Broken Binary Shorts. 37C3 Flash Fiction Anthology

Decorative glitchy moiré image

Revering glitches, the Broken Binary Shorts anthology presents five flash fiction pieces by sirenensang, lemon, blueA and smettbo, written in December 2023 at the Chaos Communication Congress (37C3) in Hamburg. In a Glitch Feminism-inspired creative writing experiment, I encouraged participants to play with the error in the algorithm. This being not just any congress but one of the largest hacker meetings in Europe, and binaries seemingly hardwired into IT, why would this distributed family of nerds and geeks embrace a good glitch? Well, ‘access to […] anything which might teach you something about the way the world really works should be unlimited and total’ as the hacker ethics state. All creatures welcome – so how could this massive real-time assemblage of bodies, minds and machines become even more radically open, weird, non-conform? What else could congress be if it undercut gendered and other binaries by breaking not only the barrier between meatspace and cyberspace (or whatever you want to call it) but by radically hacking and reprogramming both bodies and code? Hosted by Haecksen, an assembly of female, intersex, non-binary, trans and agender hackers organized within the Chaos Communication Club, my workshop at 37C3 was an invitation to speculate on these questions, chasing some utopian fever dreams through flash fiction. To ‘let the whole goddamn thing short-circuit’ (Russell, 2020: 153), and see what it sparks. Indeed, if we embrace worlding as an essentially queer practice, writing fiction seems to serve that purpose rather well: translating our wildest imaginations into other ways of being-in-the-world. Set in the immediate aftermath of a major glitch that has affected binaries at 37C3 and everywhere, the collected stories explore the irritations, tensions, vertigo, and bliss that these promising cracks in the chaotic plot of congress might hold.

Schwarz, A. (ed.): Broken Binary Shorts. Leipzig, 2024. Download .pdf