Articulating feminist-materialist strategies for creation with digital tools, Canadian artist Erin Gee uses human voices in electronic bodies as metaphor for artistic creation. In particular, she likens the microrhythms of emotion in the body to the rhythms of a vibrating vocal fold, exposing the material of affect as embodied and embedded communicative tool. Her work in biosignal-driven choral composition, virtual reality, and robotics has been shown in solo exhibition at MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina (2020), and group exhibition at venues such as Toronto Biennale, Toronto (2019), Elektra Festival, Montreal (2019), FILE festival, São Paulo (2019), Cluster Festival, Winnipeg (2019), Ars Electronica (2018), NRW Forum, Düsseldorf (2018), Trinity Square Video, Toronto (2017), MediaLive Festival, Boulder USA (2017), and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2015).

In her practice, Gee experiments with human biodata collection and affective interfaces, responsive fields which she probes  in order to facilitate an awareness and practice of “embodied algorithmicity.” These processes speak to the hidden or obscured material and technical processes that enable human communication, and imply the body of the viewer as a part of the cybernetic system in place. She was an invited research associate at the University of Maine, USA (2018) in the department of chemical and biomedical engineering, and in the same year was invited resident at IEM Graz, Austria. She was artist in residence at Locus Sonus (École superieure d’art Aix en Provence, France) in 2019, and is currently artist in residence at Sporobole artist run center in Sherbrooke, Canada for 2019-2020.

Gee’s research in physiological markers of emotion has been noted by esse art contemporain, Scientific American, VICE, MusicWorks, Canadian Art magazine, and the National Post, among others. Images and analysis of her work are also included in Jennifer Rhee’s book The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor (University of Minnesota Press, 2018).

Gee has published academic papers on topics of sound art, algorithms and embodiment in PUBLIC (2020), ASAP Journal (2019), Leonardo Music (2013) as well as eContact! Journal of Canadian electroacoustic community (2010). Gee also created of futurefemmes (archived – project no longer active), an online blog archived by Cornell University featuring interviews, showcased work and links to relevant articles on the topic of women working in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’s work can be found in private collections, as well as the public collection of the Saskatchewan Arts Board.

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 (Berlin).

Notes on my Practice

I am an artist who explores technological cultures through the metaphor of human voices in electronic bodies, and electronic voices in human bodies.

Through my practice in sound, new media, and music composition I articulate the materials of the human body and voice through interactive and emergent technologies such as VR, robotics, children’s choir, ASMR vocalizations, and affective biosensors. I feel kinship with technological materialities of new media as extended bodies, in the same ways that I intimately understand the materiality and processes that undergo vocalization and singing. Our voices allow us to be greater than ourselves, and to exist in spaces between our physical body/ies through sympathetic vibration. Inspired by these technologies of voice, vibration and language, I create alternative technologies for the human body to inhabit in order to both understand our current human-technological entanglement, and also to enact speculative imaginings for embodied and sensory-emotional knowledge. I use media art to embrace the intimate uncanny of disembodied and extended voices, exploring technological materiality in surprising ways that are sometimes delightful, sometimes cynical, never insincere. 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”. 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 embodiment, intimacy, listening, and empathy over values of consciousness, rationality, intelligence, and power.

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Are you looking for American composer Erin E. Gee (1974) who is known for her composition series Mouthpieces Click here for her website.

Current Projects and Associations