Suite Chariot (for the Combahee River Collective)
- TUG Collective
sound work, six minutes and 8 seconds, 2021.
Performing in the direction of freedom, Suite Chariot is a sound of hope that takes its cue from the liberatory musicking practices of such artists as Albert Ayler, Wadada Leo Smith, Abbey Lincoln, and Mourning [A] BLKstar. We dedicate this two-movement suite to the Combahee River Collective, a group of Black Feminists, who understood that liberation is, as Anaïs Duplan writes, “a multilayered, contradictory, and polyvalent fight” that oscillates amongst the personal, the social, and the existential.
TUG’s work neither originates from, nor terminates with, material, but rather emerges out of our foundational gesture of triangulating creativity, critique, and citizenship. Wood, sound, paint, image, etc. might work their way into our work, but their purpose is to orbit around one another as a continuum of tissues that connect the embodied, improvised, and co-experienced with the tactility of cultural meaning that they engender. Plurality is at the heart of our work. So, too, is concerned citizenship. We approach disparate moments and geographic locations as sites of contestation, collaboration and transformation. We look for cracks in the pavement, open up gaps in the order of things, and provide a platform through which individuals can appear to one another, in joint action.
TUG (Gaelyn and Gustavo Aguilar, Co-Artistic Directors) is an interdisciplinary arts collective that creates contact zones where people can generate insights about, and produce actions around, contemporary social issues. Since 2006, TUG has focused on participatory, problem-based interventions related to borders, borderlands, and other fuzzy frontiers, and their relationships to the global processes that put people, ideas, media, technologies, and capital into circulation with one another. TUG’s work has been presented in such creative spaces as the The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Charlotte Street Foundation, Luminary Center for the Arts, Holter Museum of Art, Lawrence Arts Center, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, SoCA Armouries Gallery, Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology, Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium, and the Center for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence, among others. TUG is on faculty in the MFA Art Practice program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Featured Image: You can’t carry corn with a basket full of holes, (TUG,2021).