VBKÖ – Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs


Gentle Together


0914 May 2021, 15:0019:00
Opening: 08 May 2021, 15:0019:00

09.05 15.0019.00
10.05 closed
11.05 17.0019.00
12.05 15.0019.00
13.05 15.0019.00
14.05 Closing 17:00 20:00

Sounds Queer? (Zosia Hołubowska, Adele Knall, Violeta Gil Martinez and Tony Wagner) and workshops participants



“Gentle Together” is combining collective effort to queer up sound art, create a safer space for vulnerability, making mistakes, and deep listening. We propose to approach queer sound not from the perspective of defined sonic characteristics, but rather to open up a discussion on how to work with the sound in a queer way. There should be no one answer to the posed questions, and we are interested in polyphony, meaning many narratives and many stories, creating spaces of tension and exchange.

The installation consists of three parts. The first room is dedicated to unsung pioneers of electronic music. Very many figures, that inspire Sounds Queer? didn’t get noticed or fully recognized during their career or lifetime. Wendy Carlos, Johanna Bayer, Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire, to name a few, were not only innovators in their own right but they also fought against sexism and redefined gender norms. Therefore we created a room to immerse in their work. This space is conceived as a lab, reading, and listening room. We are providing the pioneers’ portraits and old books so the visitors can make portrait collages while listening to a curated playlist of the pioneering compositions in electronic music.

The second part of the exhibition is the interactive soundscape. It consists of sound snippets sent to us by the participants of our previous workshops and fragments created during collective jams and explorations. In our workshops we always strive for something weird, unexpected, odd, maybe dissonant, challenging the idea of proper sound, music theory, and professionalism, using what we have at hand. The core of our educational practice is to share different skills, inspiration and embrace failures and mistakes as a learning opportunity. We encourage our participants to use free and budget software, junk, and trash but also explore music production technologies, and twist and turn them around, do things „that you are not supposed to do”, to explore the oddest of sounds.

The installation is built with Ada Fruit Sound Boards and movement sensors that allow us to create an interactive sound labyrinth, inviting the audience to wander around and explore our interpretation of queer sound. The snippets are triggered by movement in the space, thus giving the audience a chance to participate in the composition process, and creating new connections between the samples and experiences. The installation can become a living, conflicting, dissonant, pulsating queer organism, inviting the audience to explore its secrets. The third part of the exhibition is a recreation of a sound picnic, a format we experimented with in December 2019. It’s a horizontal, rhizome-like set-up that invited for sound exploration in a slightly magical and safer atmosphere. It consists of various synthesizers, drum machines, and sequencers, paired with simple instructions on how to start experimenting with the gear. We hope that it will enable the audience to further intervene in the soundscape and enter the dialogue with the queer sound.

Sounds Queer? is a Vienna-based collective working on the intersection of electronic music, sound art, and queer activism. We share knowledge and tools because we believe that music can create a safer space to exchange experiences and express yourself. A synthesizer can be a feminist spaceship to challenge not only rules in music but also social norms. We organize workshops, collective jams, performances, and shows.


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