A museum curator and writer extends the cyberfeminism of the 1980s and 1990s by centering queer artists and thinkers of color via her notion of "glitch," re-conceptualizing the term from one connoting error to one intimating liberation from the demands of hegemonic norms.
Glitch Feminism is a rallying cry, a recapturing of cyberfeminism oriented to include and spotlight the many queer and non-white voices who in their practice live out the awesome potential of an enmeshed digital feminism: the glitch. In a full embrace of the potential of the manifesto form, Russell weaves together the work of these artists with poetic language that dances from play to scholarship, music to contemplation, pain to jubilance. Glitch Feminism is a groundbreaking text for its underlying assertion, yes, but the deftness with which Russell wields language is artwork in itself. Like the vibrant contrast of the book’s cover, Glitch Feminism is a bright declaration, an ecstatic embrace of the new futures that lurk just behind hegemonic defaults.
Legacy Russell’s Glitch Feminism takes Walt Whitman’s 'I am large, I contain multitudes,' as a kind of fugal subject, expanding glitch feminism in scope with each repetition ... A refusal to be pinned down extends to the form of the book itself, which variously presents itself as a work of media theory, memoir, and manifesto, while primarily existing in the third register. This can result in some frustratingly unfulfilled promises ... glitch feminism takes technology primarily as an aestheticized metaphor. That’s not necessarily a failing, even if it does lead to some meandering ... Glitch Feminism, unfortunately, sometimes feels more like poeticized vaporware. That feeling lessens in the book’s last third, when Russell addresses the racialized construction of gender. She throws out a number of intriguing provocations ... I often wanted Russell to complicate and deepen these ideas, because some are strikingly original ... Still, there is some luminous, and even incandescent prose here, particularly when Russell talks about her early experiments with identity construction online and the gentrification of her hometown ... At its best, Glitch Feminism has that...comforting 'for us by us' feel.
Glitch Feminism moves through various, sometimes familiar narratives...with playfulness and irreverence, to consider whether the aberrations or errors which are often cast as something to be fixed are actually emancipatory ... Russell is concerned with how race, gender and sexuality influence and affect the way that our identities are performed, but she’s not in search of a simple answer or an easy way out. She asks whether we can free ourselves from our bodies, not just on the Internet, in a forum or on our phones, but all the time ... Throughout, Russell is decisive and defiant. What is radical and genuinely exciting is the conviction that she has in glitch feminism as a political project outside of the mainstream, as a form of collective joy and identity making.