[-empyre-] Feminism Confronts Audio Technology

Lyn Goeringer lyn.goeringer at gmail.com
Sat Jun 28 08:59:05 EST 2014

I want to step back a bit and enter into the concept of space in this
discussion. A lot of our focus so far has been on performance and
instruments, but I'd like to consider the spaces and sites of sound art for
a moment in this. Rather than making any statements, I will probably wind
up asking more questions than posing solutions or answers for.

If we consider space and the presence of a body in space a gendered body,
and we cannot be in a space without being an object in that space, it makes
sense to me that we would then have a gendered experience of that space.
 Some have even suggested that spaces themselves are gendered (Lynda
Johnson, Robyn Longhurst and many, many others), I am left with a few
questions about how/what kinds of spaces are being built that push
boundaries or explore feminist and/or queer ideas and identities.  In
essence, the final question becomes: can a sound be seen as gendered, and
if so, how does that sound reflect/resound in the spaces that it is then
re/presented in?

I could see an argument that the 'blank white box' is the ideal for
changeable expressions of gender, of a slate to start from scratch in, but
I am not convinced that it is the best solution or only solution.  To that
end, I am thinking of the klanglicht works of Christina Kubisch (such as
her consecutio temporum), where she often uses vapor lamps to reveal the
hidden flaws and changes over time within existing sites, often combining
them with soundscapes and musical compositions.  Could, in fact, this allow
for a deeper exploration of the gendering of space and site through the use
of sound and light? How can/does the use of the medium, of sound itself,
reveal the sites we are in to be gendered, to be representative of any
representative state of body? And, if it can, how can we subvert this to
create and transform a space/site into a place where we can create an
awareness of the existing structures, and then create alternative locations
to fit our own needs and means?

I look forward to any thoughts you may have on these very open ended


Lyn.Goeringer at gmail.com
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