Women Inc. Lexicon

Artists Space, New York, and ICA, London

1 April - 31 May 2015

The Women Inc. Lexicon is organized by critic and curator Karen Archey, and read by Dana Kopel, Eva Munz, Kimberly Drew, Rachel Wetzler, Seung Min Lee.

Women Inc. is a new working group of artists, writers, curators, and academics founded to create responses to urgent feminist issues. The group was established in winter 2015 in order to incorporate as an entity greater than individual identities, as a means to address continuing gender- and race-based injustices. Women Inc.'s first project is a collaboratively written lexicon of neologisms, inspired by the work of Hito Steyerl and performed at Artists Space Books & Talks in the context of her survey exhibition.

This dictionary coins new words for a new age, one marked both by advances in omnipresent technology and mass surveillance, and also a continued struggle with intersectional issues related to race, gender, and sexuality. For example:

'Rancière-back-riding,' verb.
To invoke and insist on a misreading of a theorist to prove one's intellectual superiority.
"Oh man, did you see that guy Rancière-back-riding on the Accelerationism panel?"

'negging out,' verb.
To freak out about something dramatic unfolding on social media, but only reacting to it on private channels such as GChat.
"Jamie curated a show with only men and it caused a huge to-do on Facebook, but I've just been negging out with Rachel on GChat."

Far from a practical handbook, the Women Inc. Lexicon is as playful as it is incisive.

Participants: Morehshin Allahyari, Jen Chan, Kimberly Drew, Tess Edmonson, Ann Hirsch, Jamillah James, Dana Kopel, Jessica Langley, Sofia Leiby, Seung Min Lee, Eva Munz, Sunita Prasad, Abbe Schriber, Jamie Sterns, Hito Steyerl, Astria Suparak, Rachel Wetzler, and Chloe Wyma.

Website Link

ICA Video Documentation


ART IN AMERICA: A.I.A. Editors, “The Agenda: This Week in New York,” March 31, 2015


A sizable crowd gathered at Artists Space Books and Talks on Wednesday to receive an astringent vocabulary lesson. This mordant dose came care of Women Inc., a recently formed coalition of women working in contemporary art — artists, curators, and writers, including ARTINFO’s Chloe Wyma — fed up, as any good satirist is, with the hot air, hypocrisy, and bad faith of so much of the discourse on art…

The need for an interruption of male-dominated tedium was made all the more evident during the Q&A portion of the evening, when a gentleman in the audience, in an Olympic feat of obliviousness, explained the term “mansplaining.” All told, it was a promising initial public offering for Women Inc.
— Mostafa Heddaya and Anna Kats, “Satiric Dictionary Takes Aim at Male-Dominated Art World,” April 3, 2015




When it comes to prescriptions for digital anxiety, boundary-pushing artists, theorists and social thinkers seem more qualified to offer a solution than your local GP. With Fear of Missing Out, taking place this weekend at the ICA, radical thinkers working at the forefront of postdigital fields are coming together in response to the concept of FOMO in the age of the internet.

Contrary to its moniker, the event promises to go way and beyond a treatise on how to deal when your friend Instagrams from a party you weren’t invited to. Instead, artist Hito Steyerl will head up several panels and film screenings that aim to capture current debates through the lens of the 21st century so far. Far from a pessimistic outlook, Hito and co. will also hope to offer future possibilities for action and change: miss it at your peril…

Founded by Karen Archey (editor of e-flux), Women Inc. is a new working group of artists, writers, curators and academics that want to use art to respond to gender and race-based injustice. Their first feminist project has been to create a new dictionary that reflects the networked surveillance and continued intersectional struggles of our age. Inspired by Hito Steyerl’s work, the new lexicon of neologisms includes “negging out” – that is, “to freak out about something dramatic unfolding on social media, but only react to it on private channels such as GChat.” We’ve already managed to use “tote brag” on our everyday commute.
– Claire Marie Healy, “How to cure FOMO in the postdigital age: A radical summit at the ICA is offering a fix for your digital anxieties, feat. the Random Darknet Shopper and a feminist dictionary,” May 29, 2015


The two phrases on the Artists Space website are pretty wonderful (“Rancière-back-riding” and “negging out”) so expect a slew of other new things to break out at your next gallery dinner.
– Nate Freeman and Alanna Martinez, “12 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before April 4,” March 30, 2015