I am a conceptual artist using my body and the land to critically explore tropes of gender and nature. I use noise, performance, photography, drawing, video and radio broadcasting to create work that engages the listener/viewer in a critical discourse about access and ownership. I am interested in the relationship between the violence of misogyny and the violence of climate change by the same industrial and political forces.
My current work investigates the site of the body—my body— as a place of extremes. I have lost much of my hearing. I am a hard-of-hearing person on the spectrum of ability. As my hearing diminishes, I increasingly incorporate critical listening into my art practice.
For the past few years I have been conducting performative experiments in creating noise as an act of embodied aging femininity. By running contact mics over my face, hair and body, I confuse the voyeurism of sexual pleasure with an anxious sound of terror. In activating the invisible space around my body through controlled resonance and amplified feedback, I challenge the viewer/listener to consider gender as performed phenomena.
As writer Rebecca Solnit wrote, “Climate change is violence,” implying that the first-world industrial powers have inflicted physical and emotional damage to both the land and the bodies which inhabit it. She writes that the pollution from first-world industrial capitalism has created and will continue to create extreme weather, and this weather will disproportionately impact the impoverished third-world, which lacks infrastructural resources to survive ecological catastrophes.
I am currently exploring field recording of urban wildlife to render a series of experimental drawings and recordings showing the impact of regional climate change, and creating time-based works that can be broadcast over low-powered FM radio signal.
How can we critically represent a discursive living place? What is an embodied “noise” of the land?
-Gabie Strong, 2019