Open A.I.R. Artist Services Program and Flux Factory Present: Ultra-red URXX Twenty-years of Militant Sound Research

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Founded in 1994 by two AIDS activists, Ultra-red is an international sound art collective with twelve members based in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, and multiple locations in the UK. For twenty years Ultra-red has used sound research within and alongside base community movements for social justice. All our members have long-term engagements with social movements where we work as organizers, educators, and community researchers.

The evening will begin with report from Ultra-red members based in Los Angeles and New York. What are we hearing? Where is the organizing leading us at a local bases and trans-locally?

We invite other collectives, organizers, and popular educators to join us for a conversation about collective practice and the role of militant research in contributing to long-term struggle for radical social change. The evening will include a listening exercise led by Ultra-red members and a dinner. Please feel free to bring things to share!

Ultra-red members present include founding member Dont Rhine (L.A. Community Health Project, health justice for the people who inject drugs in Los Angeles), Elizabeth Blaney and Leonardo Vilchis (Union de Vecinos, base community organizing in East Los Angeles), and Michael Roberson and Robert Sember (Vogue’ology, organizing New York’s house and ballroom scene).

Space is limited for this event and registration is required. Preference will be given to members of collectives engaged in artistic processes and practices aimed at contributing to long-term struggle for social justice. To register please fill out the following form by July 9, 2014: https://queensmuseum.wufoo.com/forms/urxxtwenty-years-of-militant-sound-research/

Militant sound research is a methodology developed by Ultra-red.

When we think of art and politics, we tend to think of images. Likewise, political speech plays a crucial role in how movements communicate their critique and demands. At the same time, communication is as much a matter of listening as of speaking. In many emancipatory political histories, political education gives a great deal of attention to how people in struggle listen to each other, to spaces and events, to experiences of oppression and liberation, to silence, and how we listen to resonances of commonality and contradiction. A militant sound investigation offers organizers, cultural workers, and community people an accessible process for practicing listening and developing collectivity within the context of ongoing and long-term struggle.

Ultra-red’s three-part “Practice Sessions” video introduces the basics of the sound art collective’s practice. Adopting the conventions of an instructional video, the video walks viewers through the steps in what the collective calls, militant sound research. To view the videos follow this link: http://www.welcometolace.org/pages/view/ultra-red/

The three videos in Ultra-red’s “Practice Sessions” guide viewers through the different stages of the sound research process. The first video examines how a research team organizes itself and develops a question that guides their inquiry. The second video walks viewers through the process of making audio recordings that catalyze the collective reflections of community members. The third video addresses putting together a listening session that generates new ideas and questions for the next stage of research. Each video includes two instructional modules and an appendix. The appendices offer viewers some of the theoretical basis for the ideas presented in the video as well as give background about Ultra-red and how we have used militant sound research over the years.

The expanded Queens Museum features a new, expanded slate of artist services, including a brand new Studio Program, with professional development features and a networking Lecture Series that draws on human resources at the Queens Museum. Open A.I.R. programs will offer professional development topics targeted specifically to all interested emerging artists.