Atlantic Dialogue #1: Charlotte Johannesson’s Cyberfeminist Textile Punk
Sp5 Drop Dead
Charlotte Johannesson Drop Dead, 1977

Lars Bang Larsen

Trained as a weaver, Johannesson began to make tapestries as art in the 1970s. Her works satirized mainstream politics and often consisted of feminist and engaged commentaries on global events. In 1978 she traded her loom for an Apple II Plus, the first generation of PCs, and teaching herself to program she started the Digital Theatre with her partner, Sture Johannesson, in Malmö, Sweden. Existing between 1981 and 1985, the Digital Theatre was a techno-utopia in miniature and Scandinavia’s first digital arts laboratory.

Donna Haraway talks about ‘string figures’ in science fiction; that is, narrative threads that travel everywhere and in the process transfigure existing technologies and what is considered human. In this spirit Johannesson’s work can be written as at the same time “relentlessly real and inescapably fabulated,” as Haraway puts it, as a meditation on technology, gender, and futurity in which the loom and the computer became confabulatory allies.

The Atlantic Dialogues are a series of public talks and interdisciplinary discussions, organized jointly by the Atlantic Project and Plymouth University Fine Art. All talks are free and open to students and the general public, held at 4pm in the Jill Craigie Lecture Theatre, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth [unless otherwise stated].  

Lars Bang Larsen

Lars Bang Larsen is adjunct curator of international art at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and visiting lecturer at the program in Art, Culture and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. Lars holds his PhD on psychedelic concepts in neo-avantgarde art from the University of Copenhagen, and was a co-curator of the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo 2016: Incerteza Viva / Live Uncertainty, among other exhibitions. He is the author of several publications on art and critical theory and is a contributor to various art magazines.