XR/XF: Extended Realities,  Extended Feminisms


XR/XF: Extended Realities, Extended Feminisms brings together local, national, and international artists  to create a site-specific multimedia exhibition and series of events on the University of Michigan campus and across the city of Ann Arbor. The exhibition will take place in various locations, including a shipping container - the XR/XF pod - that will travel between 2 locations in Ann Arbor during the first two weeks of April.

The city of Ann Arbor has always been feminized. The story goes that in 1824, John Allen and Elisha W. Rumsey founded the town and named it after their wives, who were both named Ann. Since then, the city has been anthropomorphized as a feminine body throughout the years. In the 1980s, the University of Michigan’s football rivals in Ohio invented the infamous slogan, “Ann Arbor is a Whore!” as a method to jeer at the opposition. Since then, this offensive slogan has spread across the US and reappears every Fall during football season in Ann Arbor, proliferating through both physical and digital objects. As one recent social media commenter notes: “That's what happens when you have a chick name for your city.” 

With this project, we strike/suspend gender from the city’s name: Ann Arbor is neither trophy wife nor whore. Instead, we pose Ann Arbor as a feminist cyborg, a feminist map, and a creative, participatory organism. We construct the body of the city differently, with artistic intervention and cyberfeminist means: physical and digital installation, activations of public space, music, performances, and workshops. From the Bell Tower on central campus to the parking lot of the Liberty Annex, we offer a creative activation that is both physical and digital and a fluid/complex/distributed image of the city through both XR and feminist means.

Curated by Alina Nazmeeva and Yvette Granata. In collaboration with Tiffany Ng, Tyler Musgrave, Julie Zhu, and Anıl Çamcı. Supported by the Arts Initiative at University of Michigan.