How art and criticism provide dynamic ways for understanding instead of limiting how to be a person in this world. And more urgently, how to pay attention.
When Bennett first moved to New York City in 1996, she became a model, landing i-D covers and walking for Hussein Chalayan and Stephen Sprouse. She remembers feeling competitive, conjuring up Craig McDean photos of herself next to another girl with exquisite, Greta Garbo-like features on her phone. "This was my rival," she says of the Garbo girl. "She was just a little more special than I was."
I am a living person. I want to breathe oxygen. I want to see things. I want to go to a shop. I have got to buy things. I am not the type of person who'd sit at home.
Do I think my gender has helped my career, seeing as I emerged at a time when people were finally starting to pay attention to women producers and DJs? Yes, but I also know what I bring to the table aside from just being a woman, and I sleep well at night confident in my skills as a DJ, writer and woman in dance music. The energy and vibe that women bring to the table is simply unmatched, and I think many realized that over the past decade. It's important that we remain visible because visibility can inspire future generations. When I first got hip to dance music it kind of went without saying that basically all of the DJs were men (this went for DJs in others genres as well). The 2010s gave DJ culture a much-needed shift, and now women, trans and non-binary artists all have relatable heroes to look up to. It's a beautiful thing. As we proceed into 2020 and beyond, I have high hopes for the future of women in the industry. I've seen and experienced first-hand women supporting and advocating for one another in droves, and this will be a key to our future successes—simply supporting one another. It also appears that some of the people in power are finally pulling their heads out their asses, and that too is a plus. If you happen to be a woman, trans or non-binary artist trying to break into the industry, don't ever let anyone discourage you or tell you something isn't possible. Use that awesome tool that is the internet to connect with other artists such as yourself. From radio stations to mix series, booking agencies and more, there are opportunities out there readily available to you. That is a lot more than we could say at the beginning of the last decade, so go out there and get it. The time is now.
"Small is good, small is all. (The large is a reflection of the small.)
Change is constant. (Be like water.)
There is always enough time for the right work.
There is a conversation in the room that only these people at this moment can have. Find it.
Never a failure, always a lesson.
Trust the People. (If you trust the people, they become trustworthy.)
Move at the speed of trust. Focus on critical connections more than critical mass—build the resilience by building the relationships.
Less prep, more presence.
What you pay attention to grows."