Sophie Hoyle

Sophie Hoyle

Sophie Hoyle is an artist and writer whose practice explores an intersectional approach to post-colonial, queer, feminist, anti-psychiatry and disability issues.

Sophie Hoyle is an artist and writer whose practice relates personal experiences of being queer, non-binary and part of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) diaspora to wider forms of structural violence. From lived experience of psychiatric conditions and trauma, or PTSD, they began to explore the history of biomedical technologies rooted in state and military surveillance and control.

Recent projects and exhibitions include: Chronica, as part of Jerwood Staging Series, Eyecatcher IV, Big Screen Southend, Focal Point Gallery (2018); Constellations, UP Projects and Flat Time House (2017-18); This Time With FEELing [space] London, Anxious to Secure, Transmediale, HKW Berlin (2016). They are a recipient of the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme 2018-19. They have curated screenings at W139 Amsterdam, Jerwood Space and RCA London and BAK Utrecht, and written articles and reviews for AQNB, X-TRA and The New Inquiry.


HD Video / 24:55 min / 2018

‘Chronica’ was a live performance at Jerwood Space 13th September 2018, as part of the Jerwood Staging Series. ‘Chronica’ explores embodied experiences of illness, encounters with healthcare infrastructures and biomedical technologies. Video projections were controlled by biofeedback equipment (Bitalino board with Galvanic Skin Response and Electrocardiogram) worn by a performer, while musician Swan Meat performed a live set in response to the videos.

The exact selection and order of the video clips in the live performance was determined by the data generated by the performer’s body while undertaking anxiety-reduction and trauma-release exercises. Upon reaching certain data thresholds, this triggered certain video clips to be played.

This video version of ‘Chronica’ is a collection of the clips that were available to be projected during the performance, combined with a recording of the live set. In collaboration with musician Swan Meat (Reba Fay), it connects a history of medical imagery used in music subcultures with genres such as EBM (Electronic Body Music) and Industrial, and looks at the potential of noise music to evoke embodied experiences of trauma and its medical treatment.

Content Warning: Contains images of blood and medical equipment

Inner Security

HD Video / 17:26 min / 2016

A video-essay made for ‘Anxious To Secure’, a panel discussion at Transmediale, HKW Berlin 2016. The work explores the overlap between biomedical technologies and techniques used in healthcare and psychology, that share a history with those used in state and military surveillance and control. Made with sound recordings from an induction coil pickup mic, polygraph and other technologies used in surveillance and interrogation.


HD Video / 01:35 min / 2016

A single-screen version of a four-channel video installation, with Biofeedback equipment (Bitalino board, Galvanic Skin Response, Electrocardiogram [ECG]).

As part of Anxiety Disorder and PTSD and the medication they are currently on, the artist has to undergo regular health checks including ECG.

The order in which the video clips play is controlled by the anxiety levels in the artist’s body, measured in biofeedback data.

The numerical presentation of bodily indicators of Anxiety is in contrast to the content of the footage, which contains close-ups of embodied expressions of anxiety through facial expressions, body language and abstracted sounds.

This is a recording of the live data of the anxiety levels of the artist when worn during the private view of an exhibition opening.


HD Video / 05:00 min / 2015

A single-screen version of a two-channel video installation with four-channel sound.

It explores embodied experiences of anxiety, including compulsive patterns and rituals of self-harm. In the two-channel version, there is a text that abstractly explores the intersection between individual and collective anxieties, connecting Anxiety Disorder to geopolitical narratives of ‘crisis’ and violence, especially relating to the MENA (Middle East and North Africa).