Appearing as part of the King Kong Magazine “Body Politics—On Masculinity” launch party, the Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary collective’s REPSXL drops in full across streaming platforms on the same day. The twelve-track album is released via AQNB, in a musical series exploring the nature of who dictates our taxonomy through categorization, packaging, and marketing of queer identity in titles like “SAPSXL” (i.e. sapiosexuality) and “AUTSXL” (autosexuality).
From love of unavailable people to a lust for fictional characters, the album runs the gamut of sexual orientations—including the more commonly-known labels like heterosexuality and lesbianism—in drone and bass-laden composites of 2000s pop music samples, ad jingles, and noise to produce “hormonally-charged sonics.” Each song features its own cover, which will be presented as a series of NFTs that audience members can bid for over the course of the sound bath album listening session at Pogo Bar, as well the following two weeks.
Successful bidders will be notified of their acquisition of their sexual preference NFT, while the more tactile desires of the objectum sexuality set can indulge their paraphilic tendencies with PHILTH HAUS’s “I LOVE FUCKING MONEY” merch made especially for the event by Nele and Rowan Ben Jackson of Shirt Bangerz.
PHILTH HAUS debut album REPSXL is being released via AQNB—one track at a time—until March 3, with second single “PANSXL” dropping on the site today. The Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary collective, represented by Andra, consists of six member-clients who jointly and individually examine the “material activation of the immaterial and a process of transubstantiation” through art installations, performance, and sonics. Editor Steph Kretowicz interviewed the project’s representative, Andra, last year on AQNB’s Artist Statement podcast.
A musical series that explores the categorization, packaging, and marketing of queer identity, REPSXL features songs named after sexualities, ranging from lesbianism to so-called “proculsexuality.“ The first of twelve tracks from the project was released last month—a radio edit of album opener “PROSXL,” produced in collaboration with ASID label-founder Chelsea. On this latest drop “PNSXL” takes its title from the orientation of pansexuality, where a stretched and swelling ambient number, featuring clipped vocals that are glitched and scrambled into indecipherability, mournfully lays its 2000s pop music sampling to waste in a transcendent and hormonally-charged audio for those attracted to all genders.**
So, after nearly a week we have more info on what happened with AQNB’s Instagram account (@aqnb). It was disabled for “violating community guidelines”. Since it first disappeared, we’ve tried contacting people at Instagram and Facebook, however our pleas remain unanswered and we still need your help to recover this critical piece of our platform. What’s ironic is that we’ve always followed the community guidelines.
We’ve volunteered and fundraised tirelessly for years to #keepAQNBalive. As the publication reaches its first decade of existence, getting deactivated without notice has abruptly placed its already precarious future into further uncertainty. It’s so frustrating and sad feeling like this platform is falling apart… but none of us want to give up it yet. We want to get back online and over this. Here’s how you can help us move forward:
Like, comment, share this post. Tag @instagram and mention the deactivated @aqnb below and on stories! We need another boost!
“Report a problem” to Instagram (slides 3-5). This signals to the algorithm and can help reverse the problem.
Donate or subscribe to our Patreon! Losing our account has resulted in AQNB missing out on opportunities. We have many exciting projects for the rest of the year. Help us keep going and bring them to you.
Sign up to our mailing list. If all else fails, we’ll keep you updated via this single stable medium.
In the second week of Montez Press’summer residency at New York’s Mathew Gallery, AQNB’s two contributing radio shows covered sexual politics and queer shame. They’re happening at midday Eastern Daylight Time (5pm in the UK) on Tuesday and Thursday throughout the program running to August 19. The second of both four episode series’ streamed last week and have been uploaded to the AQNB Soundcloud, embedded below, while the Content Prole: A journey into the depths of the online gig economy live panel is on at Matthew Gallery this Saturday, August 11, with another one for Somewhere I’ve Never Been to follow.
You can go the website or listen live below:
In the meantime, Tuesday’s Content Prole radio collaboration with writer-producer Matthew O’Shannessy featured an ex-librarian and ex-actor who went freelance in their respective fields of writing. One produces traditional and erotic romance novels by fake authors for Amazon e-books. The other re-writes and ghost writes Hollywood screenplays for a living, outside of developing her own scripts. Both navigate the tricky territory of dealing with condescending industries that follow reductive gender tropes and conventions.
Thursday’s Somewhere I’ve Never Been audio book collaboration between author (and AQNB editor) Steph Kretowicz and artist Kimmo Modig, presented the writer’s private experiences of her ancestral home in Poland. This segment featured music and field recordings supporting the insights and experiences of a peripatetic and inter-cultural individual contending with ideas of identity formation while growing up queer and a cultural outsider. ‘Episode Five: Poland’ explores the multi-dimensional nature of national pride and prejudice through the sounds of soft power expansion in the wake of historical oppression.
Many thanks to Ben Babbitt for additional help with recording for both episodes and you can stream previous episodes of Somewhere I’ve Never Been, aired on NTS Radio, Berlin Community Radio and New New World Radio at thepoweroflove.cz and listen in for more episodes this week.**
With new systems and infrastructures come new ways of organising information, new ways of thinking, of coming together. In light of this notion, AQNBeditor Jean Kay, and Video in Common (ViC) founder Caroline Heron visited London’s Assembly Point, with an event called ‘At the Backend’, last Friday, May 6, to contemplate the theme of the Peckham gallery’s three-week Tableauxprogramme, in a very literal interpretation of its dictionary.com definition being, “apicture,asofascene.”
‘At the Backend’ followed on from the ‘The Future Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed’ screening at Berlin’s Import Projects in March by considering AQNB‘s forthcoming website upgrade, and the questions and developments that emerge when reformulating the categories, formats and frameworks for presenting information to an international audience. We examined the work of some artists within our global network that somehow addressed or embodied these semiotic shifts that come with networked communication, and its influence on community-building and identity-formation.
These included AQNB/ViC editorial video commissions by two Berlin-based artists —’ASMR-tist’ Claire Tolan discussing her practice born from the YouTube community concerned with the Auto Sensory Meridian Response phenomenon, and Anna Zett talking about constructing and editing narratives around an initial claim into video. Helsinki-based artist Kimmo Modigcontributed a video—consisting of outtakes from sessions leading up to a work presented as part of curator Valentina Fois‘ The Utopia Internet Dystopia pavilion at last year’s The Wrong biennale —especially for AQNB, as a response to the affective labour and techniques of YouTube celebrities.
Los Angeles-based collective Encyclopedia Inc.shared two videos that illustrate a widely varied approach to their ongoing interest in uranium. The symbolic and physical properties of radiation becomes the sole anchor of a responsive, research-based practice that eschews any drive towards a single identifiable aesthetic or mode of working.
Ashley Angelus Ashley presented a live reading of her religious poetry via Skype from her base in Philadelphia. That was followed by a Q&A where she discussed her shapeshifting practice and still-evolving sense of self in an often oppressive digital regime that has negatively exposed her as an artist, writer and person too young. Ashley continues to actively evade identification while exploring the parallels between, and ritual practice of institutionalised religion and popular culture. Meanwhile, collectives like Johannesburg’s CUSS Group passively confuse and elude classification within global (see: western) internet convention, by promoting misinformation through inaction when it comes to readings and representations of their work outside of their own self-presentation. Taking footage appropriated from artist-musician Dean Blunt‘s 2014 ‘DEF Freestyle‘ single and re-presenting it in a pop-up exhibition from the back of a car as part of their Video Party series in Johannesburg, Geneva-based co-founder Ravi Govender discussed the groups disinterest in regulating the distribution of their work and identity outside of their own context, in opposition to the hyper-constructed artistic identity of an artist like Dean Blunt. Rather than try to be understood within a proscribed informational system, CUSS Group dismiss its authority entirely.
Below are the full videos, excerpts (and video stills) of the films and readings presented in their running order:
Claire Tolan: ‘Thinking Systems (ASMR)’ (2016) video. [6:55 min]
Berlin-based artist Claire Tolan discusses YouTube-born phenomenon ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) and how it informs her art practice. From mixing ASMR sounds on the radio to organising live ASMR Karaoke events, Tolan’s work and interests are centred on how strangers come together online and communities are formed alongside new technologies.
Anna Zett: ‘Theory of Everything’, p.1 (2016) video. [7:02 min]
Berlin-based artist Anna Zett talks about gathering empirical evidence of the attitudes and perspectives surrounding her chosen subjects, including dinosaurs, boxing and the brain. Prior to her most recent video work, ‘Circuit Training’ (2015), Zett’s impressive “modern research drama” ‘This Unwieldy Object’ (2014) saw her dealing in the construction of raw data into meaningful narratives along existing ideological lines.
Philadelphia-based artist Ashley Angelus Ashley seeks to reconcile her religious poetry with the social experience of exploitation and oppression. Taken from the position of what she calls a “sexually androgynous Catholic woman”, Ashley presents a live poetry reading via Skype, covering the stigmatization of gender nonconformity, ritualized humiliation, the sex industry, internalized misogyny, and biological control.
LA-based collective Encyclopedia Inc. –Carlye Packer, Googie Karrass and Nicholas Korody –is a research-based project that interrogates the inherited western idea of an object in isolation. In a continually evolving, process-driven practice that questions notions of art and information as self-evident, the group has produced publications, videos and installations reflecting a conceptual approach to the lived reality of ecological enmeshment, with uranium at its core.
Kimmo Modig: ‘KIMMOTALKS’ (2016) [9:26]
Helsinki-based artist Kimmo Modig deconstructs the languages and systems surrounding labour and production by both mimicking and destabilising an audience’s conception of capital flows in its various forms. Modig performs his own anxieties and sense of precarity in relation to the existing lexicons of communication media –like video, marketing and sound design –thus laying bare the oppression and authority implicit in the restrictive social paradigms they reinforce.
Cuss Group: ‘Video Party #4’ (2014) [8:22 min]
Johannesburg and Geneva-based collective Cuss Group –Ravi Govender, Jamal Nxedlana Zamani Xolo, Lex Trickett, Bogosi Sekhukhuni and Chris Mc Michael –have been working as a dispersed group of artists and practitioners on the margins of not only a South African art market indifferent to video as a medium, but a globalised online network of artists still focussed on traditional Western economic centres. But instead of applying for impossible access to these systems and flows of information, Cuss Group passively evade legibility within existing colonial structures surrounding art and aesthetics.