Meta.Morf X – Digital Wild / Dokkhuset, March 6 – 7, 2020 / Curator: Zane Cerpina

Jasmina Tesanovic [us/rs]
Glamorous Failures and Smart Failings

It was my idea to have an open-source connected home of the future. My scheme was accepted by brave new geeks, brilliant people, but mostly male. They gave the house, “Casa Jasmina,” my name: I am grateful for that, but the house was not altogether comfortable. My idea for Casa Jasmina was to escape the mainstream, to shine some limelight on the unexpected, and to pay attention to the second prizes instead of the killer apps. Imaginary projects, one-off inventions, provocative design fictions: the kitten in the ditch, the Cinderella story in reverse. I have always loved technology, but I never adored or worshipped it, and have always been aware of endless abuse potentials. Since a house needs walls, an internet house needs firewalls. 

This is why, as I explored a kind of third road between feminism and design, an “Internet of Women Things” occurred to me. Could this “IoWT” become a generous place for conceptual projects, ideas and advice, for a sense of emotional beauty and purposeful living? Concepts like these are not often the first impulses for a technology project, but they generally last the longest.

Eventually, we hit the wall. We promised we would engage with Casa Jasmina for two years, and enjoyed it, but after five years, we had new personal priorities and the technical landscape had shifted. We were volunteers in a utopian experiment, but we weren’t landlords or real-estate developers. We had surfed to some rather undeserved fame and glory, in press events, conferences, classroom lectures… even design prizes. Not too bad for people who had deliberately avoided any business model at all. So it lasted longer than a conceptual sit-in in bed, but no one to date has ever built another Casa Jasmina.  

I learned a craft from glamorous failures and smart failings about the free and empty space that still exists in the internet wilderness.

Jasmina Tesanovic
Jasmina Tesanovic is a Feminist and political activist (Women in Black; CodePink) and a writer (15 books), journalist, musician, translator and film director. In 1978 she promoted the first feminist conference in Eastern Europe, “Drug-ca Zena” (Belgrade). With Slavica Stojanovic she designs and creates the first feminist publishing house in the Balkans, “Feminist 94”. She is the author of “Diary of a Political Idiot”, translated in 12 languages: a real time war diary written during the 1999 conflict in Kosovo. Since then she has been publishing her works on blogs and other media, always connected to the Internet.

One of the founders of Casa Jasmina, smart home of the future, in Turin, author of the manifesto and movement Internet of Women Things. She writes in three languages and lives between Turin, Belgrade, Austin and Ibiza.