String Figures takes its title from techno-feminist Donna Haraway’s metaphor for the inextricable threads that connect us all. Since Covid-19 has radically changed our working practices, Aillie Rutherford has been working with designer Bettina Nissen and creative technologist Bob Moyler to co-design new collaborative software for collective working centred on a principle of mutual care and co-operation. String Figures is an adaptation from a print-block mapping toolkit she designed for The People's Bank of Govanhill, a long term collaborative project exploring ways of putting feminist economics into practice at a local level. On this workshop, String Figures focuses on mapping how local and trans-local collectives to collaborate in a non-profit online space, building de-centralised support networks through encrypted visual diagrams.
String Figures intends to reveal the interdepencies that constitute an economy and, in this way, continues the research of White Papers on Dissent, exploring value on a non-capitalocentric manner. This workshop unveils the multiple connections between all the components of an economy, usually these features are hidden as they are not conmensurable in a neoliberal society. We are talking about conflict resolution, care, social innovation, which are fundamental pieces in the making of a community, but usually go unseen by the greater economic narratives. Through this workshop, the participants will collectively explore their own interdependencies, and the role they have in their own ecosystems. By these means, Ailie Rutherford guides a collective investigation about what is valuable and how it is represented. Moving away trackable, traceable, and data-mineable experiences for online devices, this is a careful encounter of multiple subjectivities to collectively imagine the feminist tools of the new web, a digital commons where we can pool our collective resources to build the systems we need to support each other.
Ailie Rutherford is a visual artist working at the intersection of community activism and creative practice. Her collaborative artworks bring people together in conversations about our social and economic landscape using print, performance, sci-fi visioning, games and technology as playful means to work through difficult questions and radically re-think our shared futures. Resulting works range from proposed new models for living and working together to the building of new infrastructure.
Recent projects include:
The People’s Bank of Govanhill a long term social art project in Govanhill (Glasgow) realising feminist economic theory in a community context.
String Figures collaborative software for collective working centred on a principle of mutual care and co-operation, titled after techno-feminist Donna Haraway’s metaphor for the inextricable threads that connect us all.
Her feminist economic artworks have been shown at Unbox festival, (Bengaluru, India) MoneyLab at Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Supermarkt (Berlin, Germany) and for Tracing The Tracks//Work Affair at Rum 46 (Aarhus, Denmark).
Ailie is currently working as curator for NEoN digital arts Wired Women festival.