AdHoc Issue 13 is here! AdHoc organizes a lot of concerts throughout New York City. If you're reading this, you've probably been to at least one—and hopefully, watching people play music at Market Hotel or Trans-Pecos or wherever it was, you felt safe. After the events in Orlando earlier this summer, in which 49 people were killed and dozens more wounded at the LGBTQ club Pulse, we've been thinking a lot about what it means for a music venue to be a safe space—not just in the sense of physical safety (though that's obviously important), but in terms of being a place where people can come together and safely express themselves.
Inevitably, complications arise when we try to make our spaces more inclusive; selectively diversifying line-ups isn’t necessarily enough. Is the venue’s support staff diverse, too? What about ensuring that audience members from all walks of life feel welcome? Is it okay to exclude certain people, especially those who threaten others’ safety?
In her recent essay, "The Identity Artist and the Identity Critic," Berlin-based artist and writer Hannah Black outlines how art institutions often cultivate a false facade of inclusion, tokenizing minority artists and workers while maintaining an established— usually white, patriarchal—order. Black argues that to truly foster diversity, museums and galleries face the task of creating a “meaningful collectivity”— without elision, domination, or uninflected hierarchy." Of course, establishing such a collectivity isn’t an easy—or, as Black says, “cozy”—process. Often, it can necessitate rebuilding our institutional structures from the bottom up.
But what does this meaningful collectivity look like in the sphere of live music, a commercial model dependent on ticket and drink sales? Simply adding a female performer to a festival lineup or putting an artist of color on an otherwise all-white bill may keep institutional hierarchies intact. Perhaps, as Black suggests, making our venues safer necessitates a radical overhaul the entire operation, from our curatorial and hiring practices to our pay structures and the strategies we use to ensure that everybody present feels safe. In this issue, we asked members of our community to help us imagine what such a reconfiguration might look like.
If you'd like to order a copy, though, you can do so here for a physical edition; you can download the PDF here.
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AdHoc Issue 13 features the following contributors doing the following things:
* Shannon Shaw is a musician and artist residing in Oakland, California. She sings and plays bass in the band Shannon and the Clams—and made the cover of this issue.
* As Circuit des Yeux and alter-ego Jackie Lynn, Chicago-based artist Haley Fohr uses sounds to embody the full spectrum of emotions that we all experience. For this issue, she wrote an essay reflecting on uncomfortable experiences she has had as an artist and performer.
* Domenic Palermo spends most of his time playing in the band Nothing, when he's not at his home in NYC wasting away. He contributed poetry and photography to this issue.
* Nina Mashurova is a member of Silent Barn’s programming team. They also write about music and culture and co-book a reading series called TFW. In this issue, Nina shares strategies for venue owners, promoters, artists, and music fans looking to help make our venues safer.
* All designed by EyeBodega, this issue also features a full listing of upcoming AdHoc shows.