Ed.: We’ve seen plenty of headlines about the role of gender equality in arts and technology. But what makes female:pressure unique, as their name implies, is that the organization is working to use the power of crowds to effect real change. CDM looks to its assistant editor and editorial intern Zuzana Friday to tell us more. -PK
Founded in 1998 by Electric Indigo, female:pressure is a network of artists, DJs, musicians, journalists, booking agents, and other professionals in electronic music and digital arts. In those years, the organization has served some important roles:
Highlighting the inequalities that dominates the electronic music scene when it comes to gender (and beyond), including compiling their own research and surveys – with some surprising and sad hard numbers.
Connecting artists and other music professionals who identify themselves as female within their network. In April 2015, they reached 1450 members from 65 countries. And anyone can join.
Organizing illuminating events touching topics of music and gender.
Their recent activity includes the Visbility blog, which counters the perception that women aren’t tech-savvy and mostly boys spend time in the studio. On the blog, musicians like Laurel Halo, Cio D’or, and Soap & Skin have contributed photos of themselves in their production environment. Apart from that, female:pressure released a techno compilation a while ago, demonstrating that females not only want to, but also can create pretty badass techno. (Ed.: Read our review of that compilation; we felt these were artists you should know irrespective of the identity politics message.)
To support this mission, female:pressure recently launched a crowdfunding campaign, which, in their own words, should help the network “to continue promoting equality on electronic music scene and to improve the awareness of bookers, club owners, labels and artists themselves”. Basically, they wanted added resources to continue doing what they do. Since female:pressure was the first of its kind and inspired many other networks and platforms — including Femmecult and Discowoman — its role in the music ‘biz is invaluable. And with growing popularity and awareness of the network, the very issues they focus on are being discussed more and more. Therefore, supporting them means supporting diversity and equality in a still male-dominated arts field.
The deadline of the campaign is 24th September and incentives for supporting it include a female:pressure compilation from Different is Different Records, an online course for the Push the Envelope by Sonic Bloom, Max for Cats Complete Collection (with or without the modular Max for Live synth environment OSCiLLOT), a VJ Workshop, and “Ableton Live Expert” — 4-month UPSTART online course. (Ed.: Those are all some highly recommended incentives; the Max for Cats stuff and training here is top-notch. Madeleine Bloom’s Sonic Bloom is simply one of the richest resources for Ableton and Max knowledge online, full stop. And that gives boys and girls a reason to sign up here – I could learn a thing or two, I know.)
There are a range of activities under the female:pressure umbrella. From their own description, the group’s crowd funding would support programs to:
- promote female artists
- keep maintain our database
- organize meetings, events, panels talk and discussions
- finance our study, which was done voluntary since 2012
- hold workshops
- prepare showcases and concerts
All the information and direct support can be found in their Startnext website:
Support female:pressure PERSPECTIVES [startnext crowdfunding]
Speaking of their activities, female:pressure is going wild this month. On September 10th, they co-hosted a panel discussion together with SoundCloud. The new event series, dubbed #re_presenting, connects a Berlin-based community of musicians and debates under-represented topics in music. This first edition is focused on genre and gender and will be moderated by Annie Goh with five musicians representing a range of music genres including Emika, Sarah Farina, and Gudrun Gut. Demand is high: the event was quickly sold out.
If you’re not in Berlin – let alone holding tickets to sold-out panels — you can join online as female:pressure takes over Frission Radio. Every two weeks, you can listen to a new show by one of their members; all the past shows can be found on Mixcloud. On September 18th, Leah King will play a live show there.
Last but not least, female:pressure will also organize a second edition of their PERSPECTIVES Festival this month. It returns to Berlin nightclub about blank where organizers say it “continues to examine the challenges faced by women in a male-dominated scene, explore important gender and music-related issues, and stage showcases of outstanding female DJs, VJs, and live performers.” In contrast to lineups that average 10% female composition (by their statistics), PERSPECTIVES is of course 100% female-identified artists, featuring bold personalities from their network:
Aschka (ca) ✭ Borusiade (ro) ✭ Clara Moto (at) ✭ Donna Maya (de) ✭ Dorit Chrysler (us) ✭ hiT͟Hərˈto͞o (cz) + aikia (it) ✭ Kaltès (be) ✭ Kate Miller (au) ✭ Magda El Bayoumi (de) ✭ Monya (de) ✭ Perera Elsewhere (uk) ✭ Reka (es) ✭ female:pressure visualpulse ✭ Special Guest tba ✭
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