Please note that most of the talks will be given in German, if you like to support us as an on-site translator, please feel free to let us know.
A study released by the female:pressure collective, which has received much attention in the media recently, demonstrates that even today, 80 per cent of the artists featured on the agendas of the biggest music festivals are male, while female acts are represented by a mere 10 per cent. A second study – to be published during our PERSPECTIVES Festival on 12-13 September 2013 – takes the line-ups in Berlin nightclubs explicitly into account and shows that there is even greater inequality in the Berlin club scene. When asked about the reasons for this glaring inequality, curators claim that there are simply not enough female artists. This is an argument that fails to reflect our current social reality and, at the same time, disregards a significant source of creative potential.
In order to explore this issue we have organised TALKING PERSPECTIVES, a programme of talks that will bring together a range of key actors in the field, who work, write and conduct research as artists and curators, for discussions and an open exchange of experiences and perspectives – with the ultimate goal of developing concrete approaches and solutions for the future together.
Thursday, September 12
Welcome to the female:pressure PERSPECTIVES Festival
by Susanne Kirchmayr (Electric Indigo, founder of female:pressure)
As a preliminary talk leading into the main topic, Susanne Kirchmayr will present the female:pressure network, founded in back in 1998, and the results of the latest FACTS studies.
Keynote: Diversity and Otherness: The Polarising Nature of Pop Music
by Susanne Binas-Preisendörfer (University of Oldenburg)
Susanne Binas-Preisendörfer will then give a second preliminary talk on the exclusion mechanisms currently practised in pop music.
Panel #1: Status Quo – situation of women in electronic music
Moderated by Stefanie Alisch (Musicologist, DJ) / with Andrea Götzke (newthinking), Katrin Richter (Wicked Magazine Buenos Aires, DJ), Nico Deuster (Krake Festival), Susanne Binas-Preisendörfer (University of Oldenburg), Susanne Kirchmayr (female:pressure)
For our first talk round ‘Status Quo’ we have invited several experts from research, cultural promotion, artists, curators and journalists to discuss the current situation of women in electronic music from a range of different perspectives. What is the status quo today? What positive changes have been achieved since the founding of female:pressure 15 years ago and what needs to happen now as a matter of urgency? As a starting point we will discuss here the possible reasons behind the results of the FACTS studies and the extreme inequality in the presence of female and male acts, analyse the relevant factors, dynamics and mechanisms, and define potential solutions to be explored together in the following panels.
Panel #2: Going public – visibility of women in electronic music
Moderated by Sonja Eismann (Missy Magazin) / with Anne Roth (50prozent.blog, Tactical Tech), Sascha Kösch (De:Bug), Sandra Passaro (Stars & Heroes, public relations), Vina Yun (journalist)
The female:pressure database currently lists around 1,300 women from 58 countries who are active in electronic music and the digital arts, and itself represents only a small segment of all of the women who are working in the field. Within this context, the reason given by many curators which has already been cited – there are not enough female artists – is not called into question, but rather why female DJs and producers seem to be less visible to the public than their male counterparts. In our second panel ‘Going public’ we will discuss the reasons behind this lack of visibility of women with representatives from (music) journalism and public relations.
Friday, September 13
Keynote: Social Networks and Gendered Trajectories in European DJ Cultures
by Rosa Reitsamer (Institute for Music Sociology, Vienna)
As a preliminary talk leading into the second part of the talks programme, Rosa Reitsamer will speak about career trajectories in European DJ culture and reveal the barriers often encountered by women DJs in particular.
Panel #3: Bookers’ roundtable – decision-making and booking practices
Moderated by Sonja Eismann (Missy Magazin) / with Jan Rohlf (CTM Festival), Mats Almegård (Volt Festival/SE), Rosa Reitsamer (Institute for Music Sociology, Vienna), Stefan Lehmkuhl (Melt! Festival), Leah King & Maebh Murphy (Listen Up! Festival)
In the third panel discussion ‘Bookers’ roundtable’ we will engage the curators of the Melt! and CTM festivals – both of which were also included in the FACTS studies – in a direct dialogue and ask them about the specific reasons behind the glaring inequality between female and male acts in their line-ups. The Listen Up! Festival will be used as a contrasting example of an explicitly gender-focused approach and the various decisions made by the curators will be compared. Does the need for commercial success take precedence over a cultural and socially diverse festival programme? Are male-dominated festival line-ups – such as this year’s Atonal Festival – actually more successful?
Panel #4: Artists’ roundtable – experiences and strategies
Moderated by Alexandra Dröner (Sick Girls, DJ) / with Acid Maria (DJ), Chra (Artist/label owner), Gudrun Gut (Artist/label owner), Sarah Farina (DJ/promoter)
In the fourth panel discussion ‘Artists’ roundtable’ the previously discussed factors will be summarised and – as a conclusion to the talks programme – the artists will be given the opportunity to discussing the issues from their own perspectives. We will explore the strategies they have developed for themselves in their professional lives: How do they deal with being the ‘token female’ at parties and festivals? What possibilities are there for successfully presenting one’s artistic work to the public – regardless of gender? What recommendations would they give to other artists?