Artist as feminist observer

Witch (wiedźma) is sitting on the fence separating the forest from the village. It is a gesture of protection but she is also doing it to have a better perspective to observe situations happening in the village.

Keep scrolling to go down a few rabbit holes

Feminist lens
The role of a feminist observer develops 'feminist lens' as a tool helping understand complex contemporary situations. This role can also transform observation into activism by recognizing forms of inequality in everyday situations. My feminist lens brought me to the idea of commons. Commoning as a strategy can build alternative value systems in relation to beliefs, economics or ethics of care.
Referring to Miriam Tola's definition we can understand commons as "a site of cooperation and mode of living alternative to the pursuit of profit and corrupted public policies" and it's closely connected with the process of communing.
how can we observe
engage with

"From a feminist viewpoint, one of the attractions exercised by the idea of the commons is the possibility of overcoming the isolation in which reproductive activities are performed and the separation between the private and the public spheres that has contributed so much to hiding and rationalizing women’s exploitation in the family and the home".
what's hidden behind the patriarchal structure in capitalist society
I believe that the role of a feminist observer create a space for commons. This essay is created as a website because it can provide access to knowledge. The idea of commons is encoded deep within the idea of the open and accessible Internet, which is especially relevant now considering the recent discussions about declaring access to the Internet as a human right.

The role of the feminist observer is grounded in:

deep observation

critical analysis of gender
dynamics, patriarchy

gender equality

reproductive rights

interrogation of power structures

contribution to commons

Feminist observer is also engaged. The core of this role is actively balancing between art, theory and observation. This is also a base for re-enchanting practices and creating alternative scenarios for resilience.
Following Silvia Federici: "It is to the discovery of reasons and logics other than those of capitalist development that I refer when I speak of ‘re-enchanting the world,’ a practice that I believe is central to most anti-systemic movements and a precondition for resistance to exploitation."

Let’s focus on artistic examples which in my opinion engage with the role of feminist observer.

During the process of creating the work, Mirga-Tas worked with many women from the Roma minority. While creating this communal representation and visual archive of her stories to expand the European ionosphere, the notion of commons as something very important for Romani people was present. This work operates around the re-enchantment of dominant representations, the care of commons, and the breakdown of the narratives of the patriarchal culture.

Futurology of Cooperation in their Grimoire presented an exercise of "Intense looking". As described on their website, the idea is very simple: "This simple but intense exercise invites us to spend more time than usual to look at something." I find this a very interesting example of practicing focus and being open to the possibilities of observing directed at a certain outcome. The goal of the practice is "desorienting sensations that open up the mind, and shift our way of observing or thinking about things".

Both artistic references present different approaches towards production of the artwork and ways of practicing the role of feminist observer in different level of engagement. The work of Mirga- Tas reflects on the lives of Roma minority women, while the practice of intensive looking provides a moment of unsealing of our sight-centered system.