Silences and policies in the shared listening: Ultra-red and Escuchatorio
With this article we want to offer a critical approach to participatory practices within sound art. To this end, we will analyse the work of two groups of sound artists who have placed participation and collaboration at the centre of their work and of their definition of sound art itself, using two very different approaches: Ultra-red and Escuchatorio. Both groups understand listening as a political action which always implies a relationship with others and with the environment. However, their very different ways of activating the collective listening may encourage us to consider how collaborative art is understood and practised at a time when the interest in participation from different artistic and cultural institutions (also political) keeps growing.
By considering Escuchatorio and Ultra-red, we want to ask ourselves how it can be decisive who proposes to perform the sound action: whether it is a community in struggle or a group of artists, or a gallery/institution. Different proposers generate different receptors/participants and also different ways of understanding which values are at stake and how they are distributed. Who is able to participate and how it can be done entail different degrees of involvement, impact and barriers. For a specific group that meets in a specific place participatory art can foreground the differences between people who are close to each other (Ultra-red), whereas the participation of anyone who can use any type of recording device and upload recordings to the network emphasises the similarities between people who are otherwise strangers (the expanded radio of Escuchatorio).
Barrett, G. D. (2016a). The Limits of Performing Cage: Ultra-red's SILENT|LISTEN. After Sound. Toward a Critical Music. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.
Barrett, G. D. (2016b). Ultra-red, URXX. Nos. 1-9. Tacet: Sound in the Arts No. 4. 540-55.
Bell, D.M. (2015). The Politics of Participatory Art. Political Studies Review, 15(1), 73-83.
Biserna, E. (2017). Soundborderscapes: pour une écoute critique de la frontière. antiAtlas Journal #2. Retrieved from: https://www.antiatlasjournal.net/02-soundborderscapes-vers-une-ecoute-critique-de-la-frontiere
Bishop, C. (2012). Artificial hells: participatory art and the politics of spectatorship. London: Verso.
Bourriaud, N. (1998). Esthétique relationelle. Dijon: Les presses du réel.
Bueti, F. (2010). Nothing to see in the mirror or the perpetual movement of sound. LaBelle, B. (Ed.) Manual for the construction of sound as a device to elaborate social connection (pp. 21-28). Berlin: Errant Bodies Press. Surface Tension Supplement No. 4.
Chattopadhyay, B. (2015). Auditory (Con)texts: Writing on Sound. Ear │ Wave │ Event, issue 2, 1-13.
Farinati, L. & Firth, C. (2017). The Force of Listening. Berlin: Errant Bodies Press.
Flores, E. (2017, September 7). Silencio: la sobreposición al grito. Retrieved from: http://masmusicamenosbalas.org/escuchatorio-silencio-la-sobreposicion-al-grito/
Foster, H. (2004). Chat Rooms. Bishop, C. (Ed.), Participation (pp. 190-196). London: Whitechapel and The MIT Press.
Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogía del oprimido. México D.F.: Siglo XXI.
Freire, P. (2005). Pedagogy of Oppressed. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.
Gaboury, J. (2010, December 15). Elements of Vogue: A Conversation with Ultra-red. Rhizome. Retrieved from: https://rhizome.org/editorial/2010/dec/15/elements-of-vogue-a-conversation-with-ultra-red/
Gilbert, A. (2004). In concert: Alan Gilbert on Ultra-red ... The Free Library. Retrieved from: https://www.thefreelibrary.com/In+concert%3a+Alan+Gilbert+on+Ultra-red.-a0117041641
Hernández, L. (2017, January 23). La escucha, un acto de resistencia (An interview with Mirna Castro, Félix Blume y Mónica Nepote). Retrieved from http://kajanegra.com/la-escucha-un-acto-de-resistencia/
Kester, G. (2005). Conversation Pieces: The Role of Dialogue in Socially-Engaged Art. Kocur and Leung (Eds.) Theory in Contemporary Art Since 1985 (pp. 76-100). Oxford: Blackwell.
Larsen, L. B. (1999). Social Aesthetics: 11 examples to begin with, in the light of parallel history, Afterall, No. 1. London: Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, 77–87.
Leavitt, J. (2005, October 24). Art and the Politics of Public Housing. Retrieved from: http://www.plannersnetwork.org/2005/10/art-and-the-politics-of-public-housing/
Marquis, J. (2017, February 1). Listening Publics: Ultra-red’s Protocols for the Common. Retrieved from: http://canvasmcgill.ca/2017/02/01/listening-publics-ultra-reds-protocols-for-the-common/#_ftnref26
Nancy, J.-L. (2002). À l’écoute. Paris: Éditions Galilée.
Rancière, J. (2004). Malaise dans l’esthétique. Paris: Éditions Galilée.
Schaeffer, P. (1966). Traité des objets musicaux, Paris: Seuil.
Sholette, G. (2016). Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism. London: Pluto Press.
Ultra-red. (2000). On Austerity Measures: An Open Letter to Remixers. Retrieved from: http://www.ultrared.org/pso3b.html
Ultra-red. (2004). Constitutive Utopias: sound, public space and urban ambience. Retrieved from: http://temporaryservices.org/served/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/constitutive_utopias.pdf
Ultra-red. (2008). 10 Preliminary Theses on Militant Sound Investigation. New York City: Printed Matter, Inc.
Ultra-red. (2011). Art, Collectivity, and Pedagogy: Changing the World in which we Live. Chto Delat #08-32: Theater of accomplices. (Robert Sember and Dont Rhine in consultation with other members of Ultra-red).
Ultra-red. (2013). Five Protocols for Organized Listening. Berlin: Koenig. Retrieved from: http://www.ultrared.org/uploads/2012-Five_Protocols.pdf
Ultra-red. (2014a). Practice Sessions. Workbook. Berlin: Koenig.
Ultra-red. (2014b). The Radical Education Workbook. Berlin: Koenig.
Ultra-red (2014c). Ultra-red. (An interview to Elliot Perkins and Dont Rhine). Retrieved from: http://precaritypilot.net/ultra-red/
Voegelin, S. (2010). Listening to Noise and Silence. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.
Copyright (c) 2020 Susana Jiménez Carmona
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The journal allow the author(s) to hold the copyright without restrictions. The journal allows the author(s) to retain publishing rights without restrictions.