Trans & Noise 2

An investigation into noise and the blurring of gender and identity boundaries

Keynote, panel discussion, and performance

“Noise: bang, blast, boom, buzz, chaos, clap, clatter, crack, crash, din, dirt, erupt, friction, fuss, howl, hubbub, protest, pop, racket, riot, roar, scandal, scream, squawk, smash, splash, static, thump, thwack, wallop, wham…”

Keynote speaker: Vymethoxy Redspiders Panel guests: PussyVision, Roel Meelkop, Vymethoxy Redspiders Moderator: Lieke Hettinga Performance: PussyVision

Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 8:30 PM
iii Workspace – Willem Dreespark 312, 2531SX, The Hague, Netherlands

“Noise” brings together a poetic concoction of strong onomatopoeia, of words describing sounds, disruptions and confusion. It belongs to myriad connotations playing to the plurality of simultaneous and synchronous happenings. Within communication, noise distracts and distorts the meaning through sonic and visual phenomena throwing deep, complex shapes of intensity that allows its context to become the main player. Pay attention to the frame and the space of the production and presentation, and tune your senses towards your own body. Noise is a transgressive phenomenon, a cathartic embodiment. It is an evocation of a trance-like motion that lets us reach out, crossing borders within and outside of ourselves.

Noise is embedded in the filaments of our inner expression. It outwardly projects and defines our inner protest, challenging assumptions and prejudices, questioning our identities, our boundaries, our limitations. It is in this conflux around noise, especially in the contexts of generating ‘noisy’ sound, that New Emergences are curious to explore more. In pushing through boundaries and limitations, how does noise relate to identity, and how does it help to define who you are?

PussyVision is a genderqueer performance artist, installation artist and electronic music producer based in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. Her performances engage with the inherent relationship between normalized gender performance and violence. PussyVision examines the self reduction that occurs when performing normalized masculinity and femininity, the romanticization of violence against women, and the violence that she has experienced as a direct result of these dynamics.

Pussy’s work combines harsh electronics, avant-beats, and haunting vocals, built live using loop pedals and analogue synths to create textural and rhythmic soundscapes. She uses sound and song to tell stories of anxiety, dissociation, violent fantasies, and regaining power post-trauma. Her recent work explores ways that horror, fantasy and science-fiction can be used to redefine past traumas and reimagine healthy communities.

Vymethoxy Redspiders is based in Leeds, UK, and is known to many as one half of extreme noise-rock duo Guttersnipe. As a solo artist she often combines musical explorations with her self-written poetry. A recent venture in sound has been a style that friends have called “black hole new age”, a kind of dark mystical ambient, which she thinks might stem from her growing up in rural north Wales which has a particularly magical and melancholic tradition. She plays guitar, modular synths, wind instruments and percussion and on top ot that has a distinct vocal style. Her music challenges the idea that cranking out loud, harsh noise and being freaky and ugly on stage is a male privilege. In her performances she often tries to channel a kind of queerness that does not try to please but to shock. She describes herself as impulsive and full of conceptually dense ideas, has a Masters in cognitive psychology and is interested in psychoacoustics, emotion, identity and the intersection between those topics. Her talk will put forward the idea that the mission of truly experimental music is the same as the mission of current radical (trans)feminism. She may also add a short performance to illustrate this idea. Her talk will put forward the idea that the mission of truly experimental music is the same as the mission of current radical (trans)feminism. She may also add a short performance to illustrate this idea.

Roel Meelkop studied visual arts and art theory at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. During a post-graduate course at the same academy he decided to dedicate his work to sound and music. His musical activities date back to the early eighties when he started the electro-acoustic group THU20. This period was crucial in forming Meelkop’s ideas and concepts about sound and how to organise it, but it was not until the mid nineties that he was able to fully realise these ideas. The purchase of a sampler and later a computer offered him infinitely more control and freedom. Since then he has worked steadily on a body of work.

Meelkop has also played in electronic music groups Kapotte Muziek and GOEM, with Frans de Waard. De Waard is still a close collaborator and their duo Wieman combines all their musical interests, from noise to classic, from pop to avantgarde, from improv to composed. Other activities include site-specific sound installations, performance pieces, and, recently, healing sound sessions.

Lieke Hettinga is PhD candidate at both the Central European University and Utrecht University.

Lieke’s research responds to the fast-paced changes in the cultural visibility of transgender issues across neoliberal Western-European and North-American contexts in the last two decades. It examines the ways in which artists and activists visualize, represent and/or enact non-normative embodiments, more specifically looking at the intersection of trans and disability visual politics and poetics of the body. By exploring how the visual rhetoric of trans and disability activism is complexly entangled with questions pertaining to rights, recognition and appearance, it investigates artistic and activist practices that allow for a reconsideration of the possible connections, affinities, and dissonances between transgender and disability politics.

Lieke has a BA in Liberal Arts with a focus on Cultural Studies from Maastricht University, and a research MA in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam. Their research interests include intersectional feminist theories of the body, transgender studies, disability studies, visual culture studies, performance studies, and queer theory.

This PhD research is part of the “Intellectual and Activist Cultures of Equality” work package of the GRACE Project.

This event was made possible with the financial support of the Creative Industries Fund and iii.