Mono.Kultur 39 – Terre Thaemlitz: The Arrogance of Optimism
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Politics and the dance floor make for uneasy bedfellows, and it is this uneasiness did drives most of the work of Terre Thaemlitz, confronting head-on issues that are usually off limits in electronic music. Thaemlitz is a producer and DJ, (known as DJ Sprinkles, social material and KS.HE, among others); but she is also a writer, educator and activist of sorts, with very fluid notions of gender, switching continuously between male and female drag.
Born in 1968, Terre Thaemlitz left the rigidly conservative and violently homophobic environment of her home state, Missouri, in the mid-1980s for New York. She became involved in the queer and transgender scenes both socially and musically At A Time When house music which not a genre but simply the wide open sound of a specific social and political space. As New York's underground queer music scenes dissolved under gentrification, Thaemlitz Eventually relocated to Tokyo at the beginning of the '00s. Today, Terre Thaemlitz is a reference point not only within the confines of electronic music, but particularly for transgendered communities. The fragility of identity in relation to the larger world is a central theme for Thaemlitz, as she tirelessly dissects the boundaries and friction between public and private, between minority and mainstream, continuously questioning and exposing political and social system and the violence they generate.
In an interview with mono.kultur, Terre Thaemlitz talked about the politics of sexuality, her disillusion with the music industry, and why Roller Disco was so amazing.