The fields of physical and cyber tech lands are vastly dominated by male hack wizards.
Questioning their cultural sovereignty seems like an impossible venture.
And yet, scattered occult pagan groups of hack witches, craft their own spells, rituals and techniques, raising the knowledge and power of the Systerhood. Their memories are hidden
in arcane cyber rooms, diabolic wikis and folk cryptosongs.
Syster Papyri Magicae is a collection of stories from old and new Syster groups worldwide.
Join a number of quests and discover as many magical papyri as possible.
.•°*”˜˜ A-bruh-kuh-DA-bruh ˜˜”*°•.
Syster Papyri Magicae is a project that unfolds the phenomenon of gender exclusions in male-dominated tech environments, aiming to document, discuss and activate a variety of feminist practices that respond to this issue.
The Syster Papyri Magicae website enables a playful navigation to a collection of stories and practices that are gathered in a growing, editable ★ Wiki ★. Aided by the early web magic of hyperlinks, one may discover documentation of sexist incidents in tech, feminist hacker projects, wiki pages to write their versions of stories, or even dead-ends. A fictional context of sorcery provides a game-like atmosphere but is also tactically used. On the one hand, the witch as an excluded figure symbolises female strength, that challenges patriarchal systems. On the other hand, witchcraft is a theme ever-present in the geek culture, proposing that technology has a source of magical power, that one can harness for their own sense of agency and empowerment.
Strolling through the website, the visitor encounters several quests, that challenge them to choose what they would do in situations of exclusion. This method helps them realise how hard it is, to take action under these circumstances. It is also a way to open discussions on diverse feminist approaches, learn about feminist hacker practices, and if interested, become a contributor.
This project builds upon the research done in the context of the publication:
Syster Systems: On the urgencies and potential of feminist hacker initiatives.
This work has been produced in the context of the graduation research of Artemis Gryllaki from the Experimental Publishing (XPUB) Master course at the Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.
XPUB is a two year Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design that focuses on the intents, means and consequences of making things public and creating publics in the age of post-digital networks.
The graduation project Syster Papyri Magicae, developed under the supervision of Michael Murtaugh and Amy Suo Wu.
Syster Papyri Magicae (2020) is published under the terms of the Peer Production License.
The Peer Production License is an example of CopyFair licensing, in which only other commoners, collectives and nonprofits can share and re-use the material in question.