We build this city on rocks and (feminist) code: hacking corporate computational designs of cities to come

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Cities have long become interspaces, entangled in materialities and virtual worlds. However, as urban automation advances in cities increasingly made ‘smarter’, everyday processes are often controlled by oppressive standards hardcoded into technologies. Publicly neutralized as ‘objective’, corporately owned algorithmic architectures now function as urban gatekeepers. They determine social participation, possibilities of space appropriation on- and offline, and access to (social) infrastructures. Following five months of qualitative research on hacking and other tech-practices by German-speaking cyberfeminist collectives in 2021, my paper portrays their refusal of black-boxed, profitable, and biased technologies of classification. I argue that feminist hackspaces are important urban co-creators in digitized cities to come. They offer infrastructures to increase access to interfaces, (cyber-)spaces, and decision-making processes by sharing their tech-knowledge and tools. Their activism demonstrates how (urban) hacking is a crucial practice to break with non-democratically controlled digitalization processes: in favour of a city for all.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Creativity
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)162-177
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 24.07.2023

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