Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 200 – A Trip to the Museum of Gender Archaeology

Listen to the show:

Every year, Toronto participates in an all night festival of art known as Nuit Blanche, so named because it colloquilally means “all-nighter” in French,  but literally means “white night”. It’s a sunset to sunrise event on the first Saturday of October. There is so much to see all over the city, and it is by design impossible to see everything. The most popular events seem to be the ones that use lots of light shows and sound. For example, many exhibits feature projections against walls and buildings. One exhibit that was a hit was the tennis point played over and over all night long called The Tie-break. It was a re-enactment of the legendary fourth set tie-break from the 1980 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Finals between Björn Borg and John McEnroe. That would have been something to watch. But we limited ourselves to one area of only a few of many possible events that night.

First we dropped by the Museum of Gender Archaeology that eventually led us into the GendRPhone booths. I’ll admit, apart from the gender changer, commonly used for electronic connections, and the display of so-called ancient bathroom signs for male and female, most of the meaning of the items in the small collection were lost on me. And Ninja is all about exploring the nuances of gender. I get that it was meant to represent a future bygone world of gender dualilty and it was a great start, but it simply wasn’t enough for me. I love shock factor in art (I just revelled in the outrage caused by the kissing of the pope and the imam), and I wasn’t shocked, merely amused. If that is what the artist was after, then it that sense, it did succeed. The installation invites us however to re-imagine our gender. On the gendRphone, you can select the sex and gender of a potential lover and hear their words of love. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, “When you are on the phone, you have no body”.  Just a disembodied voice. I love that concept. It’s full of possibility. Not sure that the installation piqued my imagination though. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood.

My favourite installation was the sound and poetry presented by a local group called New Adventures in Sound Art.  Go figure. I loved the beat and words that went with it. You’ll hear some of that. The last two installations we went to were light and sound shows. The first was called Night Light Travels and the second was another installation by the NAISA (New Adventures in Sound Art), called Sonic Spaces (The Kinetics of Sound). Both used feedback mechanisms and other triggers to change sound and in some cases light in real time. A Markov chain is a mathematical system that undergoes transitions from one state to another, between a finite or countable number of possible states. The next state depends only on the current state and not on the sequence of events that preceded it. This kind of “memorylessness” is called the Markov property. Markov chains have many applications as statistical models of real-world processes and Shawn Pinchbeck uses them to evolve the sound in Sonic Spaces. He also used Vocoder (Voice encoder) technology and theory to change what we hear in the installation.

Have a listen and see if any of this art is your cup of tea.   

Listen to the show:

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 140 – Buck Angel Part 2

buck4

Part two of an Aids Committee of Toronto event in the Sexplorations series.Buck Angel, not that pregnant man, is the most famous female to male transsexual in the world.Buck has a fan base that spans many countries and demographics. As the only transman star in the sex film trade, his fans are men, women, gay, straight, and all combinations in between. This show features the question and answer period that Buck Angel was the focus of at the ACT event that evening.

For my interview with Buck , and Rui’s interview with Buck, you’ll have to listen to HotFRM #139.

Listen up:

Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 139 – Buck Angel – The Most Famous FTM Porn Star in the World

Buck Angel

Photo by Mark Berry

Last month, Buck Angel spent a week in Toronto.He did two workshops for the sex shop, Toronto’s Come as You Are, a performance at the club Goodhandys and a question and answer talk for the Aids Committee of Toronto, ACT.  I was fortunate enough to be granted an interview with Sarah, one of the owner’s of Come as You Are, Sergio who took care of Buck during his week here, and Buck himself at the ACT event.

Born a woman, Buck spent a great deal of his life before his transition unhappy and dissatisfied, one might say, desperately so.All that changed when Buck transitioned.He also became the first and most famous transman porn star.Arguably, Buck Angel is the most famous female to male transsexual in the world.Buck has a fan base that spans many countries and demographics.  As the only Transman star in the sex film trade, his fans are men and women, gay, straight, and all combinations in between.

Buck Angel does not care a whit what you think of him.He defies labels because he refuses to resolve any of the contradictions that anyone finds in him.And this is one of the things that is so wonderful about him, making him an inspiration and poster boy for following your dream.His life is a direct contradiction of how quick people are to put labels on things.If we don’t label things and put a cage of definition around ourselves and others, there is the fear that we might spiral out of control and that society would be reduced to anarchy.If you are a queer of any awareness, you already have a solid foundation in the issues that transsexuals face in our society.But you may be critical of Buck’s life choices all the same.If you are straight and have never given transsexuals more than the sensationalistic nod that the media gives transpeople,you may be shocked by Buck’s choices and lifestyle.I think we are shocked and critical because we are unable to see the shades of colour between black and white.We crave easy simple answers where often complexity, contradictions and paradox are the only explanations.It is for these reasons that you must listen to this show today.

Listen up here