An excerpt from our online exclusive conversation between Douglas Rushkoff and Genesis P-Orridge.
DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: Maybe we should start at the beginning, for those who might have no idea what Pandrogeny is about. I mean, you have big breasts and wear women’s clothing. What’s the difference between Pandrogeny and transvestism or transgender?
GENESIS BREYER P‑ORRIDGE: Well, the main difference is that Pandrogeny is not about gender, it’s about union. The union of opposites. One way to explain the difference is very easy: with transgender people the man might feel that he’s trapped—the person feels they’re a man trapped in a woman’s body, or a woman trapped in a man’s body—whereas in Pandrogeny you’re just trapped in the body. So Pandrogeny is very much about the union of opposites, and, through that reunion, the transcendence of this binary world and this illusory, polarized social system.
DR: Doesn’t that happen in sex, anyway?
GO: Of course, the orgasm. When people have an orgasm together that’s a moment of Pandrogeny. And when people have a baby, the baby is pandrogynous, sexually. Because it is literally two people becoming one.
DR: So then these memes—this ability to transcend polarity and gender— are already at our disposal. Why do it the way you are, through surgeries and implants and all this medical activity, all the social challenges of getting into the ladies’ room as a pandrogene? How do the literal cutting and pasting of gender traits dissolve these polarities any more than they underscore them?
GO: Well, as you know, it went in steps. In the beginning it was very much romantic. Jaye and I decided we didn’t want to have children. But we still got that urge to blend, to merge and become one. I think the heart of a lot of the romance in couples, whatever kind of couple they are, is that they want to both just be each other, to consume each other with passion. So we wanted to represent that. First we did it by dressing alike. Then we started to do minor alterations to our bodies. Then we decided that we would try as hard as we could to actually look like each other in order to strengthen and solidify that urge. So it was initially a very self-centered thing to do. But once we started to think about it, we realized that it was a bit like William Burroughs and Brion Gysin in The Third Mind, where they said the two of them together would no longer be the writer of the piece; it’s the two things cut up and being reassembled. That was the product of The Third Mind—the cutups. We thought if we used each other as separate artists, or individuals, and we cut ourselves up, maybe we could create a third entity, which is the pandrogene. So that’s very much the third being, a new state of being. Burroughs always used to talk to me about how you short-circuit control. And Jaye and I talked a very long time about that. And we decided that DNA was very much the recording—the tool of control. Perhaps even DNA is a parasite and we’re just the vessels at its disposal.
Read the full interview. »