[-empyre-] Week 4 Sonic Paths: Feminism Confronts Audio Technology

Renate Ferro renateferro at gmail.com
Mon Jun 23 20:57:36 EST 2014

Welcome Asha Tamirisa to empyre and many thanks for moderating week 4.  We learned of Asha's work through the HASTAC network and are very thrilled that she and her guests will be featuring Feminism.  I just returned from the FemTechNet summer 2014 workshop at the New School in New York women from all over North America and beyond have networked together to share their work and am hoping that important intersections with technology and global feminism will be a part of our empyre future a bit more frequently.  Thanks Asha. 

Week 4: Feminism Confronts Audio Technology
Moderated by Asha Tamirisa, Rachel Devorah Trapp, Monisola Gbadebo, Lyn Goeringer, Caroline Park

In The Poetics of Signal Processing, authors Tara Rodgers and Jonathan Sterne discuss how metaphorical language in electronic sound privileges particular subjects-- for example, how the use of water metaphors in audio (waves, current, channel, flow, streams) suggest the archetypical maritime navigator of the white male. This week’s discussion will draw inspiration from this analysis to think further about the ways in which rhetorical weight is built into audio technologies, how audiotechnical language and design reflect particular ideas of gender, race, and power. How might audio technologies look without these, and with other, ideas of subjectivity? As Judy Wacjman states in Feminism Confronts Technology (after which this week’s topic is named), this week’s discussion is a means for “opening up possibilities for feminist scholarship and action” in the field of electronic sound. The objective is to discuss and document what a feminist approach to electronic sound or feminist audio technology has been/might be.

= = = bios = = =

Asha Tamirisa is an interdisciplinary artist often found working with some combination of sound, video, light, sculpture, and movement. She graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in Technology in Music and Related Arts [TIMARA] and is currently a doctoral student in the Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments [MEME] program at Brown University. She is also working towards an M.A. in Modern Culture and Media. Current research interests include feminist posthumanism, modular interfaces, and structural film and visual music. Recent projects include a digital emulation of the ARP2500. She is a founding member of OPENSIGNAL, a group of artists concerned with the state of gender and race in electronic/computer based art practices.

Rachel Devorah Trapp is a variable media sound artist and digital archivist trained as a composer and a librarian. Her works have been performed by artists such as Rhymes with Opera, Fred Frith, and Laurel Jay Carpenter and have been heard at places such as the International SuperCollider Symposium, the Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival, and Art in Odd Places. In 2013 she served as Digital Archivist for the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, and in 2014 she was the Digital Archive Fellow at the New Museum.  This Fall she will begin her pursuit of a Doctoral degree at the University of Virginia in Music Composition and Computer Technologies as a Jefferson Scholar Fellow.

Monisola Gbadebo (b.1986) is a composer who works extensively with electronics, text, spacialized rhythm. A recent MFA recipient from Mills college, she began her work as a composer of electronic music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Her music, which often incorporates narrative, acts on the viscera semantically to elicit responses consistent with the underlying story. Her music is influenced by west african musical idioms and aesthetic ideologies--hence the attention to rhythm, narrative, and a destabilized sense of temporality.

Lyn Goeringer is an Intermedia artist and experimental musician/composer who creates site specific works that focus on the intersection of psychoacoustics, natural acoustic response in space, and how the human body listens and looks at things at a given space.  As an active composer, performer and artist, she has presented creative works in Seattle, Rhode Island, Ohio, New York, Boston, England, Hong Kong, and Dubai. When she is not working on a new installation or piece, she can be found doing research in space, place and the everyday or teaching at Oberlin Conservatory in the TIMARA program.

Caroline Park is a composer, musician, and artist working primarily within minimal means. As a composer-performer, she has shared the stage with Mem1, Steve Roden, a canary torsi, Evidence, Dollshot, and Arnold Dreyblatt, and has performed at the Stone, AS220, and in Jordan Hall. Solo releases can be found on labels Private Chronology, Bathetic Records, VisceralMediaRecords, Pure Potentiality Records, Absence of Wax, and Single Action Rider. Caroline is a founding member of OPENSIGNAL, a group of artists concerned with the state of gender and race within electronic and computer-based art practices. She holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in composition from the New England Conservatory and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments at Brown University (MEME at Brown). She lives and works in Providence. More information can be found atblanksound.org
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