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And her expanding platform / by Liz Pelly

Holly Herndon is hungry. By the time we connect over Skype on a November afternoon, it’s nearing dinner time in Berlin, where Herndon and her partner Mat Dryhurst are prepping to move our of their apartment. I can’t imagine they have spent much time there this year. For Herndon and Dryhurst, 2015 has been wild—a new album, new collaborations, installations and lectures and festival appearances all over the world. Their perspectives and projects were endlessly in demand this year—by the art world, the music world, the tech world. It is unsurprising; they are two of the year’s most inspiring thinkers.

Together, Herndon and Dryhurst make work that interrogates the concept of the platform, which is also the title of Herndon’s album, Platform, released in May by RVNG and 4AD. More broadly, their collaborations explore the intimate ways that internet culture embeds itself into our everyday lives—the emotional effects of the surveillance state, the disorientation and confusion it causes. Herndon’s music incorporates “browsing sounds”, where using software made by Dryhurst, she sample the bleeps and bloops of clicking through Skype, Youtube, Facebook. In a different time, the sensory experience of navigating such

commercial space might be likened to the sounds of strolling around a mini-mall. But this is 2015: the corporations are in our laptops, and our laptops are in our bedrooms. Platform channels that that frightening intimacy.

Currently a doctoral candidate at Stanford, over the past 12 months Herndon has traveled to lecture on topics ranging from the lack of politics in music today, to what it means to “create new fantasies”. She has been on the cover of WIRE, and deemed “the queen of tech-topia” by The Guardian. She has performed at conferences on surveillance, data collection . . .

An interview with illustrator and activist Cristy C. Road / by Faye Orlove

Cristy is a Cuban-American artist and activist, currently in the process of illustrating a full tarot deck featuring queer women of color practicing their magic. Cristy has been creating politically driven art and fanzines since the 90’s, now turning to crowdsourcing to fund her Next World tarot. Check out the Kickstarter here and the interview below discussing the marginalized world of mysticism and the often overlooked battle cries.

Photo by Shoog McDaniel

Hi Cristy! I'm obsessed with your Tarot Deck and your illustrations. When did you first start drawing and did you find you were encouraged to pursue art as a young Cuban-American girl?

I’ve been drawing since I was born, it seems! I remember getting deep into my illustrations of the Muppets and that kind of snowballed in my more serious work -- illustrations of Ren and ...


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