Founded in 1998, "female:pressure" is a global network uniting female, transgender, and non-binary artists across electronic music and digital arts domains. This community encompasses musicians, composers, DJs, visual artists, cultural practitioners, and researchers. It serves as a global talent hub, searchable based on factors like location, profession, style, or name. More than an agency, it's a platform enhancing the visibility of our creative endeavors.
For 25 years now, from a few hundred initially to 3,600 people in 86 countries, with daily inquiries.
Susanne says, that the goal was obsolescence, yet it hasn't been achieved. It remains an agenda for those interested, and the support from the mailing list is substantial (communicating asynchronously, a method many appreciate).
The demand has been confirmed, with younger individuals joining in. Hence, it's currently vital for ABLETON to utilize the database, ensuring that products continue to be promoted to women and not presented in a masculine manner.
Thus, this network also holds significance for commercialization purposes.
But besides the trend coming up to book flinta (female, lesbian, intersex, nonbinary, trans, and others) we want to talk about the importance behind it. And that it’s actually not a trend but a need for a diverse cultural scene to present and obligate diverse forms in styles and people representing music.
So over 25 years now, Electric Indigo provides a network called „female:pressure“.
Susanne, would you say there are more flinta artist booked these days?
I don't have the current numbers, but fundamentally, I definitely see that many more Flintas are visible and deeply involved in the scene. This might be a bubble, but I believe this bubble is quite large. I think that in a time where progressive movements are very perceptible on one hand, there's also a growing counter-movement on the other.
This counter-movement strongly opposes reevaluations, such as gender roles or fundamental societal structures like patriarchy and capitalism. If you're knowledgeable about these aspects, I think this is what's happening, at least that's my suspicion.
One of the main motivations for this influx into the counter-movement is that people somehow fear they won't be able to navigate anymore. Apart from that, I see that there are more and more Flints who are DJing, creating music, and diving fully into the club and music business.
They are also actively building networks, whether small or large, to support fellow Flints. This involves forming their own networks or curating events and giving workshops. A notable example I know is Push Network in Vienna.
It's quite renowned and considered one of the pioneers, but there are probably many others that I'm not familiar with.
What is the source of the recurring drive to advocate for equality, especially when individuals like you have been fighting for it for so long?
Yes, all of this holds much greater value, and what I also know is that many grants, even if not in a strict manner, are linked to diversity, and it's being pushed into their attention, whether the people in charge want it or not. I find this important and good, because the changes that happen naturally, without external pressure, are somewhat almost imperceptible if they happen at all.
However, it remains a common occurrence that many bookings feature lineups with over 90% male representation, whether at festivals or other venues.
Susanne: My radar is filled with a lot of Flinta artists because I administrate the platform on a daily basis. It's also a more or less global network, and I have to say that it's an information resource, if you ask me, where you can look things up. But there are many other reference sources as well.
Also on female: pressure, there's a large links collection, and one of the categories in the links section is "Collectives," where you can find further sources of information. Otherwise, yes, I also don't know many, and I'm constantly surprised by what comes across in my social media stream.
I see women DJing or performing on stage, rallying the audience, and getting like seventy thousand likes, and I've never heard of their name. So that happens to me continuously.
They are probably more from commercial scenes, and I believe I generally gravitate towards those who are more experimental out of personal interest.
However, not being able to find any Flinta person is really lazy. I also know from curating occasionally that sometimes you quickly exhaust the options among the people you personally know. So, you have to put in a bit more effort, but the significant advantage is that you come across new things and also musically head in directions that may involve new aspects, resulting in an overall enrichment.
So, if you really want to consistently book many Flints and also don't want to repeat or excessively reiterate, and not just book the three super well-known ones that cost a fortune, then you have to put in a bit more effort.
Do you believe implementing a FLINTA* quota would provide assistance, or would it imply a constraint on musical diversity?
It reminds me of the quality argument that some organizers used to make. In the past, they believed that booking more women would lower the quality of their event. In reality, this is obviously not the case. Firstly, because not all men consistently deliver excellent performances either; they also have weaker moments or subpar concerts at times. All artists, regardless of gender, need practice to improve.
And this applies to women as much as it does to many men, which is perhaps a critical point of expansion. I believe that one doesn't need to completely dismiss this idea; however, it's not the only criterion that a curator should consider when putting together a program, perhaps influenced by their own preferences.
At least the relevance criterion always plays a significant role. One wants to include those who are currently trending and who must be part of the event for it to be perceived at all. But let's say, one's own preference is for a specific niche, like techno or something, and maybe there, one only knows guys who play it. I don't think it's a loss if one somehow expands that very narrow genre. It's not necessary to program folk music if otherwise, you're into straightforward pounding techno between 120 and 135 bpm. Maybe someone plays at 150 bpm, and it's still cool; that's a possibility.
Nadine: For you, is it a possible stylistic expansion that can occur without denial? Is it about people actively seeking to broaden their bookings…
It certainly has potential. It has the potential for enrichment and expansion, as well as mutual or general inspiration. It's like the feeling of encountering something that one might not be very familiar with, yet it doesn't necessarily have to be something I already know. But I'm saying this because if we're in a very specific and narrow stylistic realm and can't progress further, one strategy could be to broaden the scope of the deal slightly, particularly to include more Flinta artists. That's essentially what I'm getting at.
If you feel like joining the network: here are some links and hints:
*female:pressure intends to strengthen networking, communication and representation. Over the years, it has become a standard instrument to obtain information about artists, contact them, and find out about other, maybe less known women* working in the fields of electronic music and digital arts around the globe.
Every artist listed in this database is able to keep their personal entry up-to-date.
Fempres also provides code of conduct
Find updates to electric indigo's gigs and doings here:
female pressure is in progress and hopefully will be all the time!