Biography

Erin Gee is a Canadian artist and composer who explores digital culture through metaphors of human voices in electronic bodies. Working across musical performance, choral composition, robotics, and audio art, Gee’s practice is distinguished by an interdisciplinary approach to sound in art and music, as well as in areas of technology, science and engineering. She received an MFA from Concordia University in 2014, and also studied music composition as a private student of Brian Cherney (2013).

Gee’s work has shown internationally, most recently at NRW Forum, Germany (2018), Lydgalleriet, Norway (2018), Digifest Toronto, Canada (2018), Trinity Square Video, Toronto, Canada (2017), and MediaLive Festival at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, USA (2017). She has collaborated with artists and composers such as Daniel Añez, Sofian Audry, Oliver BownHamilton Children’s Choir, Alex M LeeStelarcAndrea Young, and neurophysiologist Vaughan Macefield.

Gee was Assistant Professor in the department of Communication Studies at Concordia University from 2015-2017, teaching in areas of sound production, gender and technology, and sound studies.

Gee’s current research in sonification of physiological markers of emotion has led to the development of open-source tools for biosensing. In 2018 she was a research associate at the University of Maine in the department of chemical and biomedical engineering, developing creative and open-source technology with her group BioPUNKS. She is currently artist in residence at IEM Graz for the Algorithms that Matter residency, developing processes for “embodied algorithmicity” in sound. Her research in physiological markers of emotion has been noted by Scientific American, VICE, MusicWorks, Canadian Art magazine, and the National Post, among others.

Gee has published academic work in Leonardo Music (2013) as well as eContact! Journal of Canadian electroacoustic community (2010). Gee is also the creator of futurefemmes, an online blog archived by Cornell University featuring interviews, showcased work and links to relevant articles on the topic of women working in technological culture.

Gee has received awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec, as well as support from the Conseil des Arts de Montreal, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.  She is grateful for their continued support of the arts.

Gee is represented by Perte de Signal (Montreal) and RadianceVR.

Notes on my Practice

 

<<<human voices in electronic bodies ….

<<<electronic voices in human bodies…<<<

 

I feel connected to the material world, and the materiality of technological processes that are often hidden in black boxes. I feel kinship with these materialities in processes in the same ways I intimately understand the materiality and processes that undergo vocalization and singing. In this way I understand the human body to be an already amazing and advanced communications system in concert with other amplifying, processing, and extending technologies.

A teacher once told me during a singing lesson: “singing is 80% mental and 20% physical.” Psychology and emotion play into this transformation of my vocal technology, as much as my physical practice. Our voices allow us to be greater than ourselves, and to exist in spaces between our physical bodies through vibration.

Inspired by these technologies of voice, vibration and language, I create alternative technologies for the human body to inhabit, such as extended choral scores inspired by technological processes, interactive sound sculptures, robotic chimes, and FM synthesis modules driven by physiological-emotional data. I develop new technologies and systems in order to enact speculative imaginings – a more transparent and connected world.

I try to challenge assumptions about technology and what a body can do, exploring how voices and bodies can be extended, perverted, multiplied and challenged. Emotions and authenticity are a major component of this.

As originally posited by Donna Haraway in her 1989 Cyborg Manifesto, the political possibility in the cyborg lay not in a comfortable technological fetishization of technology, which reifies systems of normative power, but through a critical rejection of the origin of the human. Historically, which bodies are deemed as fully, partially or ambiguously human has been an expression of shifting politics and agencies more than biological fact—women, people of color, and those deemed atypical in neurological functioning or physical capability have all suffered historically under categories of the “human” and “humane” as that which determines reasonable agency and accommodation in society. In light of these historical factors, my exploration of technology enacts a feminist perversion of human narcissism in machinic coupling, wherein I use sonic structures as a playground for proposing systems where anti-oppressive values of democracy, listening, and empathy are emphasized. O/Au/ral communication methods create unique space for interactivity, noisy dissent, play, experimentation, and articulation of identity that resonates across real and virtual space, and thus provides a guiding force in technological work that extends beyond merely sounding media. 

Download C.V. (English - March 2018)
Télécharger C.V. (Français - dec 2017)
Download Press Photos

Current Projects and Associations