Fabricating Activism

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Bratrich, Jack Z., and Heidi M. Brush. "Fabricating Activism: Craft-Work, Popular Culture, Gender." Utopian Studies 22.3(2011), Special Issue: Craftivism.

Relevant for an implicit image and brief discussion helping readers understand gender issues in the rise of the textile factory during the Industrial Revolution: "In nineteenth-century England, factory owners recruited male spinners to work the machines. While men were viewed as better equipped to fuse with the machines, in fact laborers often employed their entire families to assist them at the factory machines." Note also reference "the economic reorganization of the bodies of male workers (e.g., the spinners who were absorbed into the factories)" (p. 235, emphasis added). Cf. Karl Marx's "Machinery and Large Scale Industry"chapter of Das Kapital and note the standard move in both SF and satire of literalizing figures of speech.

Immediately relevant: §2 "Cyberfeminism: Gender, Materiality, Techne," which "complicates" the "gender binary" of the "typical association [… of] masculinity / digital culture and femininity / fabriculture" and furthers the argument that "the relationship between technology and craft is deeply intertwined" (p. 244). In this regard, notes that beyond figures of speech "The first attempt to automate processes (aka software) was based on the Jacquard loom." Cites a 2006 on-line academic paper by Kristy Robertson for the argument "that information technology is less about hardware than software" and that "this code-based programming is akin to knitting." This is followed by noting Sadie Plant's 1997 Zeroes and Ones as "a 'machanic history' of Ada Lovelace, the nineteenth-century aristocrat, mathematician, and collaborator with Charles Babbage on an analog computer. Ada herself was obsessed with tapestries and with the idea of weaving encrypted messages into scarves. The intertwinement of digital culture's origins with fabriculture has led Plant to suggest that the binary code 1/0 that underpins computer programming was derived from knit/purl" (244-45).

RDE, Initial Compiler, 22July18