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Colin Self is an American artist, composer, and choreographer. His work centers around ideas of gender, communication, and consciousness, and his practice includes social relationships and digital technologies. He gained attention as a member of the avant-drag collective Chez Deep 2012–2014 performing in New York City, Miami, and Glasgow with members Alexis Penney, Bailey Stiles, Hari Nef, and Sam Banks. He is a member of the electronic music trio Holly Herndon, which supported Radiohead on their 2016 European tour.
Self was born in Aloha, Oregon. He studied puppetry and experimental writing at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington from 2006 to 2008. He transferred to the School of Art Institute of Chicago and completed his BFA in 2010. Soon after, Self relocated to New York where he began performing regularly as a solo artist and in groups like Chez Deep, 2 Pretty, and the #HDBoyz. Self started a monthly alternative queer party Clump, which raised money for a biannual microgrant the Radical Diva Grant and which featured DJs, performances, and readings, with artists like Umfang, Mykki Blanco, and Andrea Crespo. Since 2014, Self has performed as part of the electronic music trio Holly Herndon. He is currently an MFA candidate at Bard College's Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts in Hudson, New York studying music and sound.
Self's work reflects in different ways the themes of community, kinship, and caring. Self co-wrote the experimental opera The Fool with artist Raul de Nieves, which premiered at ISSUE Project Room in 2014 and restaged at The Kitchen in 2017 with a chorus of 22 voices. The project grew out of a community choir Self had been hosting in his home which invited anyone to come sing, motivated by the idea that the voice can be a tool to incite social transformation. He often frames his work as a form of activism, responding to social crises and systems of control. He was one of several choreographers who collaborated to create the 150-person immersive performance Authority Figure at the Knockdown Center in Queens, New York in 2016, a work which thematized obedience, surveillance and policing. Self's experimental theatre work SIBLINGS, which premiered at Donaufestival in Austria in 2017, mixes opera and revue, choreographing five performers to explore themes of alienation and empathy.


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