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Nonbinary: A Memoir

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A revealing and beautifully open memoir from pioneering industrial music artist, visual artist, and transgender icon Genesis P-Orridge In this groundbreaking book spanning decades of artistic risk-taking, the inventor of “industrial music,” founder of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and world-renowned fine artist with COUM Transmissions Genesis P-Orridge (1950–2020) tak A revealing and beautifully open memoir from pioneering industrial music artist, visual artist, and transgender icon Genesis P-Orridge In this groundbreaking book spanning decades of artistic risk-taking, the inventor of “industrial music,” founder of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and world-renowned fine artist with COUM Transmissions Genesis P-Orridge (1950–2020) takes us on a journey searching for identity and their true self. It is the story of a life of creation and destruction, where Genesis P-Orridge reveals their unwillingness to be stuck—stuck in one place, in one genre, or in one gender. Nonbinary is Genesis’s final work and is shared with hopes of being an inspiration to the newest generation of trailblazers and nonconformists. Nonbinary is the intimate story of Genesis’s life, weaving the narrative of their history in COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle, and Psychic TV. It also covers growing up in World War II’s fallout in Britain, contributing to the explosion of new music and radical art in the 1960s, and destroying visual and artistic norms throughout their entire life. In addition to being a captivating memoir of a singular artist and musician, Nonbinary is also an inside look at one of our most remarkable cultural lives that will be an inspiration to fans of industrial music, performance art, the occult, and a life in the arts.


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A revealing and beautifully open memoir from pioneering industrial music artist, visual artist, and transgender icon Genesis P-Orridge In this groundbreaking book spanning decades of artistic risk-taking, the inventor of “industrial music,” founder of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and world-renowned fine artist with COUM Transmissions Genesis P-Orridge (1950–2020) tak A revealing and beautifully open memoir from pioneering industrial music artist, visual artist, and transgender icon Genesis P-Orridge In this groundbreaking book spanning decades of artistic risk-taking, the inventor of “industrial music,” founder of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and world-renowned fine artist with COUM Transmissions Genesis P-Orridge (1950–2020) takes us on a journey searching for identity and their true self. It is the story of a life of creation and destruction, where Genesis P-Orridge reveals their unwillingness to be stuck—stuck in one place, in one genre, or in one gender. Nonbinary is Genesis’s final work and is shared with hopes of being an inspiration to the newest generation of trailblazers and nonconformists. Nonbinary is the intimate story of Genesis’s life, weaving the narrative of their history in COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle, and Psychic TV. It also covers growing up in World War II’s fallout in Britain, contributing to the explosion of new music and radical art in the 1960s, and destroying visual and artistic norms throughout their entire life. In addition to being a captivating memoir of a singular artist and musician, Nonbinary is also an inside look at one of our most remarkable cultural lives that will be an inspiration to fans of industrial music, performance art, the occult, and a life in the arts.

30 review for Nonbinary: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    I RECEIVED A DRC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY. THANK YOU. My Review: There are no words for Genesis P-Orridge. Trans, genderqueer, non-binary; artist, musician, creator...or Creator. Not one of them can hope to do more than capture a slice of this astonishing being's self. William S. Burroughs met them when they were twenty...he immediately posed them a life-long quest in a question: "How do we short-circuit control?" When William S. Burroughs asks you to solve a problem the first day you meet h I RECEIVED A DRC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY. THANK YOU. My Review: There are no words for Genesis P-Orridge. Trans, genderqueer, non-binary; artist, musician, creator...or Creator. Not one of them can hope to do more than capture a slice of this astonishing being's self. William S. Burroughs met them when they were twenty...he immediately posed them a life-long quest in a question: "How do we short-circuit control?" When William S. Burroughs asks you to solve a problem the first day you meet him, all of 20 to his rising-60, you have to know you are Someone. And Someone Genesis was, and became, and remained until their death from leukemia at seventy. The entire review is posted at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Corvus

    Friendly reminder that Genesis was a horrific abuser and attempted murderer of their former partner and bandmate among other problems. They have been caught telling endless lies. They have never been held accountable. They never identified as NB until after death unless I'm missing something? So this also seems to be the publisher's fault, capitalizing on trans words and narratives. Genesis does not represent us. No trans person represents everyone, but Gen's grandiose narcissism means it must be Friendly reminder that Genesis was a horrific abuser and attempted murderer of their former partner and bandmate among other problems. They have been caught telling endless lies. They have never been held accountable. They never identified as NB until after death unless I'm missing something? So this also seems to be the publisher's fault, capitalizing on trans words and narratives. Genesis does not represent us. No trans person represents everyone, but Gen's grandiose narcissism means it must be said before their claims of inventing acid house and so on are believed. Please read Art Sex Music by Cosey Fanni Tutti instead. Sometimes a 1 star review of a book I haven't read is necessary when it's something this gross and harmful to both the people Genesis abused and to trans people who will undoubtedly have this portrayal attached to us. Also, for industrial music lovers who have eaten up many of Genesis' lies over the years (self included.) Gen is dead, let the damage they continue to do end there

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    An excellent portrait of one of the most interesting, boundary-smashing lives ever lived.

  4. 5 out of 5

    kyle

    [review written by someone who had never heard a single piece of music by Genesis and still has not. smh.] This is a pretty tough and dry read at times. I found myself racing thru some chapters to get to the more “entertaining” parts. There’s a lot to get through but it’s written in some of the most intimate and thoughtful ways I’ve read in any memoirs. The Ian Curtis chapter is absolutely devastating and harrowing. Regardless of my tough time, by the end of it I learned that the life that Gen liv [review written by someone who had never heard a single piece of music by Genesis and still has not. smh.] This is a pretty tough and dry read at times. I found myself racing thru some chapters to get to the more “entertaining” parts. There’s a lot to get through but it’s written in some of the most intimate and thoughtful ways I’ve read in any memoirs. The Ian Curtis chapter is absolutely devastating and harrowing. Regardless of my tough time, by the end of it I learned that the life that Gen lived was astonishing. RIP Genesis.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    I did an in depth discussion on why this book falls so short of being a memoir and the truth https://youtu.be/40lyUnYuwh4 I did an in depth discussion on why this book falls so short of being a memoir and the truth https://youtu.be/40lyUnYuwh4

  6. 4 out of 5

    - Andrew

    Britain has always been the hoster of modern gothic subculture, from the early 1400s due to the Anglo saxonic invasion from the gothic or German tribes to West coast Britain, to the rise of romanticism and gothisesim during the late 1700s, and even to the progressive post-punk, new dark wave Era during the 1960s.  What can be proved for sure, that the art sence has always been influenced by the circumstances it found itself growing into it, and that's similar to the set of space and time in which Britain has always been the hoster of modern gothic subculture, from the early 1400s due to the Anglo saxonic invasion from the gothic or German tribes to West coast Britain, to the rise of romanticism and gothisesim during the late 1700s, and even to the progressive post-punk, new dark wave Era during the 1960s.  What can be proved for sure, that the art sence has always been influenced by the circumstances it found itself growing into it, and that's similar to the set of space and time in which such rhythmical way of expiration, like musical bands such as The Beatles, The doors, Joy division, and Roxy Music, and other artists as well whom they find themselves influenced by the broading horizons of the east, such as India. Such influence had found its reflection on the music of these Era, where we find such themes likd psychic spirituality, cut-ups experiences, magic tricks, and gender fluidity, where all introduced to the musical theme, that's the limit of its expansion is no longer standing on the border of Jazz and classic music.  during the late 1960s, there where the story of Neil Andrew Megson, or as how s/he like to be named over the 1st book of the Bible; Genesis, when s/he first pressed to change their birth name at 197

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jaina Bee

    There are moments of grace and brilliant social insight, compassionate family histories, creative aha! moments and jaw-dropping anecdotes about many of the notable and notorious characters Genesis encountered throughout some fascinating cultural eras— especially the formation of COUM Transmissions. Those are my favorite swatches in this grab bag of memories. It all seems to skim lightly over a vast expanse of intensities, which makes sense considering the dropping-the-body context in which Genes There are moments of grace and brilliant social insight, compassionate family histories, creative aha! moments and jaw-dropping anecdotes about many of the notable and notorious characters Genesis encountered throughout some fascinating cultural eras— especially the formation of COUM Transmissions. Those are my favorite swatches in this grab bag of memories. It all seems to skim lightly over a vast expanse of intensities, which makes sense considering the dropping-the-body context in which Genesis composed this. The dysfunctional relationship squabbles are tedious and annoying. One binary Gen was unable to smash was one of self-aggrandization/martyrdom. Or maybe they did eventually blend together after 1981, however I started rapidly skimming the skim at the line, "I was going to make the occult trendy again" on p. 253, so I may have missed something.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alex Holland

    This is a story. A Very special story. Nonbinary was not my introduction to Genesis P-Orridge. I had heard of them for quite sometime and was always intrigued by their art. This story is incredible. A detailed history of a truly inspiring individual. Leaving a life many people dare not live, Genesis did so great things for culture. Highly recommend for any and every person to read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gus Pattinson

    It will take me some time to process this book. Maybe my whole life. Having only been exposed to the work of Genesis in small amounts before this has opened the floodgates of possibilities. Inspiring is the right word and gives me comfort that even as things deteriorate that we will find a way to break through to whatever's next. It will take me some time to process this book. Maybe my whole life. Having only been exposed to the work of Genesis in small amounts before this has opened the floodgates of possibilities. Inspiring is the right word and gives me comfort that even as things deteriorate that we will find a way to break through to whatever's next.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hal Lowen

    2.5 An interesting book on someone I've truthfully never heard of before now. The title is a little misleading - Genesis never identified themself with the label of non-binary or the trans rights movement. Still, insightful and complex (even if it dragged in places). Some parts are difficult to read for other reasons, and it's clear that it wasn't entirely finished when Genesis died. 2.5 An interesting book on someone I've truthfully never heard of before now. The title is a little misleading - Genesis never identified themself with the label of non-binary or the trans rights movement. Still, insightful and complex (even if it dragged in places). Some parts are difficult to read for other reasons, and it's clear that it wasn't entirely finished when Genesis died.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jason Joachim

    One of the most open and compelling biographies I’ve ever read. I was already familiar with Psychic TV and then delving into Throbbing Gristle. It’s a shame I don’t have as much Psychic TV (usually can’t find anything locally and overpriced sellers.) I recommend this for fans and those who are just discovering their work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    3.5 stars. Difficult to judge this book as it was still in progress when Genesis died. Interesting and inspiring.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    A fascinating, sometimes disturbing, glimpse into this groundbreaking musician's life (though at times a repetitive slog). Since reading up on them a bit more, I have seen reports of abusiveness on their part in past relationships, which definitely tempers the fascination. A fascinating, sometimes disturbing, glimpse into this groundbreaking musician's life (though at times a repetitive slog). Since reading up on them a bit more, I have seen reports of abusiveness on their part in past relationships, which definitely tempers the fascination.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kendall Morgan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Maneri

  16. 5 out of 5

    Polly

  17. 4 out of 5

    Austin Simpson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Wunder

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marie Pascale Geist

  20. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Woodhouse

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pavel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Guthrie King

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fragode

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Patterson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brent

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert Richards

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Harris

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