School of Echoes 2 Favorite 



Apr 18 2001


Los Angeles CA

Ultra-Red is a collective founded by two AIDS activists in 1994 to explore the intersection of the political and aesthetic through "militant sound investigations". "While the image determines much of our understanding of activist art, Ultra-red turn the focus to the ear: the sound of communities organising themselves, the acoustics of contested spaces, the demands and desires in our voices and in our silences, and the echoes of historical memories of struggle." The group, now consisting of other artists, researchers and organizers, examines acoustic space as a function of social relations through radio broadcasts, performances, recordings, installations, texts and public space actions. The group has undertaken audio art projects at various locations to elicit the divergent ambiances of needle exchange programs, public sex, public housing, resistance to global capital, labor, education, anti-racism and migration struggles.

In 2001, Ultra-Red launched a yearlong residency with the Heart Project by working with students in Echo Park and Central Los Angeles. "School of Echoes is a long-term project designed to activate pedagogical spaces for development and dissemination of theory and practice in Militant Sound Investigation. The long-term goal of this project is the establishment of a cultural action institute for organizers, artists, and youth. Meanwhile, at the current phase in the project, Ultra-red members have sought to infiltrate art spaces and schools to explore the theoretical and practical traditions informing our notion of Militant Sound Investigation. In addition to classroom settings, Ultra-red has convened public meetings, titled "Encuentros," bringing together local artists, organizers and activists to explore how sound produces specific forms of knowledge that contribute to and challenge organizing strategies.

Drawing on historical precedents such as Popular Education, Militant Inquiry, Participatory Action Research, as well as Feminist and anti-colonial learning, School of Echoes imagines a practice of knowledge production that can stimulate an exchange between organizing and art."

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