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TRANSISTORS, or, acoustic cultures of transference resisters and empire deserters

PR No. 2.02 "Transistors"
About this series | Downloads in this series

TRANSISTORS is a series of audio projects that ask the question: are migrants mere victims? Or are they/we empire's resisting subjects? Are they/we nothing more than the spectre haunting the late-capitalist imaginary or are they/we transference resisters, deserters of the imperial order?*

For years, the electronic music group Ultra-red asked these questions within the context of the global electronica market. While many artists participate in a cosmopolitan milieu of touring, travel, expatriation and cross-border collaboration, few give audition to their own political conditions. Curated by the Ultra-red organization, TRANSISTORS asks artists to consider their status within the global movement of migrant resistance.

TRANSISTORS is an on-going series of projects released through Ultra-red's web-only archive, Public Record. Each release reflects on the conditions of 21st century desertion and resistance to empire. From the corridos of day-laborers in LA to the transcontinental narratives of Southeast Asian immigrants in Europe, from the domestic dramas of transnational same-sex couples to the oceanic tales of Caribbean migrants in Miami, TRANSISTORS is the sound of globalization from the bottom-up. TRANSISTORS sounds out migrant impulses, uncooperative, contradictory in relation to host cultures, and unruly in relation to the global division of labor and immiseration.

For a list of current projects archived on Public Record as part of the TRANSISTORS series click here.

Forthcoming projects by Ultra-red, Elliot Perkins, Sony Mao, Alejandra y Aeron, Random Inc., Manoa Free University and Terre Thaemlitz. To propose a project for the TRANSISTORS series, contact the Information Secretary.

* Western and northern nations invoke the spectre of the migrant to complete the transformation from neoliberal to neoconservative regimes. In the wake catastrophic effects wrought by neoliberal policies on the underdeveloped world, the move toward militarized and authoritarian structures becomes increasingly necessary. This necessity has been openly admitted and pursued not just by Yankees with imperial aspirations. Enlightened Europe pursues border regimes engineered to stave off the grass-roots political networks of deserting migrants who refuse to abide by the rules of a global division of labor.

In the halls of western parliamentary democracies, social democrats respond with pale cries for human rights. Unable to oppose globalized capital, first world liberals ground their tepid campaigns on an image of the migrant as victim. Conversely, the hopes and dreams of actual migrants are silenced. They/we are too hot to handle; politically expedient to the portrait of the refugee as globalization's collateral damage.

Global justice movements are awakening to the fact that migrant struggles constitute networks of opposition and resistance. The controlling of borders and migration is in fact, a reaction to these political networks, and not the other way around. And as such, the practices of migrants in their trans-narratives, their monetary transgressions and in their organic struggles to transform citizenship, offer witness to tactics that at once realize globalization's crossed-purposes and produce new currents in radical politics.

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