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Datum | 29.04.2021, 14.00 h
Ort | Online via Zoom

Lecture by Terre Thaemlitz on sonic and cultural peripheries within the frame of the Lecture Series of IBK summer term 2021, organized by the studio of Gender and Space. In English.

In this lecture artist Terre Thaemlitz revisits his influential early writings and sound productions. Her critical analyses of the conditions of 1990s ambient music scene corresponds to our investigations into the interdependencies of Gender u/and Space.

Zoom link for 29.4.2021 2 pm CET:

Meeting-ID: 988 5343 2547
Kenncode: #%7^*9


Soil, cover image, Photo by Meike Williams, graphic by Terre Thaemlitz. © Comatonse Recordings, 1995.


BUT please read the PLEASE DON`T UPLOAD text from 2020 by Terre Thaemlitz first, before reading and listening to the materials below, this is IMPORTANT:

From the original Couture Cosmetique release accompanying essay 1997.

"[Music's] order simulates the social order, and its dissonances express marginalities."
-Jacques Attali, Noise: A Political Economy of Music

"While the development of Queer-positive imagery and graphics exploded with AIDS activism in the 1980's, sonically we have little more than, 'Hey-hey, ho-ho, Homophobia's got to go!'"
-Dont Rhine, Ultra-red

It has been suggested by myself and others that certain subgenres of what has come to be known as Contemporary Ambient music propose a complication of cultural processes by subverting the spectacle of melody and questioning the social functions of active and passive listening techniques. Similarly, while the genre remains dominated by male producers and cannot claim to transcend the conventional heterosexism and gender biases of the electronic music industry, it incorporates discourses which involve the active disclosure, inversion and convolution of sonic and experiential relationships. The result is a vehicle of layered contents and contradictions that extend to the very manner in which it allows for the generation of multiple political discourses while most forums for reception are despairingly a-political and Humanist in tone (an often frustrating passive-aggressive circumstance).

To exemplify this concept of contingency upon the contradictory, the sounds developed for Couture Cosmetique emphasize residual noises produced by some of today's more popular digital synthesis techniques - including granular synthesis, pitch/time convolution and heterodyn filter analysis - bringing into focus those sounds which currently exist in a repressed state at the periphery of popular contemporary music production. In this manner, the limitations of such audio technologies are used to intimate new functionalities which remain excluded or omitted from popular development - a metaphor which may be applied to the construction and utilization of post-Industrial technologies in general. [....]

I have found that this methodological framework for constructing audio has many similarities with non-essentialist factions of transgenderism [from gender confusion to Drag Kings and Queens] which also seek to complicate social processes. Transgenderism does this by actively questioning constructions of gender and sexuality, while its exploitation of essentialist constructs of femininity and masculinity reference social contextuality. It is this referentiality which I feel makes non-essentialist transgenderism a more viable platform for gender analysis than methodologies which propose a transcendental breach from those cultural influences they critique. However, as with a-politicism within the Contemporary Ambient genre, transgenderism's ability to develop such analyses is largely overwritten by larger factions and popular discourses which embrace essentialist concepts of sexual and gender identities. (released July 1, 1997)

Originally released under license from Comatonse Recordings in 1997 as a CD (US: Caipirinha Productions, 1997) CAI-2002-2; and (Japan: Daisyworld Records, 1997) SYDW-0005D. Contracts have since expired and all rights reverted. Recorded at Meow, New York. Produced, mixed and arranged by T. Thaemlitz (BMI). Design by Terre.

all rights reserved

(1968) is an award winning multi-media producer, writer, public speaker, educator, audio remixer, DJ and owner of the Comatonse Recordings record label. Her work combines a critical look at identity politics - including gender, sexuality, class, linguistics, ethnicity and race - with an ongoing analysis of the socio-economics of commercial media production. He has released over 15 solo albums, as well as numerous 12-inch singles and video works. Her writings on music and culture have been published internationally in a number of books, academic journals and magazines. As a speaker and educator on issues of non-essentialist Transgenderism and Queerness, Thaemlitz has lectured and participated in panel discussions throughout Europe and Japan. As of January, 2001, he resides in Japan.

Excerpt exhibitions:

long version here: (verlinken zu

  • "Deproduction" AV world premiere at documenta 14 exhibition curated by Pierre Bal-Blanc and in coproduction with the Akademie der Künste der Welt, Athens Conservatoire, Athens Greece (July 9 2017); Tofufabrik, Kassel Germany (July 11 2017); Christuskirche, Köln Germany (July 13 2017).
  • "Lovebomb/愛の爆弾" video installation at documenta 14 exhibition curated by Pierre Bal-Blanc, Museum für Sepulkralkultur, Kassel Germany (June 10 through September 17 2017).
  • "Interstices" video installation at documenta 14 exhibition curated by Pierre Bal-Blanc, EMST―National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens Greece (April 8 through July 16 2017).

Footnote by Terre Thaemlitz to text above:

…Keep in mind that this text was the liner notes to a commercially distributed album in a genre typically represented by cheap 3D computer graphics, holograms and P. L. U. R. (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) spiritual jargon. So, on the one hand, the heavy-handed pseudo-academic flavor of this text was a reaction against the shallowness of the commercial audio marketplace. On the other hand, this injection of thematic content into a commercial CD was also a rejection of the notion that academia was the sole site of production for critical minded or “culturally important” computer music.…