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Friday 21 May 2004

Music as Social Change

Jesse wrote a really good comment to my last post and I'm going to post it here cuz it's very good

  1. install guerilla public sound art pieces that undermine corporate branding of public spaces, drive folks away from malls the day after thanksgiving, or dovetail with a local activist campaign's goals.
  2. arrange to show interactive sound artworks in middle schools and highschools that engage with political themes and are both rewarding to and demanding of particpants.
  3. maybe not supercollider so much as protools, but create documentary radio artworks, audio tours, and sound installations on political issues.
  4. record rallies, teach-ins, other political events, and create online sound archives. use the sound material for sound collages and interactive audio artworks at future political events.
  5. use experimental music concerts, sound installations, cds, etc., esp. when related to a political event, as fundraising opportunities, or as chances to encourage attendees to participate in upcoming actions. at the very least, set up laptops so folks can sign online petitions, send e-faxes, or whatever.

these are all concrete political actions. less explicitly political stuff, through encouraging critical thinking, introspection, and empathy, might also be an important part of a big social change strategy, but that's much sketchier... that's what my interview and survey research project is about.

some of this stuff is difficult because of equipment or money issues. also, experimental music, b/c of its high cultural capital, and demographic, academic, and elitist associations, has some disadvantages as far as being a tool for social change, but it also has unique advantages: it's technological focus, it's critique of dichotomies, it's embrace of radical contexts for sound, it's ability to be something new to people.

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