In collaboration with musician SWAN MEAT, Chronica, by Sophie Hoyle, connects a history of medical imagery used in music subcultures with genres such as EBM (Electronic Body Music) and Industrial, and looks at the potential of noise music to evoke embodied experiences of trauma and its medical treatment.
Chronica explores embodied experiences of illness, encounters with healthcare infrastructures and biomedical technologies. Video projections were controlled by biofeedback equipment (Bitalino board with Galvanic Skin Response and Electrocardiogram) worn by a performer, while musician SWAN MEAT performed a live set in response to the videos.
The exact selection and order of the video clips in the live performance was determined by the data generated by the performer’s body while undertaking anxiety-reduction and trauma-release exercises. Upon reaching certain data thresholds, this triggered certain video clips to be played.
This video version of Chronica is a collection of the clips that were available to be projected during the performance, combined with a recording of the live set. In collaboration with musician SWAN MEAT (Reba Fay), it connects a history of medical imagery used in music subcultures with genres such as EBM (Electronic Body Music) and Industrial, and looks at the potential of noise music to evoke embodied experiences of trauma and its medical treatment.
*Content Warning: The video contains images of blood and medical equipment.
Sophie Hoyle is an artist and writer whose practice explores an intersectional approach to post-colonial, queer, feminist, critical psychiatry and disability issues. Their work looks at the relation of the personal to (and as) political, individual and collective anxieties, and how alliances can be formed where different kinds of inequality and marginalisation intersect. They relate personal experiences of being queer, non-binary and part of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) diaspora to wider forms of structural violence. From lived experience of psychiatric conditions and trauma, or PTSD, they began to explore the history of biomedical technologies and its overlap with state and military surveillance and control.
Recent projects include Psychic Refuge (2019-20), an R&D commission by Unlimited and Forma, addressing trauma and mental health in the UK and Palestine; a residency at Rupert, Vilnius (2020) exploring mental health treatment in Lithuania, and looking at biohacking and alternative forms of mental health treatment in Austerity UK through the Shape Arts ARMB Bursary at BALTIC Contemporary (2019). They’ve also shown work and participated in projects at Editorial Space, Vilnius (2020), Arnolfini Bristol, Science Gallery London, BALTIC 39 Newcastle, Wellcome Collection (2019), Jerwood Space, London, Focal Point Gallery Southend, UP Projects and Flat Time House, Art Night London, Outpost Norwich (2018), BAK Utrecht (2017), [space] London, Transmediale Berlin (2016), BFI London, no.w.here and Recontres Bandits-Mages, Bourges (2015). They have written texts for Errant Journal (2020), Orlando magazine (2019), Solar Plexus Pressure Belt (2018), Doggerland Journal, Cesura Acceso (2017), X-TRA and AQNB (2016).
SWAN MEAT is a producer, DJ, and writer from Washington, D.C. based in Cologne, Germany. Since beginning the SWAN MEAT project in 2016, she has consistently released numerous singles and remixes, as well as four EPs: Bounty (PERMALNK), her tribute to the Metroid games series; KNIFE SPLITS ICE, a collaborative tape with Japanese producer Yoshitaka Hikawa; TAME (Bala Club), which saw the producer combining weird vocaloid lyricism with cinematic string and drum arrangements; and her latest, FLESHWORLD (Infinite Machine), in which SWAN MEAT paid tribute to fighting games of yore with 8-bit synths and meticulously arranged breaks. She has been consistently releasing music since quarantine began as part of her "Tearz Files" project.
Sophie Hoyle will publish in Gelatina´s online publication the essay 'Chronica: performance, disability and the Covid-19 crisis'.
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