Magz Hall is a sound artist with work exhibited at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, British Museum, Tate Britain, the Sainsbury Centre, Whitechapel Gallery, V and A, Jerwood Visual Arts, MACBA Barcelona, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Norway, Morocco, Canada and the USA and broadcast internationally. The making side of radio transmission has been key in her recent works, which can be seen as taking up Nam June Paik's mantra in 1965 that, “someday artists will work with capacitors, resistors and semi-conductors as they work today with brushes, violins and junk.” Hall also heads artist led group Radio Arts and has curated works for exhibition, broadcast, she has led numerous hands on transmitter workshops with the public in arts spaces. Much of her sound based work is concerned with speculative futures of FM, inspired by 100 years of international radio art practice, drawing on her practice based PhD on radio art. She is a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University in the Department of Media Art and Design she was also a founder of London arts station Resonance FM.
Voicing Gender (2017)
Binaural audio work, baseball hats
Voices define and identity us. How does one unlearn the voice they were born with to create a perceived authentic voice. Frances Dyson wrote “to be listened to or even heard on radio, women have to adopt the persona (from the Greek, meaning through sound) of the ideal male voice.”
Voicing Gender moves through sonic environments of pitch and tone and pace. The artist engaged a voice therapist and the work is made up of her own voice as a series of repetitious pitch changing exercises used in speech therapy with trans and non-binary people. The work is relayed binaurally via radio hats inspired by Victor T. Hoeflich of the Merri-Lei Corporation, NYC in 1949, whose early novelty radios hats had valve AM radio built into pith helmets, available in eight colours “Lipstick Red, Tangerine, Flamingo, Canary Yellow, Chartreuse, Blush Pink, Rose Pink and Tan” (Radio Electronics), targeted at women. Sports team baseball radio hats were popular in the 70s and are now the most gender neutral hat in the world, the artist has made a series of radio hats reflecting the bright lipstick colours of the early Hoefich radio hats.
This uncanny binaural piece, works as digital mimicry reflecting on the representations of a gendered voice. The artist became interested in gender identity after her husband transitioned and the work reflects some of the unease she felt during the process, she was also inspired by voice changing software used by the trans community.