INTERSTICES n. (pl.) small gaps or spaces between objects
Terre Thaemlitz: Interstices is new a presentation of video and text components from Thaemlitz’s multi-media work INTERSTICES (2000–2003) across the Auto Italia project space, including the full electroacoustic audio video installation work exhibited for the first time in the UK.
In this show Thaemlitz adapts selected music, text and images from his CD INTERSTICES (2000, Mille Plateux, MP94) for a video that investigates the spaces between genders, sexual orientations, and other identity constructs. Intersexual birth, surgical gender reassignment, sex acts, and transsexual job opportunities are among the topics processed through filters of private and public expectation.
Much of the audio for INTERSTICES has been produced through ‘framing’, a method developed by Thaemlitz in which individual sample frames in a digital audio waveform are manually selected, deleted, and repeated. The original sound sources used in INTERSTICES include jazz, funk, rock, and country music.
Thaemlitz’s other main compositional technique is ‘systolic composition’. Just as a systole in prosody means the shortening of a naturally long syllable, systolic composition is the process of abridging sound sources by removing primary passages in order to create new compositions. The passages most commonly deleted are vocals, figuratively silencing the dominant discourse within popular music in order to hear the interstitial sounds at their periphery.
‘Systole’ also refers to the rhythmic contraction of the heart pumping blood out of the chambers – an ostracism of essence. This removal of the music’s voice, heart, or lifeblood is neither silence nor death. New melodies and phrases arise. Often the remnants of a singer’s breathing can be heard in the remaining passages, suggesting emotional, physical and/or sexual exasperation, and occasionally resulting in the whispering of new words.
With this conceptual emphasis on sonic peripheries and moments between dominant melodic contents – as well as their construction of new words and discourses – INTERSTICES fosters a symbolic relation to non-essentialist identity politics including queer pansexuality and transgenderism.
Terre Thaemlitz (b. 1968) is an award winning multi-media producer, writer, public speaker, educator, audio remixer, DJ and owner of the Comatonse Recordings record label. Her work combines a critical look at identity politics – including gender, sexuality, class, linguistics, ethnicity and race – with an ongoing analysis of the socio-economics of commercial media production. He has released over 15 solo albums, as well as numerous 12-inch singles and video works. Her writings on music and culture have been published internationally in a number of books, academic journals and magazines. As a speaker and educator on issues of non-essentialist Transgenderism and Queerness, Thaemlitz has lectured and participated in panel discussions throughout Europe and Japan. As of January 2001, he resides in Kawasaki, Japan.
With special thanks to Bee Davis, Rubie Green, Shani Haberman Lee, Ed Longville, Elizabeth Luffman, Lucie MacGregor, Layla Salhab and Andrea Toro for bringing it to life.