Free Limited Edition: Artist Whitney Humphreys creates a zine series, “Gendered Machines”

Artist Whitney Humphreys is collaborating with the Internet Archive and Tiny Splendor Press to produce 100 copies of a limited-edition zine. In the three-part zine titled Gendered Machines, Humpries uses digital artifacts discovered in the collections of the Internet Archive to explore physical objects that have been assigned a gender, exposing the assumptions and biases of these gender labels.

Printed at Tiny Splendor Press and designed using manipulated, found imagery sourced largely from media in the Internet Archive, the zines of Gendered Machines are both examinations and artifacts of knowledge production technologies. Possessing the capability to transfer between a digital and physical state, the zine format itself reflects the modes through which influential information is delivered and shared, as well as the liminal quality of the space between real and constructed existence. 

In Humphreys’ project, Gendered Machines are defined as any non-human, mechanical objects that are associated with, signifiers of, or assigned a gender. Humphreys is intrigued by how this phenomenon manifests in both lived and fictional realities, revealing a typical polarization in these relationships. Society imposes on these objects labeling that reflects our limited understanding of gender. People create, use, and identify with these labels, designating things as either objects of service or of domination, worshiped or feared for the power they possess. This is a patriarchal oversimplification that her work seeks to complicate. 

A web of representations produced through repeated narratives in fiction have linked how we understand both object-hood and person-hood. The project’s title likewise reflects the culturally constructed mechanisms through which we learn to identify. Just as an ideal femininity is socially invented to serve male desires, technological artifacts, tools and media have been built to fulfill the needs of the historically male-controlled landscape of invention. The interwoven histories of influence that are brought to light through this project are embedded in the computerized objects we use every day.

Gendered Machines is an extension of these findings, synthesized into the accessible framework of a set of zines. The volumes are focused within three scopes–Body, Voice, and Spirit—each acting as a nexus where patterns of signification are often located across time and media. Humphreys’ collection represents a variety of resources, influences, curiosities, and inspiration.

To receive a copy of the zines mailed to you (only 100 copies available) fill out the form below:

They are also available to view online or to download here on the Internet Archive:

Gendered Machines: Body

Gendered Machines: Voice

Gendered Machines: Spirit


Whitney Humphreys working at Tiny Splendor

Whitney Humphreys is a San Francisco Bay Area artist and teacher and a recent graduate of San Francisco Art Institute’s Dual Degree program, earning an MFA in Studio Practice, with a focus in printmaking and sculptural installation. She also earned an MA in the History and Theory of Contemporary Art with her thesis titled, Gendered Machines. Culminating in a practice rooted deeply in the processes of research, her work addresses modes of knowledge production and representation that impact constructions of identity, examined through an Intersectional Feminist lens. She has exhibited throughout the Bay Area during her career as an artist, muralist, designer, maker, event coordinator, and instructor.

Follow Whitney Humphreys at or on her Instagram @WitchneyJoanne


Tiny Splendor started in 2012 as a tiny collective, traveling around sharing friends’ artwork out of a small wooden fold-up gallery. Now they operate two separate studios, one in Berkeley and one in Los Angeles, providing print and publishing services to artists locally and from around the world. They continue to pursue self-publishing and a love of ink on paper, producing print editions, zines, books, apparel and more.

Follow Tiny Splendor at or their instagram @tinysplendor

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About Amir Saber Esfahani

Amir Esfahani is a practicing Bay Area artist, educator, and curator. Esfahani's role at the Internet Archive is to connect artist with our collections and to show what is possible when open access to information meets the arts. He is also the Director of Special Art Projects at the Internet Archive.