Technologies affect the embodied experience of being a human in this world. Technologies read, interpret and mediate bodies. Technological enhancement, care, surveillance and control are topics that play a role in the works of the artists Nicola Woodham, Sophie Hoyle and Katie Tindle. The three artists joined me in a panel discussion as part of the Intersections 2021 festival where each presented an aspect of their work and discussed how technology can be both empowering and oppressive.
Nicola Woodham composes experimental music, bringing in free-improvisation with treated voice and noise. A year ago she began an intensive journey into creative technology and now hand-makes wearable etextile sensors and codes for embodied audio performances. Pre-Covid, she performed in music venues and galleries, where she aimed to scale up her audibility and visibility as a disabled womxn. In real space/online hybrids she’s enjoying cracking open ways to create presence through haptic feedback and sensory ways to make improvised music during her performances. Maximalist in approach, Nicola’s work weaves together disparate threads including the governance of disabled bodies, neutralising trauma through ritual, the slippery source of the voice. She documents her making on www.nicolawoodham.com and her recent release ‘Buffer’ EP is via Bandcamp.
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 rooted in state and military surveillance and control.
Katie Tindle is an artist, organiser and educator living in London, originally from the North East of England. Her practice is based in writing, installation using moving image and sound, and web technologies. This work centres on wellness/illness, the body, poetics, feminist thought and data justice. Tindle’s curatorial practice is based around democratisation and demystification of art spaces, both online and in person. Tindle studied at Central Saint Martin’s (CSM) and Goldsmiths University of London, and currently works at CSM and the Society for Research into Higher Education, and is a member of the artist collective in-grid .