Lief Hall: Mythology, Gender and Cyber-virtual Identity in Pop Music Performance

November 11, 2015

On November 9th, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement hosted an event featuring the work of Lief Hall — and the audience was not disappointed. An artist, musician, performer and visual production designer, Lief Hall is an amazing critical thinker who was able to reveal and discuss various ideas about gender identity and mythology through her storytelling and electronic music performance.

On a Monday night, the room was full of people eager to listen to and discuss modern expressions of gender ideologies. To a crowd of about 60-70 people, Hall introduced a unique performative lecture on the interplay of ideologies and technologies in modern music and art forms. Her lectures were rich with examples from the work of modern artists and her own compositions that served to visually and audibly demonstrate the ideas she introduced to the room.

Hall started with a brief overview of the history of mythology use in the art forms, and continued on with deeper exploration of how key myths and ideals were integrated with technologies to create new representations and interpretations of reality in the cyberspace. Through videos, storytelling, music performance and picture collages displayed on the 3 screens, Hall slowly moved the audience from one topic to another. We explored the changes in the ideals of beauty and inspiration; moved on to the modern fascination with cosmology and its expression in the music forms; went through the mainstream views on sexuality; and explored the archetypes of female artists in the conventional pop music industries and their representations in modern pop culture.

"It is really interesting, thinking about what are the ideas behind what’s being said to us…While it sounds like science-fiction, these are the realities that we are facing right now, and this is something that the system at large needs to address."

Throughout the lecture, Lief Hall was introducing her own music compositions, which complemented and added to the ideas she was introducing to the room. She was drawing her ideas from different sources, exploring the views of gender theorists (including Donna Haraway and Judith Butler) through different modern art platforms.

Lief Hall did an impressive job introducing the topic of gender identity in pop music and explaining the interconnection of modern art forms, technologies and contemporary expression of mythology.

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