VISIBILITY: A growing collection of women in their electronic music studios, on DJ decks or in media art production.
There are a lot of women in electronic & digital music production, DJ & broadcasting culture and sound art. They are active in grass-root initiatives and networks all around Europe for instance. They are in every spot of this planet. There has been innovation by women since the early 20th century as I demonstrated last year with this extensive list and mix.
When I started producing music, in 8 out of 10 articles I was mentioned as the vocalist but the production was credited to the male collaborators, although clearly stated differently in all press releases and credits. It was so annoying that it made me make solo music and stopped me from singing. The paranoia went to the extend that now I even master all records myself, so no other is laying a hand on the product and will receive my credit.
“the melody I form
is dissonant but clear
I am here!”
That was back in the 90ies. That was when I often was the only female performer at electronic music festivals. That could make you feel special, but it made me feel lonely. But I was confident it would change within a few years.
During the next 15 years I met countless other female producers and performers and was inspired and amazed by their craft. I worked away, up and down, had a child, kept producing and touring, changed my practice and added more to it.
In about 2012 I realized major state-funded music festival line-ups still had only one woman on the bill. This is how feminist activism started for me. It is not enough that I am living in Finland, in a country with high gender equality ratings. It is about an evolutionary narrative that has to be corrected.
I was raised in the former soviet sector East Germany and for all what it was oppressive about (free speech, freedom of travel), it had a pretty healthy attitude towards women. Women in a sense of human. Just that. I was raised communist. My grandmother used to say: “Women of all countries — unite” [freestyle version of Karl Marx “Workers of all countries — Unite”]
”when I was little
I listened to a woman screaming
on my parents vinyl player
this scream awoke my super powers,
it was Yoko Ono with
the Plastic Ono Band”
For me Feminism is normality, family, upbringing.
Today I identify with ‘my kind’ globally. My breed or tribe is the vast amount of producing, technical interested, politically engaged women, independent from their nationality, race, sexual orientations or religious believes.
I became an active part of the international collective of women around electronic music and media art called female:pressure. It is a data base, email list and network with more than 1300 members from over 64 countries. And this alone is wicked.
The female:pressure collective started to count gender data of festivals, clubs, labels for their gender rate survey in 2013 and 2015. The surveys have sparked tremendous discussions and press. See for yourself!
As Björk mentioned in her infamous and much discussed Pitchfork article, in earlier days she often did not get credited or listened to unless she made the male counterpart believe it was their idea. Björk suggested the lack of credits for women in production is about visibility and the images missing. Perhaps this invisible state or the lone woman is also the reason for the persistence of the ‘one woman clichè’ at the festivals, the labels and the club line-ups.
Inspired and encouraged by the female:pressure email list I built this blog for International Women’s Day 2015. It does hold the danger of ‘ghettoization’ and this is not what we desire. We aspire that the diversity and strength of this blog will be a tool for curators, promoters, label owners, cultural producers and everyone to widen their perspective.
Few days after release, the blog has more than 200 producers, DJs, sound artists up and my mailbox is kind of exploding. The tumblr gained 2800 followers, 1300 notes within a few days and the female:pressure network got 75 new members, 1300 new facebook likes, 200s of emails were sent to us.
My question is: Don’t you want to listen to us?
Find the blog here: VISIBILITY
The main focus is on technology, activism and ultimately visibility for all women in media tech, music producers, sound engineers, DJs, radio workers, sound and media artist.
“when I close
my eyes I still
in different colors
I know the light is there:
and you know it too”
For a better tomorrow, yours poetess
Antye Greie-Ripatti aka AGF