Unique female voices in electronic media? Who are the peers of Shelley Jackson and Laurie Anderson?
November 24, 2005 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Unique female voices in electronic media? Who are the peers of Shelley Jackson and Laurie Anderson?

Unique, cutting edge female voices in electronic media? Who are the peers of Shirley Jackson and Laurie Anderson?

I'm curious as to what the state of the art is in terms of female multimedia artists - I'm NOT looking for musicians or filmmakers, but female artists (art and literature) with a unique vision that you can't imagine easily being duplicated by a male. (I realize Anderson is thought of as a musician, but I think of her primarily as an artist who works in music as well as other media.)
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am not really certain I have a decent response to your answer, but reading it over, I thought of both Emily Mann and Anna Deavere Smith's earlier one-woman work before she became more of an actor.
posted by WCityMike at 4:36 PM on November 24, 2005

Imogen Heap?
posted by ceri richard at 5:01 PM on November 24, 2005

Imogen Heap does have a nice voice, and she does use a vocoder in one of her songs, but she's a singer not a multimedia artist. Sorry, I haven't got an answer either.
posted by teg at 5:12 PM on November 24, 2005

Yuko Nexus 6. She doesn't really "sing" though, but she is definitely a multimedia/performance artist who uses computer music and projections.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:26 PM on November 24, 2005

Diamanda Galas is someone I think of who works the line between art/performance and music, and probably the most striking example of someone whose work can't be "easily duplicated by a male."

Yura Adams is a visual artist whose early-'80s dabblings in minimal electronic music I find to be quite charming, albeit

There are a number of women working in "sound art" that isn't specifically musical, but may contain musical elements as part of its framework: the fiilmmaker/visual artist Tacita Dean is one who works with whatever sonic or visual palettes suit her fancy at any given time. Laetitia De Compaigne Sonami has made some striking audio work. Multimedia artist Joan Jonas did a beautiful 1988 reading of the text "The Anchor Stone" that reminds me of Laurie in its wistful, plangent tone (not to mention its cool, dispassionate phrasing).

And who can forget that Karen Finley made a number of records in the '80s too.

You may want to point your browser at Ubu Web and check out their archive of the Tellus release "Audio by Visual Artists" for a survey containing some of the above-mentioned artists and more.
posted by mykescipark at 7:06 PM on November 24, 2005

I realize I left an unfinished sentence above!

Yura Adams was meant to conclude with "albeit difficult to find," but I should clarify that her works are available at Ubu Web for download.

I also wanted to mention the poet Anne Waldman, who recorded a few minor works in an avant-pop idiom, including a goofy synth-backed version of her poem "Uh-Oh Plutonium!" found on the Rhino Records Anthology of Recorded Poetry.
posted by mykescipark at 7:09 PM on November 24, 2005

Miranda July?
posted by Gortuk at 8:36 PM on November 24, 2005

Andrea Parker's Kiss My Arp from 1999 was a great record. Haven't heard much else from her however.
posted by omnidrew at 9:32 PM on November 24, 2005 [1 favorite]

Is Andrea Parker really multimedia? She's a very good DJ and electronic artist, but I'm not aware of any visual/literary body of work, and her bio focuses heavily on her work as a DJ.

(For the record, we're talking about this Andrea Parker, not this one, in case anyone gets confused doing a Google search. Though it'd be hilarious if she DJed by night and hunted down super-smart do-gooders by day.)
posted by chrominance at 12:23 AM on November 25, 2005

Delia Derbyshire, who was a key figure at the BBC radiophonic workshops - and is probably best known as the composer of the Dr Who theme tune - might be a candidate. Up to you whether you would look on her as an artist of a musician (or an egineer) foremost - she was active in all 3 areas.
posted by rongorongo at 1:10 AM on November 25, 2005 [1 favorite]

Meredith Monk?
posted by misteraitch at 2:42 AM on November 25, 2005

I definitely thought of Meredith Monk as well, but decided she was ultimately a musician first and foremost; her dance and visual work always seemed tied as a secondary concern to the music it accompanied, rather than the other way around (which I assume is more what our poster is going for).
posted by mykescipark at 4:26 AM on November 25, 2005

Bjork ?
posted by cgfoz at 5:34 AM on November 25, 2005

A couple clarifying questions for chocolatepeanutbuttercup?

1. You mean Shelley Jackson (Patchwork Girl [early hypertext fiction], The Melancholy of Anatomy [amazing short story collection], not Shirley Jackson ("The Lottery" is, I think, all I've read of hers), right? The more-inside says the latter.

2. Do you mean "voices" figuratively or literally? A good number of the responses so far seem to be taking you literally, but since I don't recall Shelley Jackson's voice showing up in her work, I assume you meant it figuratively.
posted by nobody at 6:26 AM on November 25, 2005 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You're right, nobody, I meant Shelley Jackson - I don't know how that "Shirley" slipped in. And you're also right about my using the word "voice" figuratively -- I was hoping for more answers about hypertext and web art and literature and fewer about musicians. Thanks to all who have posted so far.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 7:31 AM on November 25, 2005

I second Miranda July. I saw a multimedia performance of hers called The Swan Tool, and it was amazing (her recent film "Me and You and Everyone We Know" was okay, but less amazing/more linear and much more cutesy in my opinion). I highly recommend her albums The Binet-Simon Test and Girls on Dates.
posted by unknowncommand at 7:59 AM on November 25, 2005

I should have included her website.
posted by unknowncommand at 8:01 AM on November 25, 2005

Riz Maslen?
posted by box at 9:23 AM on November 25, 2005

Mariko Mori...
posted by nimsey lou at 10:43 AM on November 25, 2005

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