My interest in death is primarily experiential, perhaps selfish. How will it feel when I die? Will the trauma I experienced in my life impact on that moment as it has on so many others up to now? And how does that work for other people, other species even? When does dying start and when does it end?
I remember my mother leaving this world. Moored to a residential nursery bed, incubated, fed by tubes after a brain hemorrhage many years before on which occasion she was bought back from the brink into many years of suffering. The end seemed to occur in stages. Before her final breaths crying for her mother, unconnected to her surroundings, in pain. Yet she held on for quite a while before she was able to let go. More than her death it was her dying, and her life, that I grieve for.
Iris Garrelfs works on the cusp of music, art and technology across improvised performance, multi-channel installation and fixed media projects. A pioneer of bringing together voice with digital manipulation in vocal performance at the beginning of the millennium, she has become more interested in low-fi electronics and her relationship with audiences. Her work has been presented internationally, including Tate Britain, National Gallery London, Royal Academy of Arts (London), fruityspace (Beijing), Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome), MC Gallery (New York), Transmedia Borders (Mexico). Residencies have included Grizedale Art, Institute of Modern Art Celje (Slovenia), Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens). Garrelfs is the pathway leader of the MMus Sonic Art at Goldsmiths, University of London where she also co-heads the Sound Practice Research Unit. She also edits of the open access journal Reflections on Process in Sound.