WITCiH-The State of Gender? Festival

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The Women in Technology Creative Industries Hub (WITCiH) is a platform aiming to empower and celebrate the achievements of women at the intersection of music, technology and STEM.

WITCiH’s event, The State of Gender? festival, will run for three nights at The Bargehouse in Dalston from the 26th-28th September 2018. WITCiH’s cofounder, BISHI, will perform alongside four artists with works specially commissioned for, and premiered at the festival. These performances will involve live coding, hacking, interactive tech and awe-inspiring visuals by Miri Kat, Lia Mice, Rebekah Ubuntu and Vicky O’Neon.

BISHI is a British, London based, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, multimedia performer, producer, composer and DJ of Bengali heritage. She is also co-founder of WITCiH. Her performances are a mix of Avant-garde sounds with interactive and futuristic theatre; all seasoned together with a dose of high-def Pop. She is trained in both Indian and Western Classical styles and comes from a musical family, as her mum was a well-respected Indian classical music singer. When she began to experiment with technology she realised that there was no real support, infrastructure or space for multifaceted female musicians who create audiovisual works. She took it upon herself to create a space for these people, and named it WITCiH.

One of the performers at the event, Miri Kat, is a livecoder, audiovisual artist and producer from London. The artist self-described as “oriental” in origin has fast become a mainstay of the underground livecoding scene. She’s a key figure spearheading the ever-growing Algorave movement, performing dazzling audio-visual shows that channel influence from video games. Her day job is at Novation Music as an engineer of electronic musical instruments, with expertise in music tech, web technologies, hacking, creative coding, algorithmic music, immersive multimedia, and generative visuals.

Another of the weekend headliners, Lia Mice, incorporates custom designed instruments and live voice sampling into her sets. Her high energy vinyl-hybrid DJ sets incorporate experimental live sampling across electro, italo, tech noir, acid and weird-dance. Like BISHI, Lia Mice is inspired by Delia Derbyshire and the electronic pioneers from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Rebekah Ubuntu is a London-based multi-media performance artist experimenting with ideas of futurism, rebellion and paradoxes. Their collaborative work has featured on BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac show, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Serpentine Galleries, and European arts institutions.

Ubuntu places their personal experience at the centre of their experimental, creative process, which borrows from cross-disciplinary practices (e.g. sound art, live art, text and interactive technology etc.) and draws from a myriad of references, especially sci-fi, speculative and Afrofuturist works.

Vicky O’Neon is an award-winning percussionist and drummer graduated from the award winning UK music college BIMM. She has taken her drumming skills across the globe and tours extensively with different artists and DJ’s internationally and in the UK. For her one woman multi-media performance she fuses technology with artistry using loopers, body triggers, micro KORG, drum pads and percussion along with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and visuals.

Composer, musician and producer Gazelle Twin will also be giving an exclusive lecture about her unconventional approach to production and live performance through changing personas and collaboration.

WITCiH believe that ‘The State of Gender?’ is an exciting state of fluidity that is constantly evolving and in need of questioning as the technology industries develop, seeking to maintain an engaging conversation open to debate and discussion.

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