Archive

Lou Drago

After finishing university in New Zealand, i† arrived to Berlin in 2014. Since being here i have become involved with both contemporary art and experimental music scenes. The intersections of these with the queer community — and the associated political implications — have become an important space of activity for me.

I am a founding member of XenoEntities Network (XEN), a curatorial collective who focuses their research on queer, gender and feminist studies and their interactions with digital and technological cultures. XEN hosts one-night events, ranging from film screenings to discussions and performances. Programs revolve around contemporary art and philosophical-theoretical themes such as posthumanism, xenofeminism, cyborgs and prosthetics, surveillance technologies, virtual reality, etc. We also host regular meetings, Assemblages, that offer an opportunity to simulate research into these topics with our community. Through the discussion of these topics, XEN speculates about new forms of existence and explores the expansion of bodies and subjectivities within both the digital and physical realms.

I’m involved on an even more personal level in my most recent project, as it draws directly from what i have been researching both experientially and theoretically. The project is called Transience, a monthly show on Cashmere Radio in which i invite artists to create anxiety relief from hetero-patriarchial systems of oppression through music. This concept was inspired in part by Mark Fisher’s writings and from a shared position of feeling as someone failing to fit within a patriarchal neoliberalist mould and the resulting loss of hope in the future. Like much of the Left, i feel that capitalism is not working but cannot yet envisage an alternative. I believe that the stability i was instructed to obtain, whether it be financial, political or ecological, feels unrealistic. The resulting anxiety can be interpreted as an instrument of neoliberalism that can prevent many of us from being able to communicate with others to raise consciousness of the structural injustices that alienate us. In a society where security feels no longer feasible i believe the only constant we can rely on is change. In “Meeting the Universe Halfway”, Karen Barad teaches us that the world is a dynamic process of intra-activity and materialisation, an ongoing ebb and flow of agency. The Buddhist Law of Impermanence maintains that nothing in this world is eternal. Both of these points of reference have led me to understand that every aspect of life, physical and mental, is in flux and perhaps this transience is the only thing we can depend on. The artists i invite are asked to reflect on these ideas through the creation of an hour of music that provides listeners with an opportunity to suspend their current realities.

The project i present at Gropius Bau for “Welt ohne Außen”, “Suspending Time: Meditations for accessing alternate space/time in music”, can be seen as a focused extension of the work i have begun with Transience.

† Please note that the lowercase ‘i’ is used intentionally throughout my writing in English as a rejection of privileging the self above others i.e. he / she / they / you etc. which are all uncapitalised.

As of May 2018.

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