The Protagonist of the Erotic
Janelle Monáe by Dan Hassler-Forest
Singer. Dancer. Movie star. Activist. Afrofuturist. Android. Janelle Monáe is one of the most iconic pop stars of her generation. Her music is utterly addictive, full of infectious beats, bass-heavy funk, and that unmistakable voice, delicate and breathy, yet full of raw power. The high-concept songstress composes thematic albums, narrated by alter-ego Cindi Mayweather, a robot who dares to desire human love. Scholar Dan Hassler-Forest is unapologetically obsessed, counting himself as a 'Fandroid', the name given to Monáe devotees. Beginning with her chart-topping single, 'Make Me Feel', Dan lovingly extolls Monáe's life and vision, emphasising her ability to challenge the status quo through an ecstatic celebration of sex. In her sensual, sci-fi world, queer cyborg romance flourishes, pink vagina pants blossom and radical refusal gives way to orgasmic release. Following Audre Lorde's seminal essay, The Erotic as Power and José Esteban Muñoz's visionary text Cruising Utopia, Dan reveals how pleasure can be a force for liberation, a libidinous energy rising up to a four-chord climax.
Introduction and outro voiced by Johnny Vivash. Editing and sound design by Tobias Withers. Soundscape by The God in Hackney. Artwork by Karel Martens. Produced by the Extra Extra team.