Margaret Chardiet’s experiments of the corporal and spiritual never shy away from the existential tension between them nor the vitality of their merging, if only incidentally or by force. That force is Pharmakon, deconstructing sound and creating visceral vibrations in the process, gathering sound (even their own breath) to manipulate it beyond the point, synthesizing empathy and emptiness.
An innovator in underground music for over ten years, her sound originates in New York City, where she participated in founding the Red Light District Collective in Far Rockaway NY. It’s lovely to hear her describe her process, her relationship to sound, and her experience of movements in noise and art. She charged through the crowd in Motorco Music Hall, fulfilling some with the intensity of her expression, frightening others, and captivating all.
Surround yourself with her music – I recommend you close your eyes and turn up your speakers – and through Contact, Bestial Burden, or Abandon, submit to the senses, how the body is limiting, confining, but it also mobilizes and constitutes us. Through Pharmakon, Margaret Chardiet explores it all, the illnesses, cures, poisons.
Transhumanism was a major theme at last year’s festival, and as technology develops and is tied more and more to our minds and bodies, her (de/anti/ex)compositions inspire transformative questions: what of the balancing act and forces at play in that context? What does it require of us politically, personally, philosophically?
Scroll to the top for footage of her performance last year, and can find her releases at Sacred Bones Records. Her colleagues, Jenny Hval and Psychic TV will be at this year’s Moogfest, both performing. Jenny Hval is also teaching a workshop with collaborators titled Gathering A Performance, and Psychic TV is screening “Bight of the Twin“.
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Footage and photography captured by Cameron Spann of Deadfly Films.