Računari: Gender Roles Embracing Technology

We can only have a computer revolution if we have personal computers
Dejan Ristanović, editor of the magazine Računari, 1984

Master class, Novi Sad Academy of Arts, 2022

Technologies, and bodies, are always culturally, politically and economically situated. The 1980s were an example of situating bodies through technologies through the arrival of the personal computer into households around the world for the first time. Računari: Gender Roles Embracing Technology is a master class which was realized at the Academy of Art in Novi Sad exploring the medium of the iconic magazine Računari and its function in building the image of the computer user in the '80s in former Yugoslavia.

Diving into the performative function of the cover images for identity representation around computational cultures, the class approached methods of reenactment as tools for rethinking the gender binary in relation to the digital binary, through notions such as fluidity, expression, consent and power. This allowed us to ask questions such as: how can femininity, as well as masculinity embrace technology outside of the patriarchal and capitalist context? And what answers can we offer from today's perspectives on the expression of desire, gender, (in)determinacy and non-binary?

Over the course of several days, we focused on the intersections of gender identities, user experience, and power relations within a patriarchal post-socialist context. Having present original issues of the magazine, participants chose the covers they were interested by and reinterpreted them through socio-psychodrama exercises as starting inspiration points for developing their individual projects. Through an active reinterpretation of the meaning of gender roles in the form of staging the display from the cover, we created new scenes as a set of artistic responses for an imaginary new multimodal issue of Računari magazine.