Category: lecture

“Tarots of the Algorithms” Workshop by Mara Oscar Cassiani +  “Casting a spell in computational regimes: ritual practices for a transfeminist counter-apocalypse” Lecture by Arianna Forte with Open Call  

8th March 2024


Duration 60/90  min
Number of participants: 10


Duration 45 min 


Tarots of the Algorithms 

Workshop by Mara Oscar Cassiani

Expanded rituals explode from algorithmic bubbles created on the net. Algorithms become the cue for a collective and random ritual of users: fragments of belonging, but also unconscious carriers of signifiers and archetypes. 

In this workshop Mara Oscar Cassiani shares with the participants the execution of a series of gifs/ memes related to her own algorithmic bubble, collected in tarot cards according to the criterion of ritual female archetypes. Through this process she will transform her algorithms into a shared online/offline reality and an expanded witcha group ritual experience that transcends individual media practice and meditates on the themes of traditional rituals as a moment of exchange, healing and empowerment of those who participate. 

For registration please refer to Mz*Baltazar’s Laboratory at

Please note: Parts that require physical activity will also be followed during the workshop. Comfortable clothing and if desired a mat to sit on is recommended.

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Lecture by Arianna Forte: Casting a spell in computational regimes: ritual practices for a transfeminist counter-apocalypse 

Divinatory readings of the flow of data and ads generated by our smartphones, ritual sessions of digital “healing” from the data trauma suffered on social media, spells inscribed in the codes of raster files to reclaim our cultural identities by taking selfies. Who are the witches who navigate digital systems and interpret them with ritual practices between the artistic, the magical and the political?

From a critical reflection on the ongoing cultural and existential transformation that sees data and computation as phenomena that have re-signified our presence in the global and hyper-connected world and that reveal new forms of domination and subjugation, the present investigation is an examination of artistic practices envied as “rituals of resistance” at these systems.

Specifically, a close look will be made at the phenomenon that is referred to by the author as “Digital Esoterism”. Pointing, to the new generations of artists who in the post-covid era adopt the archetype of witchcraft to navigate systems of computational oppression: from Cyberwitches claiming a 2.0 spirituality, Digital Doulas proposing data healing, to Digital Tarot Readers in which algorithms are conceived as divinatory prediction systems. They claim a transfeminist approach in direct connection with the experiences of Cyberfeminism, which since the spread of the Internet had highlighted the structures of domination, marginalization and oppression inherent in technological systems.

At the end of the lecture there will be a time for sharing the personal “rituals”proposed by the guests and the local art community.

This lecture aims to present the themes and initial results of the research Casting a spell in computational regimes: ritual practices for a trans-feminist counter-apocalypse that curator Arianna Forte is conducting as part of the project supported by the Italian Council (2023) program promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.

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Bring your own digital/ esoteric rituals! for Arianna Forte lecture
Call for collecting ritual practices

The renowned Italian anthropologist Ernesto De Martino investigated the ritual strategies of traditional cultures for years and defined them as cultural instruments of protection or redemption to support the collapse of any possible ordered universe of meanings.The symbolic efficacy of the ritual, its actions,its repetitions,its intentionalities, served to exorcize a profound crisis of existence, the perception of the end of the world.

What are the contemporary rituals to resist and address the entropic crisis found at every level of human experience and also of the imaginaries that run through today’s culture? From the pervasiveness of digital systems, the dominance of patriarchy, the collapse of climate change to the surveillance regimes of late capitalism?

We call for collecting each kind of digital esoteric ritual practices, personal or collective cultural tools, that each of us puts in place and wants to propose to navigate the ineffable of the contemporary, 

On Women’s Day, we ask you to come to Mz*Baltazar’s Laboratory and propose: your own art practice that uses ritual methodologies, your own personal spell, your digital summoning, your own herbal concoction or any kind of esoterism that can challenge the existing everydayness, specifically focusing on gender inequalities and digital capitalism.

We accept all types of proposals from the wacky to the simple: that brings together ancient traditions, magic, politics, activism and art
There will be an opportunity to enact your ritual or simply tell about it. We invite you to attend the March 8 program at Mz*Baltazar’s Lab and at the end of the lecture there will be a convivial time to return the call for rituals
Please for information and to answer the call write to

With the kind support of:

Kunst Hardware Feminismus 


Master Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften | Abteilung Kulturwissenschaften 

mit Lydia Baumgartner, Meret Caderas, Reni Hofmüller, Jana Lill, Korinna Lindinger, Pia Michalko, Luise Nübling, Barbara Praher, Jul Marian, Claudia Stoleru, Eva Topić, Patrícia J. Reis und Stefanie Wuschitz 

30. Jänner 2024 16–20 Uhr 

Mz* Baltazar’s Laboratory 

Feministische Medienkunstpositionen stellen die materiellen und strukturellen Bedingungen einer von Technologie durchdrungenen Welt zur Diskussion. Zwischen Ermächtigung, Entzauberung und Sichtbarmachung ist Hardware dabei Material und Thema einer kritischen, spekulativen wie emanzipatorischen künstlerischen Auseinandersetzung. 

Die Open-Source-Soirée lädt zur Debatte rund um feministisches Hacking und ethische Technologieentwicklung. Anlass sind künstlerische Forschungsartefakte und kulturwissenschaftliche Projekte von Student*innen des Projektgebundenen Seminars ‘Kunst. Hardware. Feminismus’. 

Die Open-Source-Soirée ist der Auftakt zum öffentlichen Semesterabschluss des Masterstudiums Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften. Am 31. Jänner 2024 findet daran anschließend die Tagung ‘Expanded Cinema, Handwerk und Empathie’ im Hörsaal 1 der Universität für angewandte Kunst statt.

Link Veranstaltung:


Kunst Hardware Feminismus 


Master Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften | Abteilung Kulturwissenschaften 

with Lydia Baumgartner, Meret Caderas, Reni Hofmüller, Jana Lill, Korinna Lindinger, Pia Michalko, Luise Nübling, Barbara Praher, Jul Marian, Claudia Stoleru, Eva Topić, Patrícia J. Reis and Stefanie Wuschitz 

January 30th, 2024, 4–8 p.m.

Mz* Baltazar’s Laboratory 

Jägerstraße 52–54

1200 Vienna

Feminist media art positions put the material and structural conditions of a world permeated by technology up for discussion. In the spirit of empowerment, demystification and awareness, hardware is material and subject of a critical, speculative and emancipatory artistic debate. 

The Open-Source-Soirée invites you to debate feminist hacking and perspectives on ethical technology based on artistic research artifacts and cultural studies projects by students of the project-based seminar ‘Kunst. Hardware. Feminism’. The Open-Source-Soirée is part of the public closing event of the Master’s degree program in Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, followed by the conference ‘Expanded Cinema, Craft and Empathy’ in Lecture Hall 1/University of Applied Arts on January 31, 2024. 

If suitable:

Link Soirée:

Link Master:


From the 27th of November until the 3rd of November


Residence period: 27th November until the 3rd of December

Opening hours to public: Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday from 15h to 18h

Workshop/ Lecture for the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna: Thursday the 30th from 10 to 12h

Public Presentation Lecture/ Performance: Friday 1st of December at 19h


The project that will be developed in the Fem-Lab residency is part of the series of speculative projects conducted by neuX, a futurisc interactive laboratory conducting experiments on pleasure and sexuality in post-humanism, from a performative and transfeminist perspective, where sci-fi erotic narratives, cyborg skins and biomateriality are intertwined with natural environments and dystopian scenarios.

This chapter focuses on the design and speculative research of a wearable sensory bio-textile that utilises surrounding natural elements and bodily fluids to generate activist frequencies.

The aim is to create a symbiotic link between the human body, its fluids and its surroundings for an active and visceral listening to the events and changes that are taking place, in and around us from a climatic, social and political perspective.

The tissue is made from biocircuits of bodily fluids, such as menstrual blood, to create a wearable interactive synthesiser using human and non-human, internal and external sounds;

each natural and bodily change will influence the frequency itself, generating activist noises that will open a discussion/performance that will challenge topical issues.


Making.Artistic.Technology: Elizabeth Losh on FemTechNet

Artistic Bokeh in collaboration with Mz Baltazar’s Laboratory presents a discussion with US media theorist Elizabeth Losh on

‘A Woman’s Touch: Pink Collar Workers and Feminist Origin Stories’

Wednesday October 28, 18:30 – 20:00
Raum D, MuseumsQuartier
(Achtung: diesmal nicht in Mz Baltazar’s Lab Raum auf der Sechshauserstraße)



In recent years there have been a number of significant theoretical shifts in the study of digital media.  By emphasizing the material, situated, contingent, embodied, affective, and labor-intensive characteristics of digital media rather than friction-free visions of “virtual reality” or “cyberspace,” theorists of media archeology are also expressing their concerns about present-day power relations around apparatuses and interfaces and signifying interest in collective consciousness-raising efforts.   As science and technology studies (STS) and tactical media play a greater role in media studies, international feminist collectives like FemTechNet and the Fembot Collective are growing.  At the same time, cyberfeminist work from decades before – by seminal figures, such as Lynn Hershman Leeson, Faith Wilding, and Shu Lea Cheang — is gaining recognition.  Unfortunately elitism can insinuate itself into these discourses by ignoring women’s long history of engagement with computational media as low-status pink collar workers and how they continue to supply manual labor in the supply chains of digital media today.



Elizabeth Losh is the author of Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes (MIT Press, 2009) and The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University (MIT Press, 2014) and has been a co-facilitator of FemTechNet, an international collective of feminist scholars, artists, activists, and learners who work with and about technology. She is also the co-author of the comic book textbook Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013) with Jonathan Alexander.

She has also written a number of frequently cited essays about communities that produce, consume, and circulate online video, videogames, digital photographs, text postings, and programming code. The diverse range of subject matter analyzed in her scholarship has included coming out videos on YouTube, videogame fan films created by immigrants, combat footage from soldiers in Iraq shot on mobile devices, video evidence created for social media sites by protesters on the Mavi Marmara, remix videos from the Arab Spring, the use of Twitter and Facebook by Indian activists working for women’s rights after the Delhi rape case, and the use of Instagram by anti-government activists in Ukraine.

Before coming to William and Mary, she was Director of the Culture, Art, and Technology program at Sixth College at U.C. San Diego, where she taught courses on digital rhetoric and new media.  She is also a blogger for Digital Media and Learning Central, and a Steering Committee member of FemTechNet.

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