we are geeks and we are not guys: digital, technology-based and new media art for gender liberation

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we are geeks and we are not guys digital, technology-based and new media art for gender liberation

Amy Iona

1: Contents 2: Intro 3: Disclaimer! 5: LGBTQ+ and Gender Inclusion in Digital Art 7: Research Results 15: Interviews > with The White Pube {art & culture critics} > with Natasha Ruwona {artist, researcher & curator} > with Aischa Daughtery {writer, poet & editor} 28: Resources & Notes

Cover Image: CAT and ÊIMÉAR MCCLAY ( (IG: @catandeimearmcclay) I guess I need you baby (2021) Still from 3D-modelled animation; laptop frame added by Amy Iona. Courtesy of the artists.



Amy Iona Artist & researcher MRes Creativity, Inclusitivity & the Virtual @ UofG NEoN's Wired Women* festival programme (2021 - 22) was inspired by a 1996 book of the same name, edited by Lynn Cherny and Elizabeth Reba Weise. An anthology of cyberfeminist theory, the book represents a time when some cisgender feminist researchers were just beginning to touch on the needs of gender-diverse people sometimes defined as basically anybody who resisted the gender norms enforced by patriarchy - without really understanding their experiences or having the language to talk about them. Gender politics and LGBTQ+ visibility have come a long way since then. There might have been a little progress in the arts and technology sectors in terms of visibility and equity for cisgender women, but curators, archivists, critics and gallery practitioners must start recognising and supporting the extraordinary contributions of LGBTQ+ and gender-diverse creatives to contemporary art and media especially in areas where their contributions have often been overlooked. Non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender and transgender people have always existed. It's well past time that queer and gender-diverse folks were fairly and accurately celebrate in history, culture and the arts. As an artist, researcher and social justice advocate, my life really revolves around art, and a drive to increase access to it.

At the time of writing this, I've just recently graduated from MSc Museum Studies at the University of Glasgow, and completed my dissertation in collaboration with NEoN Digital Arts Festival. My first Masters choice was kind of a red herring, because most of the time I find myself opposed to how a lot of art museums and "traditional" galleries operate. I think that feeds in to why I was so excited to undertake research for NEoN - because I wholeheartedly believe that small galleries, alternative spaces, curatorial projects and indie organisations have a huge capacity to affect positive change in their local communities and the wider "art world" beyond. we are geeks and we are not guys essentially began as a condensed, hopefully more accessible version of my MSc dissertation: a look into how galleries and curators could better support LGBTQ+ and gender marginalised artists, using Wired Women* as a case study. It quickly evolved into something more, with an emphasis on selected works and words by emerging women, queer and trans+ practitioners, all of whom are contributing amazing things to digital art right now. I always knew I could never fully represent the complexities of this topic in 15,000 words. The research conducted might have only captured a snapshot of queer and feminist technoculture but it's close to my heart, conducted from an insider perspective with nothing but love and advocacy in mind.


Trans women are WOMEN Trans men are MEN Non-binary and GNC folks are VALID



NEoN's Wired Women* programme responds to the huge underrepresentation of gender-marginalised folks throughout the history of technology and, by extension, digital art. Its key aim is to highlight the overlooked work of women and anybody who is comfortable being included in discussions that may centre around women inclusive of trans+, non-binary and intersex folks. This zine and the study it is based on were developed around this pre-determined heme, focusing specifically on the experiences of queer women and gender-diverse practitioners of digital art in the UK creative industries.

None of the research presented should suggest that non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, Two Spirit or agender folks are automatically "like women", nor should any of the above necessarily be thought of as a "third gender". These terms can be used to describe a rejection of the gender binary all together, or a mode of selfexpression beyond the limitations of patriarchal, postcolonial Western culture. It's almost important to remember that just because an industry is traditionally thought of as masculine or "safe" for cisgender men, that innate feeling of safety and comfort rarely extends to trans men or otherwise trans masc people, whose experiences of gender-based discrimination are entirely valid in their own ways.

At the end of the day, this is an anthology about navigating and resisting the patriarchal influence in art and technology. This is your space if you want it to be.

(P.S. Any and all terminology for LGBTQ+ folks in this zine is intended in a positive and respectful way, but the best language to use may have changed by the time of reading.)

AB BRADNACK (IG: @abbrdnck) cellular + level (2020)

Digital composite image. Courtesy of the artist.

LGBTQ+ and Gender Inclusion in Digital Art INTRO TO RESEARCH RESULTS I write and think and make art about queer identity a lot, and knew my Masters dissertation might end up addressing something along the lines of LGBTQ+ inclusion in contemporary art curating. When I found out my application to work with NEoN had been successful and got chatting about the development of Wired Women*, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to investigate how the programme intended to address queer issues. Wired Women* is inclusive of 'women and non-binary people', but how useful is that statement, really? Do LGBTQ+ artists within that category need additional support? How accessible is digital media to queer folks? I'm not here to provide a definitive answer - I'm here to listen and advocate. Gender and sexuality are beautifully fluid concepts, and discussion around LGBTQ+ issues is constantly evolving. The results of this research are very specific to this time and place in culture and history, and they can't represent the nuanced experiences of all LGBTQ+ people. But I hope they provide a snapshot into how some queer artists feel right now, and help lay the foundations for future research.

SOORIN SHIN (IG: @wobbly_digital) Play-stand (2021) Plant pot stand; 3-D printed from biodegradable material. Courtesy of the artist.


noun: noun: AA movement movement that that began began in in the the 1990s, 1990s, utilising utilising cyberculture cyberculture and and feminist feminist ideas ideas to to re-theorize re-theorize gender, gender, the the body, body, and and identities identities in in relation relation to to technology technology and and power. power.

stluseR hcraeseR CONTENT WARNING: brief mentions of sexist and homophobic discrimination ahead, but no upsetting details

Research Objectives Outlined (I wrote these out way before I started actually writing, as a wee guideline to myself, and also sent them to NEoN when I proposed the project.)

! To convey the specific needs of lesbian, bisexual, queer and questioning women, including trans+ women and people of other marginalised genders who work and create in the digital arts sector.

@ To identify how a more equitable, coproductive approach to digital art curation can mutually benefit both arts organisations and the creative practitioners they work with.

* To positively contribute to the inclusitivity and intersectionality of NEoN's planned programme, and help to ensure that the specific needs of multiply-marginalised women and queer folks are met.

// To promote an 'artist-led' approach to research which prioritises the needs of creative practitioners and their communities.


Who Participated? A survey was conducted with a total of 50 participants, who all were or wanted to be involved with the creative industries in some way or another: as students, freelancers, hobbyists, visual artists, performers, designers - you get the idea. These charts give an idea of their genders and sexualities. Preferred not to say 2%

Gender NOT the same as sex assigned at birth 43%

Gender the same as sex assigned at birth 55%

Genderfluid/Genderqueer 4%

Non-Binary 45%

Female 51%

Straight 6.5%


LGBQ+ 93.5%

33% of participants said their creative practice was 'entirely digital or technology based'. 44% of these digital artists were women

and 56% were non-binary, genderfluid or genderqueer. 88% of the digital artists who responded were LGBQ+. 10

Only 5% of the digital artists surveyed were confident that they wouldn't face discrimination in the creative industries on the basis of their gender. None of those who

were LGBQ+ felt the same way about homophobic discrimination.


The digital artists surveyed identified their greatest barriers to success as:

Personal finances & difficulty with funding applications

Health worries & mental wellbeing

Fear of discrimination, harassment or harm


What could arts & culture organisations do to help?

These resources were highlighted as the most useful for queer and gender-marginalised creatives to help develop and sustain their digital art practice.

Access to informal education Membership in a collective Access to critique groups Having work published in print Selling work online Free or discounted access to facilities Exhibiting work as part of a group Exhibiting in a solo exhibition An in-person residency Selling work at an arts & crafts market Selling work in a gallery space 0





Alone and together, “female", “queer”, “Black” as a survival strategy demand the creation of their individual machinery, that innovates, builds, resists. With physical movement often restricted, female-identifying people, queer people, Black people invent ways to create space through rupture. Here, in that disruption...one finds the power of the glitch. - Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism


Webchatting with The White Pube Renowned art world mavericks Zarina Muhammad (she/her) and Gabrielle de la Puente (she/her) - better known as The White Pube - are critics-in-residence for the Wired Women programme, which basically means generating content and casting a critical eye over what NEoN's up to. You'll have to let me expose myself as a stan for a hot second; TWP did a talk at ECA in my third year, which was the same year a tutor told me I should spent less time arguing with 'the man' (what), and I can't tell you how refreshing it was to have these girls my age come in and tell it like it is. So I was super excited to find out they were also working on the programme, and even more excited when Zarina had time for an interview!

For lots of academic and dissertationrelated reasons, I kept the questions super broad and simple. We chatted about technology in TWP's creative practice as art critics, and what arts organisations can do show up for queer and gender-marginalised creative practitioners. In true TWP fashion, Zarina sent back these lovely, chatty, nuanced answers they're cut down here, to highlight the most relevant details, but the full interview was "published" as an Appendix in my dissertation.


Webchatting with The White Pube What advice would you give to other creative practitioners who may feel underrepresented by their gender and/or sexual orientation in digital, technology-based and new media art? ZM: Ay, obvs technology is shite and totally not the new wild Wild West where sexuality gender and race are spirited away as identity baggage. It isn’t the pristine safe space where we can move slick and free without that context. BUT. Tech CAN be used to circumnavigate around some of the obstacles that get thrown in your way as a result of that identity baggage. It can be a way to accrue power on your own terms, and you can make a space for yourself, and work in a way that doesn’t depend on other people’s direct influence (other than like… mark Zuckerberg’s, but he’s so distant, he often can feel like a fiction, or an abstract theory rather than a living breathing billionaire with influence over our lives). Tech has allowed us to do exactly this: write on our own terms, say what we want, and gather a lil bit of power to do all this work while calling our own shots. And now we fill a gap that we saw in the world we wanted to enter. That’s not a stupid bootstraps narrative, it’s just kinda a testament to the fact that if you do chisel away at a coalface for long enough, tech kinda has to let it give out. It works sooooo individually, that the stupid gatekeepers kinda lose the meaning they have in the real world. It doesn’t quite translate, I think? Or they’re a bit further behind the rest of us. Online, they lack the context that gives them power. And you can navigate around that if you’re clever about it (it took us a while to clock on, and we did it by accident I think), and you can make them irrelevant by being better at honesty and the algorithm. that feels like super specific advice, that’s not as generally useful for all practitioners, but it’s the only advice I’m capable of giving n standing behind!

"We learnt a lot from MySpace and building our own Piczo websites as teenagers, n that was what taught us how to build websites, n that was the knowledge we applied when building our own website (if you look at that early TWP homepage, you can so tell)."

In your opinion, how could the creative industries be more inclusive of gender-diverse and LGBTQ+ artists? ZM: I am not too sure about what specifically can be done to address the lack of inclusivity for gender-diverse & LGBTQ+ artists particularly, only in general, the ways the arts can make a more generally inclusive environment. A lot of that is just social stuff; paying artists fair wages, working repeatedly with artists so they have long-term income and stability, maybe a bit of UBI & affordable housing, so artists can afford to make a living. I imagine that alone would make a sizeable difference to the way the arts look n feel for everyone, and would ease a bit of the economic barriers to access that hits across the intersection of many other identity categories, including gender n sexuality. I think as well, the way institutions are structured needs to drastically change to a more horizontal model, so any inclusion isn’t tokenism within a busted system; handing over power by thinking through the ways we can dismantle and evenly spread it alllll out is far more effective than trying to force diversity into the ranks of a static and exclusionary structure.


MARIANNA P. (IG: @_maripz_) Digital screenshots from Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Copyright Nintendo Co. Ltd., 2020 - 2021.

"Do galleries ever ask us what we want to see?"

- Gabrielle de la Puente

Natasha Ruwona Addressing the past and looking to the future

CONTENT WARNING: mentions of historical & contemporary oppression of BPOC/ bias against gender-marginalised people. no graphic details.

Hi Natasha, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview! Who are you, and what are you up to at the minute? NR: I’m a moving image artist and arts/film programmer from Edinburgh, based in Glasgow. Right now I’m viewing film submissions for Glasgow Short Film Festival and Glasgow Film Festival, whilst working on a few commissions making new works in sound, writing and film.

The interconnectedness of gender and racial marginalised is complex, emotive and deeply rooted in colonial violence - however, Natasha is quick to remind us that the future is unwritten, and that technology can be harnessed to incite change for marginalised people. This interview was conducted after my dissertation submission, to be shown exclusively in this format during Wired Women*, because I wanted to have the confines of this very specific academic assignment out of the way before I invited Natasha to speak as freely as possible about their work.

How do you use digital media or technology in your own practice? NR: My work feels really digitally based, I’m constantly on my laptop(!!!!) I use different software like Photoshop and After Effects. I like exploring mediums across these programmes and during lockdown I started experimenting with digital performance on Zoom. I am interested in the possibilities of various softwares, especially those that aren’t traditionally used in art, and how they can be utilised to make or develop making practices.

NATASHA RUWONA (IG: @badgalnt) Cropped still from UMBILIC (2021) Courtesy of the artist.

Natasha Ruwona (they/them) is a Scottish-Zimbabwean artist, researcher, film programmer and 'Afrofuturist dreamer'. It's hard not to encounter their art and curatorial work in Edinburgh or Glasgow, in the best way, such is their outspokenness and creative productivity. In addition to their own creative practice, Natasha is engaged with galleries such as Rhubaba and Centre for Contemporary Arts.

So, NEoN’s current programme has framed technology as a liberating tool for people of marginalised genders, but has also highlighted that prejudice is innate in a lot of the tech we encounter in daily life - not just hostility on social media but in the development of computer science and the coding of algorithms. I’m curious about your thoughts on this. Like, should queer or otherwise marginalised people be attempting to engage with platforms that are already flawed, or should we focus on building something new? Is it possible to use biased tech as a tool for liberation or maybe envisioning a ‘better’ future? NR: This really interests me - I like the idea of reclaiming or reappropriating technology for ourselves, whilst also making sure to challenge the inequalities of the tech and digital worlds when working in these areas. I think the difference between technology for me and other systems is that it is ever adapting and new, which makes it feel easier to evolve into what we need it to be, to utilise and then purpose it to fit to us. So yes! I think that it should be engaged with if you’re a marginalised community, because technology has constant room to change, and this change can be made via our imaginations. In terms of using biased tech as a tool to liberate or envision a better future, if it’s not too harmful or the user, critiquing whilst utilising the very oppressive thing can be a powerful way to draw attention and hopefully incite change to its very issues. I’m a big believer in utilising what is advantageous to you as best as you can, especially oppressive structures and systems.

I’m really excited by your ‘forever incomplete’ work UMBILIC (the focus on water through a post-colonial lens reminds me a little bit of John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea). I’m curious about the decision to digitally create and manipulate imagery of something natural. Was this choice driven by your preferred medium, or is it more complex - is there something that digital media facilitates that other art media doesn’t? NR: I really like working with the juxtaposition of the natural vs digital worlds, and how they can become merged and speak to each other. I think as well that I find nature quite alienating sometimes for BPOC, as we aren’t represented in the natural environment. So by digitally manipulating I’m working with these ides of the natural sometimes being more alien, and the digital being more comfortable to exist in, or thinking about how I can manipulate this landscape to include those are missing, and to feel their presences.


"I really like working with the juxtaposition of the natural vs digital worlds, and how they can become merged and speak to each other...I find nature quite alienating sometimes for BPOC, as we aren’t represented in the natural environment"


Speaking of UMBILIC, there’s evidence of archive research within it, and of course you worked extensively with archives as project coordinator of UncoverED. I feel as though digital art and tech in general is seen as this highly fluid, fast moving, innovative thing whereas the archive is more historical and therefore "fixed". Do you think that’s true in reality? What happens when you combine the two? My previous work with UncoverED feeds so much into my interest now in history and archives and excavating the past. The archive definitely feels historical and fixed - in my work I’m always trying to bring the past into the contemporary and create a conversation so that we can move beyond the fixed idea of history or thinking ’that was back then, it isn’t relevant now'. Current archives lack imagination, as well as easy access. I remember when UncoverED would go to the archive, and there were hardly any other BPOC that visited. I wonder if I would have ever been in an archive if it wasn’t for gaining that experience with the group. I would like to see more attempts from those who work with archives to create engaging practices so more people will seek them out and reclaim their information, as well as using the information stored in archives to incite conversations - basically bringing the archive to life a bit.

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this wonderful insight into your work. What can we expect to see from you in the next? Going forward I’m thinking more about labour in relation to being an artist, and how we can create holistic practices that can centre caring for ourselves through the processes of the work that we do. This is important especially in relation to working with archives and difficulty histories, and also trying to make sense of the world we are living in through art making. How do we embody healing in a world that encourages otherwise? I don’t have an answer yet/I’m not sure if I’ll gain one, but this is what I’ll be exploring over the next few projects.


NATASHA RUWONA (IG: @badgalnt) Digitally rendered shell from UMBILIC (2021) Courtesy of the artist.


NATASHA RUWONA, ASHANTI HARRIS and PURINA ALPHA Screenshots from dwelling on a sanctuary (2021) Virtual Reality environment with digital drawing and writing. Viewable at: https://hubs.mozilla.com/azrGDrm/dwelling-on-a-sanctuary. Courtesy of the Natasha Ruwona.

On Aischa Digital Daughtery Sapphic Love GO!


Aischa Daughtery (she/her) is a Scottish lesbian creative making waves with her tender, candid approaches to writing and social justice advocation. She is also the founder of Lesbian Love Notes (@lesbianlovenotes), a curated Instagram feed where lesbians from across the globe can submit their written professions of love, care and romance. These come in all forms - from care packages sent long-distance, to entire scrapbooks of ephemera, from tattoos to poetry scrawled on scrap paper. LLN represents a digital archive of lesbian love in all its forms, and continues to grow as a safe space for queer self-expression. More recently, Aischa launched an exciting new project that I was super keen to chat to her about. this is how we love is Aischa's upcoming book - a real, tangible, published book featuring an edited anthology of 'love notes, letters, poetry and visual artwork' submitted by 'lesbians and people in relationships with lesbians'. Both of Aischa's editorial projects are a perfect opportunity for conversation about something that is hard to quantify: the simultaneous, almost universal experience of both otherness and solidarity experienced by queer folks online.


Webchatting with The White Pube Hey Aischa, let's get acquainted! Who are you in general, and what are you working on at the minute? AD: I’m always learning more about who I am. I’m only twenty-three, so I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but I guess right now, I’m a Scottish, lesbian poet and aspiring teenage fiction novelist. I’m a partner, a daughter, a big sister, a friend and an advocate for social, political and environmental justice. I’m a recent English Literature and Sociology graduate and am currently a Creative Writing (MLitt) student. I’m currently working on Nirvana Moon, a teenage fiction novel that grapples with the highs and horrors of 21st-century girlhood. I am so in love with Nirvana as a character, and in writing this novel, I feel like I’ve found my ‘purpose’, which is pretty exciting. I’m also in the process of writing multiple different poetry collections for university. My favourite one so far is a pamphlet- length poem inspired by Alice Pieszecki’s chart in The L Word. Outside of creative writing, I work part-time for a children’s author doing digital marketing, which I thoroughly enjoy. Most importantly, though, I am in the early stages of curating this is how we love, an anthology of love notes and letters shared between lesbians (and sometimes their non-lesbian partners and friends) across the globe. I’m also working on deep cleaning my kitchen, but everything previously mentioned is proving to be a lot easier. What does the word ‘lesbian’ mean to you? AD: I identify as a lesbian because that’s exactly what I am. The definition of the word is highly contested nowadays, but I’m not sure why. I guess everybody has their own definition, although there is only really one. I don't care much about that stuff, though. I use the term to identify myself as a way of preserving lesbian history and to express solidarity with other dykes.

To me, the word ‘lesbian’ feels like home. It feels like relief; like breathing out after holding my breath for my entire life. Like someone said, ‘hold your breath until you find where you belong’, and I did it. I’ve only really been able to breathe for six years. It means community, history, shared joy, shared fear, shared rage, and a whole secret language that only we can speak and understand. It means poetry, protest, romance, sex and vulnerability. All the good stuff. I am a Femme lesbian not only because I present and behave in ways that the world deems ‘feminine’, but because I love, respect, admire and champion Butch lesbians. I’m obsessed with them. Boobs are great too, though. Obviously. What inspired you to launch the Lesbian Love Notes? AD: Honestly, I launched Lesbian Love Notes in lockdown because I was craving a lesbian community more than ever, and I knew several other lesbians who were feeling the same. I wanted to create a space where members of our community could go to breathe, away from the endless succession of tragic news stories that the pandemic incited. Somewhere dripping in joy, love, yearning and heartache that invited everybody who entered to travel across the world and daydream about future happiness, and to feel inspired, safe, celebrated, and above all, at home. I wanted to contribute a positive and necessary representation of authentic lesbian love and existence to today’s digital landscape because I believe it is imperative that lesbians (and every other sexual minority group) see our own experiences and desires reflected in the spaces we spend the most time, which, for most people during the pandemic, was online. So Lesbian Love Notes was born, and within only a few months, we had over 2000 highly engaged followers.


Webchatting with The White Pube I think it was a community that was valued by many during the height of the pandemic, as everybody put a lot of effort into helping it thrive and grow. The submissions have come to a bit of a halt now that everybody's lives are busy again, so I think I might just leave it be. It was a brilliant project that did exactly what I intended it to do: unite lesbians across the world in a time where community felt more important than ever. Because the idea seemed to really resonate with people, I started brainstorming and applied for funding to make this is how we love, which I was fortunate enough to receive. The book will be much more diverse, intimate and visually appealing than Lesbian Love Notes. I can't wait to hold it in my hands. You can submit your own love notes and letters for publication up until 14th December at midnight and read all about it here: https://thisishowwelove.wixsite.com/book/.

We’ve seen all kinds of beautiful submissions to LLN, from iMessage logs to notes written in books. Originally the working title of this is how we love was we fell in love on the internet - what drove this change? Are there any differences between love being developed and expressed online vs offline, especially now digital tech and social media are such a normal part of every day life? AD: I was originally going to call the book we fell in love on the internet because I really wanted (and still want) it to be a time capsule of lesbian love and existence right now. I felt like this title echoed the reality of many lesbian couples in our digital age, particularly those who got together midpandemic. This title also parodied girl in red’s song, we fell in love in october, which is considered a bit of a modern-day lesbian anthem, so I thought this would appeal to potential Gen-Z readers especially.

However, when I realised that not everybody whose letters would go on to feature in the book will have fallen in love on the internet and that I’ve only actually listened to that girl in red song once in my life, I decided to rethink it. When I came up with the new title, ‘this is how we love’, something clicked. This is the exact purpose of the book: to document how we, as the lesbians of today, love. I fell in love with it immediately, and so did my friends. Nobody is allowed to steal ‘we fell in love on the internet', though, okay?! It's at the top of my 'creative project ideas and titles' list. And finally, what does it mean to be a lesbian on the Internet today, or whilst growing up? How did your sexuality impact your experience of digital space? AD: I think that having access to communities and spaces in which we are nurtured, celebrated and loved as exactly who we are is essential to everybody’s growth, comfort, happiness and journey of self-acceptance. If you are straight in almost any country, society, institution or family, your sexual orientation will never be the reason you are unable to visit, shunned, bullied, excluded from or otherwise ostracised. It is also highly likely that you grew up surrounded by straight people. Queer people don’t have the luxury of free movement, and I’m yet to meet a queer person who has grown up surrounded by people they could fully relate to.

"The internet is a place where those who don’t feel as though they fit into the majority of physical communities or spaces around them can go to meet like-minded people, explore their identities, and most importantly, be themselves."


Webchatting with The White Pube

The internet is a place where those who don’t feel as though they fit into the majority of physical communities or spaces around them can go to meet likeminded people, explore their identities, and most importantly, be themselves. It allows them to carve out online communities that reflect the ones they crave in real life, which can be lifesaving. Queer people are not kidding when we say we ‘need’ safe spaces. For some of us, making friends with people on Instagram who live on the other side of the world is easier than walking down the street safely. Although I live in a big city and have been ‘out' for over half a decade, I hardly know any lesbians in real life. I could actually count my real-life lesbian friends on one hand, which bothers me hugely, as there is nothing quite as comforting and validating as being in the presence of other lesbians. They just get it, you know. The good, the bad and the unspeakable. I do, however, have an expansive community of lesbian internet friends who have played a huge part in my self- development, and who often (unknowingly) provide me with irreplaceable emotional support. I was incredibly fortunate to have access to the internet as a teenager, as I found solace in online lesbian communities when I was still young and figuring out who I was outside of the straight-washed suburbs I grew up in. I’d definitely still be closeted and depressed if it wasn’t for lesbians on the internet. I owe a lot to the lesbians who are simultaneously privileged and brave enough to be ‘out and proud’ online, which is why I post a lot about my relationships and identity. If I can make at least one scared kid think, ‘okay, I will be comfortable, happy and completely fulfilled one day’, through my Instagram, Lesbian Love Notes or this is how we love, I’ll have done my job.


KERIS HEADING (IG: @keris.hcreative) peach and banana xox (2020) Digital composite photography. Courtesy of the artist.

setoN & secruoseR

Reading is Fundamental where to start?? a lil list of suggested reading related to cyberfeminism & digital art

New Media Art

Renna Jana - 2009

Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto Legacy Russell - 2019

A Cyborg Manifesto Donna J. Haraway - 1985

Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices Maria Fernandez & Faith Wilding - 2003

A Capsule Aesthetic: Feminist Materialisms in New Media Art Kate Mondloch - 2018

Orian Brook & Dave O'Brien - 2020


Culture is Bad for You: Inequality in the Cultural and Creative Industries

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men Caroline Criado Perez - 2019

Data Feminism Catherine D'Ignazio & Lauren Klein - 2020

Sex Media Feona Attwood - 2017

The New Queer Conscience Adam Eli - 2020


More Stuff to Check Out useful/important resources for creatives, activists, curators & all lovers of digital art

Guidelines for the care of media artworks http://mattersinmediaart.org/ Pixel Datascape: Data Management Lessons from Video Games https://youtube.com/playlist? list=PLbkhiRA2P3qLPvRFc79a3yPPNAOyLP3xY

27 Free Alternatives to Adobe's Expensive App Subscriptions https://lifehacker.com/27-free-alternatives-toadobes-expensive-app-subscripti-1831737178

Free At-Home Coding Activities by Girls Who Code 31


Black Girls Code: WoC in Technology https://www.blackgirlscode.com/

Black Transfemmes in the Arts Collective https://www.btfacollective.org/btfa-productions

Working Class Creatives Database https://www.workingclasscreativesdatabase.co.uk/

Mental Health & Wellness Resources for Queer Artists https://artisttrust.org/mental-health-wellnessresources-2/

Artists Union 2021 Rates of Pay Guide https://www.artistsunion.scot/pay_rates_2021

The White Pube Successful Funding Application Library




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On a wee personal note: this publication was an absolute dream to make, and hopefully the first of many more adventures in art publishing. I want to send out the biggest thank you to everybody who contributed to and supported this work - especially to NEoN and all the kind folks who took the time to talk and submit their artworks. <3 Amy

The title we are geeks and we are not guys is a homage to an essay of the same name by L. Jean Camp, first published in the book Wired Women: Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace (1996).

Copyright (2021) - All Rights Reserved. No original content within this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the author. All artworks belong solely to the original cited artists, and have been reproduced with permission.

Contact: www.amyiona.photography // @amyiona.photo

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