The University of Western Australia
Witches gain access to protected spaces through deviant pathways, twisted beings that they are. Are they twisted to begin with, or do they become distorted through necessity for such navigational means? This text examines historic underpinnings and contemporary responses to convoluted institutional restrictions around science technologies concerned with the body – embedded structures reinforced by capitalist modes of knowledge specialization and social classism. Such structural hegemony can stymy transdisciplinary, collaborative research and disenfranchise autonomous practitioners. Drawing on works of feminist scholars and witchcraft historiographers, this text shows how European capitalism/ colonialism wrought what has become a prominent witchy identity: artists who deliberately bend technologies towards counterhegemonic ends, revelling in the shapeshifting 'witch' as a natural fit for propagating unrestricted access to high-tech manipulations of biological systems. Concepts of deviance are examined as social triggers that instigate feminist revolt through 'reclaimed' witchcraft actions, towards socially reconstructive modes of knowledge and culture production.
Keywords: feminist; deviance; witchcraft; capitalism; science; technology; industry; art; technofeminism; ecology.