/ gender platform # 4 (12/2007)
trans / gender
The trans / gender platform has been an initiative
by Nina Höchtl and I, Suzanne van Rossenberg. In 2003 we organized
the trans / gender symposium and in 2004 the trans / gender magazine.
Aim of trans / gender is to show contemporary researches within art(theory),
new media and all kinds of fields of science that work with a wider
interpretation of gender and transgender.
The website was born in 2005 out of a need for a cheap and quick alternative
for the publication or symposium. There have been four editions of the
trans / gender website with kind and voluntary contributions of artists,
writers and researchers. In 2006 the website got an honourable mention
in the Willemerpreis, Austria. In 2007 it was part of the exhibition
‘Cyber feminism past forward’ curated by Rudolfine Lackner
and Evelin Stermitz (VBKÖ, Vienna). The website became an art product
and Nina and I confronted ourselves with questions about artistic, feminist
and economic values of our product.
The trans / gender website is a clear case of a Do-It-Yourself project.
We have never applied for subsidies or searched for sponsors. We have
never asked web designers to work for free, but instead we managed to
do the little bit of web building ourselves. The trans / gender platform
has always been meant as a political piece, despite our ignorance. At
this moment an average of 200 people visit our website per month, of
whom just a small number stay for longer than a couple of minutes, or
Though our website is not visited by a lot people, we know there is
a need for trans / gender and queer platforms in the art world —whatever
one you are in. Maybe we could find more artists and researchers who
would voluntarily contribute to our website. We could also apply for
funding to make the website more professional, visible or even a commissioner
that can pay contributors. A decision in this matter needs our perspective
on the conditions for ‘professionality’ and artistic agency
of trans / gender, queer and feminist artists, including ourselves.
We are working on it. The more reason there was, for both Nina and I
to participate in the Affinity Group Switch Metaphors.
We are happy to let our website host the AG’s call for contributions
within the framework of the European Feminist Forum. Though participation
is again on a voluntary base, we hope that it will form a good structure
for trans / gender and queer exchange.
Suzanne van Rossenberg
European Feminist Forum