Abstract

Ultra-red’s SILENT|LISTEN (2005-06) consists of a series of events in which statements addressing the AIDS epidemic are presented alongside Cage’s silent composition 4′33″ (1952). Ultra-red’s intervention refers to activist collective ACT UP’s militantly anti-homophobic slogan, “SILENCE = DEATH,” while implicating the cultural politics of Cagean silence, 4′33″’s contested status as part of an historically specific strategy of queer resistance deployed during McCarthyism. Turning on the music-formal problem of Werktreue, or “faithfulness” to an original score, SILENT|LISTEN is considered alongside the appropriation art strategies of AIDS activism and against recent theoretical attempts to bracket out “sound” from the historical and formal specificity of musical practice.

Additional Information

ISSN
1053-1920
Launched on MUSE
2014-02-18
Open Access
No
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