SORT curates: goths most talented

Multidisciplinary duo, Joseph Delaney and Matt King, curate the goths of the creative industry.

Lon­don-based writer and film­mak­er Joseph Delaney and styl­ist-cum-cre­ative direc­tor Matt King are pur­vey­ors of all things goth. Known for their their mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary out­put, their SORT col­lec­tive cen­tres around a lim­it­ed-run print zine that brings togeth­er an explo­ration of sub­cul­tures, with the crossover of queer, noise, indus­tri­al and tech­no com­mu­ni­ties around the world. Fol­low­ing World Goth Day yes­ter­day, the duo’s SORT print fair is set to take over East Lon­don this Sat­ur­day (locat­ed at SET on Dal­ston Lane) for a day of books, prints, zines, cloth­ing, music and tat­toos, with six artists – Ingrid Kraftschenko, Anna Samp­son, Clare Frances, Begum Yetis, INFER­NO and Lou Alsop as well as Delaney and King, show­cas­ing their work while estab­lish­ing what goth means to them.

So what does goth’ mean in 2019? As tat­tooist and one of six artists includ­ed, Clare Frances, men­tioned to me, goth is a sense of oth­er­ness, being an out­sider and being proud of it”, adding, It’s not about clothes or music any­more, those divid­ing lines seem increas­ing­ly irrel­e­vant in 2019”. For­get floor-length leather trench coats, New Rock stomp­ing boots, and birds nest hair a la Siouxsie Sioux, these days goth’ more a state-of-mind than ever before. Ahead of the event, we speak to the cre­atives about their com­mu­ni­ties, and what goth means to them.

ANNA SAMP­SON, PHOTOGRAPHER 

What do you do? 

I’m an artist and activist, advo­cat­ing for fem­i­nist, sex-pos­i­tive and queer rights. My work has always been influ­enced and dri­ven by the frus­tra­tion that we, as the Oth­er”, have been sub­ject­ed to. Essen­tial­ly, I strive to chal­lenge, and pro­voke; to edu­cate, and to inspire. I do this by blur­ring gen­dered ideals and stereo­types, look­ing to end sex­ist oppres­sion and unequal exploitation. 

How would you describe your community? 

I use my pho­tog­ra­phy to rep­re­sent and cel­e­brate my com­mu­ni­ty. It is so pre­cious and con­tin­u­al­ly inspir­ing to me. I dread to think of how life could be oth­er­wise. It doesn’t extend much fur­ther at present, yet I can appre­ci­ate that it’s because I have a mas­sive prob­lem with the soci­etal pol­i­tics in this god­for­sak­en coun­try. I hope that things change and we can live in a world with­out such aggres­sion and hos­til­i­ty to diver­si­ty and intersectionality. 

What songs are you adding to the SORT playlist?

Any­thing by Fad Gad­get or Malar­ia! will do. Or Grace Jones and Madonna… 

What does goth’ mean to you in 2019

Resilience. Style AND substance.

INGRID KRAFTCHENKO, DESIGNER 

What do you do? 

My work is a sub­ver­sive util­i­tar­i­an uni­form explor­ing androg­y­nous tai­lor­ing and focus­es on the body as a site of social and polit­i­cal con­tes­ta­tion, and sub­vert­ing social conventions. 

This pho­to series uses the t-shirt as a blank can­vas for overt polit­i­cal mes­sages and shows how cloth­ing can be used as a tool – a sec­ond skin’ to incite social change. I shot it myself in Home­r­ton Hos­pi­tal, and it com­ments on the anonymi­ty of female patients in the ward and the fragili­ty of our bod­ies in the phys­i­cal con­straints around us. It’s a reac­tion to our polit­i­cal iso­la­tion, a mut­ed depic­tion of a col­lec­tive female sen­si­bil­i­ty to an oppres­sive com­mu­nica­tive impair­ment we cur­rent­ly find our­selves con­fined in. Rad­i­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion for the resis­tance against There­sa May’s fund­ing cuts to the NHS caus­ing unprece­dent­ed pain, and this repres­sion and aus­ter­i­ty as the pre­cur­sor to our men­tal health epi­dem­ic. An auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal account of bor­der­ing on the edge and the cur­rent tor­ment of being a young under fund­ed fash­ion design­er in Lon­don today. 

How would you describe your community? 

It’s a unique fresh sub­cul­ture move­ment, heav­i­ly influ­enced by the tech­no music we lis­ten to with a strong sense of com­mu­ni­ty, which large­ly forms the inspi­ra­tion for my work. Our rage is always my start­ing point. 

What songs are you adding to the SORT playlist?

LN-CC STORE MIX 076GOOD MORN­ING TAPES and Boy Harsher’s Come Clos­er.

What does goth’ mean to you in 2019

For me, goth means more of a dark, sub­ver­sive avant-garde aes­thet­ic in our under­ground iden­ti­ty, and a reac­tion to the aus­ter­i­ty around us.

CLARE FRANCES, TATTOOIST

What do you do?

I’m a tat­too­er at Old Habits in East Lon­don. While tat­too­ing is my main out­put, I enjoy see­ing how far I can push myself through oth­er medi­ums such as paper and tex­tiles which, in turn, inspire my tattooing. 

How would you describe your community? 

I view the world around me as a con­stant source of inspi­ra­tion and chal­lenge. Lon­don can be quite a jar­ring place but, ris­ing up from that, are peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties push­ing the lim­its and keep­ing things real. I’m lucky enough to work along­side peo­ple I looked up to when I was start­ing out, as well as oth­ers com­ing up behind, bit­ing at my heels, and mak­ing sure I stay on top of my game.

What song are you adding to the SORT playlist?

CouCou Chloe’s GECKO.

What does goth’ mean to you in 2019

To me, goth is a sense of oth­er­ness, being an out­sider and being proud of it. It’s not about clothes or music any­more, those divid­ing lines seem increas­ing­ly irrel­e­vant in 2019 where cul­ture is inter­sect­ing like nev­er before. I may not look like a Goth but I cer­tain­ly embody the spir­it of it. 

BEGUM YETIS, PHOTOGRAPHER 

Pre­sent­ing new zine Bare With Me, art direct­ed by Omer Agustoslu. 

What do you do?

My projects devel­op around the rep­re­sen­ta­tions of iden­ti­ty and sex­u­al­i­ty and I use the medi­um of pho­tog­ra­phy as a way of observ­ing and under­stand­ing human nature. My most recent work, Bare With Me (a pho­tog­ra­phy exhi­bi­tion col­lab­o­rat­ed with Matt King), con­sist­ed of images that explore the state of undress with an empha­sis on con­tem­po­rary con­cepts of erot­i­ca we define today. The series is main­ly inspired by a com­mu­ni­ty of peo­ple I met here in London.

How would you describe your community?

I think they are fear­less with their self-expres­sion and sex­u­al­i­ty! It is a group of peo­ple who sup­port each oth­er and cre­ative­ly grow togeth­er. There is a con­stant change in the world sur­round­ing us at the moment that we as cre­atives need to keep up with. I believe this com­mu­ni­ty has great poten­tial for the future and I am glad to be a part of it. 

What song are you adding to the SORT playlist?

Karan­lık ve Soguk by The Raws.

What does goth’ mean to you in 2019

All sub­cul­tures arise to form anoth­er point of view to main­stream pol­i­tics, in search of their own voice and hop­ing to cre­ate an out­let for their expres­sions. It is being hon­est to your­self and being hon­est towards oth­ers – sim­ply fit­ting into a crowd that still feels different. 

INFER­NOCLUB 

What are you? 

We are INFER­NO; a queer tech­no rave that cham­pi­ons trans, non-bina­ry and female DJs as well as a plat­form for emerg­ing and estab­lished per­for­mance artists. Along­side this, we host­ed the first INFER­NO Sum­mit last year which was a two-day sem­i­nar explor­ing the inter­sec­tions of nightlife, per­for­mance art, music and queer­ness as well as cre­at­ing the INFER­NO zine (which we will be sell­ing at the SORT print fair, amongst oth­er things).

How would you describe your community?

It’s one of those things you need to expe­ri­ence your­self in the flesh – we’re not for everyone. 

What song are you adding to the SORT playlist?

Ash B.’s Real­ness (Man­ni Dee edit).

What does goth’ mean to you in 2019

There’s this won­der­ful lit­tle film made my SORT called Tech­no Goth last year that INFER­NO co-founder Lewis G. Bur­ton (as well as some of the community’s DJs, per­form­ers and reg­u­lars) got the chance to fea­ture in. This is the 2019 man­i­fes­ta­tion of goth. 

LOU ALSOP, ART DIREC­TOR AND PRINT DESIGNER

What do you do?

I am an art direc­tor and print design­er. I stud­ied fash­ion design and used to have a wom­enswear label, although today I’m not so com­fort­able defin­ing what I do as the work I pro­duce is con­stant­ly evolving.

How would you describe your community?

I view this world as a safe space; some­where I can be myself and expe­ri­ence that with others.

What song are you adding to the SORT playlist?

Rico Nasty’s Rage.

What does goth’ mean to you in 2019

Still being an out­sider in a time when sub­cul­tures no longer exist.


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