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Judy Dunaway

Judy Dunaway (she|her), (b.1964) is a queer/bisexual sound artist who is internationally known for her numerous works for latex balloons as sound producers, including sculptural sonic performances, sound installations, interactive pieces and acousmatic works. She has presented these works throughout North America and Europe at many important venues, festivals, museums and galleries including the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Alternative Museum (NYC), Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), Cafe Oto (London), Expo’74 at Mass MoCA, Guelph Jazz Festival (Canada), Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors (NYC), New Museum of Contemporary Art (NYC), Performance Space 122 (NYC), Roy and Edna Disney Center (Los Angeles) and STEIM (Netherlands).

Her awards/grants/residencies include 
Instrument Inventors Initiative (Den Haag), EMS Stockholm, Aaron Copland Fund, American Composers Forum, Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie and Harvestworks (NYC).

Judy’s participation at instinct#12 was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

I began using balloons as a preparation on my guitar in the late 1980s. The idea to use balloons was rooted in the philosophies of John Cage, and influenced by the Fluxus movement, free improvisation and other avant-garde movements. However, what drove me to make them more than just a sound maker in my arsenal of effects and to make them a singular focus was the AIDS crisis. In the late 80’s and early 90’s I was living in New York City and many people, including my friends, were dying from AIDS. No one knew how to prevent the spread of the disease. Then it was discovered that latex condoms could prevent people from
contracting HIV. This was when my obsession with using latex balloons as sound conduits began. Because repression had been a major factor in delaying the dissemination of proper information about prevention, I knew that I must approach my latex instruments without inhibition. This non-judgmental aural relationship and its corporeal visual manifestation became the cornerstone of my work.
My sound installation “Flying Fuck” expresses the joyous laissez-faire innocence (and naivete) of sexual liberation that preceded the AIDS crisis. Antibiotics could treat venereal diseases and what else was there? “Flying Fuck” expresses this era of the 60s through the 80s on multiple levels, piercing the heavens through a condom-like cloud, while a soft roar fills the room with a reminder the looming danger. “Flying Fuck” uses donut-shaped latex balloons to naturally amplify the low frequencies made by vibrators inserted through the centers. An invisible
circular pattern of sound intensity creates a sound hole in the room, reflecting the visual image.

No speakers or external sound sources are used.
“Flying Fuck” was first exhibited at Moltkerei Werkstatt (Koln, Germany) Nov. 24 - Dec. 3, 2000. Subsequently it was exhibited at Kunstlerhaus (Dortmund, Germany) (Dec. 2000) and ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany) (Feb. 2001). It was reviewed in the January-March 2001 issue of Kunstforum International. This is the first time the work has been exhibited again since 2001.


Flying Fuck #4
donut-shaped latex balloons, vibrators, 2000

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