EMBODIED. PROXIMATE.

HYENAZ are Berlin-based sound and movement artists Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate and Adrienne Teicher aka Bad Conscience. The dance tracks, soundscapes, performative installations and a/v works they produce are based on the sonic shapeshifting of field recordings gathered in the process of site-specific works. Most recently they premiered their stage show “knowbody” at Studio Я – Maxim Gorki Theater, choreographed and directed a group of contemporary dancers called “clusterfuck” for Peaches’ epic stage revue, “There’s Only One Peach with the Hole in the Middle,” and designed sound for “Du Verdienst Dein Krieg: 8 Soldiers Moonsick” written by Sivan Ben Yishai and directed by Sasha Marianna Salzmann.

For the past 6 years HYENAZ have been working on a music, performance and sonic research project they call “Foreign Bodies,” a slow movement journey to explore relationships of “bodies in motion and bodies in resistance”, be they human or of other sentience. Central to this project is the idea that the body is disappearing: from social interactions blasted into the corporate cloud, to machine intelligence tangled in the systems that govern life, to techno-futurists fantasies of an age where analogue flesh has vanished into digital consciousness.

At this uncanny juncture, where surfaces look familiar but everything is shifting, HYENAZ have been working with the visceral body: in their live shows, in refugee camps, amphibian habitats and intentional communities—prisms through which to examine the ways in which bodies move and collaborate in relation to, in resistance to, and despite of management and control of their bodies/movement. HYENAZ examine and challenge the mechanisms that treat the body as a foreign object, a thing to be managed and controlled, an unknown territory even to itself, a thing to be feared and annihilated.

Through their immersive live performances, and often with the help of a team of “Interlocutors,” HYENAZ look at the possibilities and importance of physical touch and wrestle with how the body operates inside new sets of seemingly opposing forces, ie “the virtual and the real.”

Their first release for Foreign Bodies PROXIMITY was an act of listening and learning from non-human animals, frogs in particular, to think about how proximity changes relata between bodies. The track premiered in the poetry journal Interim as a/v poetry–a contemporary dance music video with integrated text that the duo choreographed and edited themselves. A virtual sculpture PROXIMA debuted at the Near-Field Communication Digital Art Biennale and is now traveling around Europe.

Their second release, Columns, is HYENAZ’ response to militarized violence. The track, which sounds like industrial techno, is built entirely from vocalizations and organic percussion scavenged deep within a cave outside the pilgrimage town of Częstochowa, Poland.

With Foreign Bodies HYENAZ build on their reputation as visionary performers. Electro superstar Peaches called HYENAZ a “performance monster duo” in The Guardian. They have performed twice at Berlin’s world famous techno mansion Berghain as part of Your Moms Agency’s Digital Art Meets Music series and once to support CHRISTEENE and have been energetically touring the world, from SXSW to the MIDI Festival Shanghai; from techno festival Garbicz to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, where HYENAZ produced Spectral Rite with the visual artists Sylbee Kim and Nico Pelzer.

Foreign Bodies is the culmination of the evolution of HYENAZ from darkwave duo to a/v artists. In their 2013 self titled debut, (Records Ad Nauseam) HYENAZ imagined themselves as transgender hyena-humanoids, scavenging on the edges of apocalypse, building bodies and identities from civilization’s detritus. In 2016 they released the mystical and fierce CRITICAL MAGIC 비평적 마술, in which chaos magic, critical theory and Korean cut/ups create an electronic dance album that ignites a singular cohesive spell. The track BINARIES picked up a Berlin Music Video Award in 2017.

Another notable release was their 2017 “i want to move” remix of Paula Temple’s GEGEN which raised money for Berlin based asylum seekers and advocates. Most recently the duo have moved more deeply into sound design. In 2019 they scored the theatre production “Du Verdienst Deinen Krieg: 8 Soldiers Moonsick”, written by Sivan Ben Yishai and directed by Sasha Marianna Salzmann, which premiered at Studio Я – Maxim Gorki Theater. They also scored and co-wrote the film INSTINCT with Marit Ostberg and Esther Martin Bergsmark. In 2017 they scored the film “Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution” by Yony Leyser, and performed at its screening at International Documentary Film festival in Amsterdam.

The body has always been central to the work of HYENAZ, but Foreign Bodies examines questions of embodiment with an ever sharpening focus. In a frame from PROXIMITY, text flashes on the screen asking: HOW MUCH OF MY BODY COULD I LOSE. Another frame asks: DO YOU RECOGNISE ME / MY / YOUR SOVEREIGNTY and DOES OUR PROXIMITY BIND US? The pain of having and being a body in the 21st Century fuels HYENAZ drive to bring bodies together in a room and fight alienation.

PRESS:

HYENAZ is a project that disintegrates borders, torpedoing the dividing lines between music and performance.
Patrick Wildermann, Tagesspiegel

[In] the performance of Hyenaz…. everything is water, so we are people, water bodies, all connected…. It’s not a blurred vision, but a hyper-vision.
Simone van Saarloos, De Groene Amsterdaamer

“Columns” by the Berlin performance duo and electronic artists HYENAZ is a terrifying slice of conceptual dark ambient and broken techno with meanings and implications buried deep below the surface.
Tometotheweathermachine

• If you’ve roamed around the never-ending artistic rabbit holes of Berlin, HYENAZ are a household name that you’ve certainly come across, and all for the right reasons. Foreign Bodies, a research project the duo have been conducting over a long period of time, dissects questions of embodiment through a thorough lens and has seen them move on from a band set up to a/v artistry, exploring boundaries and concepts, disrupting sounds and images in several bodies of work such as manifestos, audio tracks, essays, performances and video.
Francisco Gonçalves Silva, Berlin In Stereo

“Performative Monster Duo”
Peaches

“Best Live Acts Berlin 2014”
Kaltblut

“Creatures of ritual … soundscapes, choreographies and appearances that are at once refined and rough.”
Transgressor

“Best Artists List 2013”
Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art

“#HYENAZ #everything #power #future #ancient #performance #transcendence”
Sister Mantos

“Beautiful, frightening, arousing: gender-bending synthwave from @hyenazhyenaz is one of our best #SXSW14 discoveries”
Vesper

“HYENAZ inhabit a special space in between, where art can be musically AND visually interesting,”
AWEH.TV