-technology practice, as well as to understand, more broadly, the spirit of early internet culture. In a time where digital networked technologies have pervaded everyday lives in unexpected density, the renewed interest in early feminist criticism of technology shows it relevance as an essential source of inspiration for the development of contemporary forms of power-critical approaches to technology. 

Initiated by Nora Sternfeld and realized by Carina Herring, Malin Kuht and Julia Stolba together with the artist Cornelia Sollfrank, the obn_archive was developed and implemented as part of the documenta studien at the Kunsthochschule Kassel from August 2020 to April 2022 and in close cooperation with the documenta archiv. The focus of the process was on the sifting, indexing and digitization of the materials, as well as on reflection and updating through collective polyphony.

On April 12, 2022, obn_archive was publicly presented at ruruHaus and opened with the sound installation "networking-knot working-notworking?" by Catwings (with Steph Joyce and Theresa Zwerschke).

obn_archive is part of the project "Art Research Practice documenta. Artistic and Curatorial Research at the documenta Institute" of the Kunsthochschule Kassel, which is funded by the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art from 2020 to 2022.

Claudia Reiche
Shu Lea Cheang
Yvonne Volkart
Helene von Oldenburg
Alla Mitrofanova
Diana McCarty
Vali Djordjevic
Julianne Pierce
Ellen Nonnenmacher
Susanne Ackers