the aids uncanny

Founded in 1994 by two AIDS activists, the Ultra-red Organization comes full circle with the art and organizing project, SILENT|LISTEN. Installed in art museums across North America, the project manifests itself as a series of public meetings designed to build a record of the past, present and future trajectories of the AIDS crisis on a local basis.

In 2004, a number of current Ultra-red members joined AIDS activists in Los Angeles to begin organizing a new chapter of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). In helping facilitate AIDS activist training workshops in Los Angeles, Ultra-red members have confronted not only the memory of a past activist moment, but its absence.

Ultra-red's decision to occupy major American art institutions is tactical. SILENT|LISTEN reconnects the art world and AIDS activists with memories of when the arts served as a crucial arena - in some communities, the only public space - for open discussions about the pandemic. Despite the current absence of AIDS-related exhibitions the crisis continues, abetted as always by refusals to remember, refusals to mourn, and refusals to act.

Central to this project is a reconsideration of the mission statement of ACT UP; "united in anger to end the AIDS crisis through direct action." In the current proto-fascist historical moment, SILENT|LISTEN invokes affective responses other than rage as constitutive of collective action. The alternative, waiting for anger, will prove politically disastrous in terms of AIDS and the larger political crisis.

ps/o8.a. baltimoremuseumofartsaturdayapril162005
ps/o8.b. hammermuseumofartthursdaymay52005
ps/o8.c. banffcentrefortheartsthursdayjune232005
ps/o8.d. andywarholmuseumofartwednesdaynovember302005
ps/o8.e. concordiauniversitytuesdayapril42006
ps/o8.f. southernillinoisuniversityfridayapril142006
ps/o8.g. artgalleryofontariowednesdayaugust92006
ps/08.h. xviinternationalaidsconferencemondayaugust142006
ps/o8.i. silentlistentherecord
ps/o8.j. silentlistentheminutes
ps/o8.k. untitledforsevenvoices
ps/o8.l. untitledforsixvoices
ps/o8.m. untitledforsmallensemble
ps/o8.n. untitledforlargeensemble