The Institute of (Im)possible Subjects (IIS) is a transnational feminist collective of artists, writers, and researchers that formed in 2013. We are visual, film, and media artists; writers whose work addresses contemporary culture and politics; and researchers whose work spans race, gender, and global migration, contemporary art, media studies, arts-based learning, and the Internet. We came together because we recognized the need to build new spaces for transnational feminist art and scholarship. We also came together with the unique vision of producing new platforms for engaging the active participation of diverse publics in global civil society conversation about feminisms and global migration through the arts and participatory learning. We understand transnational feminisms as a practice that is fundamentally about building global communication networks. It is only through how we understand and articulate the gendered dimensions of human experience globally, that we can build networks of solidarity and mutual support across different geo-political sites, and it is only through reaching out to each other across geo-political sites and nation-states that we can build collective understandings and articulations.
Our emphasis is on the construction of spaces for learning that engage multiple modalities, including artists’ projects, visual and sound experiments, in-person guest lectures, public workshops, video installations, and screenings, as well as online experiments in participatory knowledge sharing, which have included publicly accessible Google hangouts with authors and artists and “flashreads” of texts with participatory real-time commentary on political texts on platforms such as Tumblr. In addition to these art and education projects, we are currently nearing the completion of editing and designing our own dedicated online open access platform for art and writing, which is set to launch in August 2016. Our online platform, “sessions,” posits a quarterly series of interdisciplinary questions surrounding transnational digital cultures and feminism and invites artists and writers to contribute to an active online forum. Co-designed with the collective Omnivore, it creates a space for sharing provocative questions regarding globalization and global migration; their impact on digital spaces, gender, and race; the transnational exchange of visual cultures and social justice through media and technoscapes; and the intervention of contemporary artists and researchers in (re)defining landscapes of knowledge. Throughout all of our work, the IIS collective aims to construct a knowledge commons, framed by women’s voices and experiences in multiple settings.
Founding Editorial Collective
Damali Abrams, New York, NY USA
Dalida Maria Benfield, artist/scholar, Cambridge, MA USA
Tara Daly, Amherst, MA USA
Michelle Dizon, artist/scholar, Los Angeles, CA USA
Choralyne Dumesnil, scholar/activist, Paris, France
Laura Fantone, scholar/activist, Berkeley CA & Bologna, Italy
Annie Isabel Fukushima, activist/scholar, Salt Lake City UT, USA
Litia Perta, scholar, Irvine CA USA
Tammy Ko Robinson, artist/scholar, Seoul, Korea