While the contemporary cultural practices of selfie-taking and experience-chasing
are often derogatively and dismissively ascribed to narcissistic, ‘millennial’ proclivities,
this thesis argues that they are derived of political and social frameworks long prefigured
in the history of performance, image, and play. Furthermore, this premature dismissal
blinds cultural critique to the massive scales of political and economic power leveraged
behind and through such practices in the city of late capital development. In this new
image economy, aesthetic strategies like invitation, influence, and interface unfold in
novel management protocols, intricate financial networks, and immense tracts of urban
space, inculcating a subjectivity pursuant to a consumerist ideology of the good life
through participatory commitment.
While this document in no way operates as an encyclopedia of feminist space-praxes, it highlights an array of such projects held together by their mutual investment in building feminist commons and infrastructures of care. In each project, survival is understood as a material practice, contingent on the affective relationship between bodies, space, and technologies. Though the direct object of each project’s intervention varies—from the clinic, to the house, to the neighborhood—each suggests alternative ways of living, surviving, and designing outside of the built environment’s hetero-patriarchal scripts.