Fashion Performances with Audio Descriptive songs
NEW Winter Collection/ Musical Album: RVC2 - check out the Wussy Mag Article on RVC2
The Radical Visibility Collective was formed by Sky Cubacub, Jake Vogds and Compton Q in October 2017. In March 2018, we worked together on our first clothing collection/ musical album in a month-long residency with the Evanston Art Center. We debuted our first collection at the Chicago History Museum in March alongside other talented queer designers with incredible success, noted by Paper Magazine to be “a pioneering, wholly inclusive and immerse fashion experience.” The performance welcomed a little over 300 people to the bright colors, exuberant fabrics, and innovative designs that encapsulate Radical Visibility. As avid Chicago queer nightlifers, we are both inspired by the experimental and magical atmosphere of parties and critical of how these spaces exclude certain bodies through their structure, architecture, and environment - often giving way to transphobia, misogyny, racism, and ableism. The Radical Visibility Collective combats and dismantles these problematic aspects and brings people together to create the queer utopian space of the future.
About the Collaborators -
Sky Cubacub: Fashion Designer, Head Garment Fabricator
Sky Cubacub is a non-binary queer and disabled Filipinx human from Chicago, IL. Rebirth Garments is their line of wearables for the full spectrum of gender, size, and ability. They maintain the notion of Radical Visibility, a movement based on claiming our bodies and, through the use of bright colors, exuberant fabrics, and innovative designs, they refuse to assimilate and are spearheading a Queer and Disabled dress reform movement. They are the editor of the Radical Visibility Zine, a magazine for Queer and Disabled teens based off of their manifesto. Rebirth Garments has performed and lectured at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Utah, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University and many more. Rebirth Garments has been featured in Teen Vogue, Nylon, Playboy, the New York Times. Sky Cubacub was recently named 2018 Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune and Newcity Design: 50 Who Shapes Chicago 2019.
Vogds : Executive Producer for the Music Albums + Fashion Designer
Multidisciplinary artist Jake Vogds fabricates conceptual, toy-like objects and paintings that speak to his practice as both a pop-singer and performance artist. With most of his vocal inspiration coming from black female artists, Vogds finds it essential to create physical works that call out and question the inherent appropriation laced within his voice. Microphones in object-drag as parrots sensualize this self-parody, using strategies of camp, humor, and accelerationism to dismantle systems of privilege within the pop- scene as well as the self. Stuffed-animal product-self-portraits mock and reveal the shape-shifting, mind- colonizing aspects of whiteness in hopes of trapping this trauma in surrealist riddles. On the surface, Vogds’ work smiles back at you like a room full of Muppets. However, each work is overwhelmed with a density of identity politics. During durational performance works, endless pop-vocal riffs fill the space as Vogds interacts with his toys and installations in full costume. This stream of non-sensical vocals becomes a language in which the artist speaks to himself and his objects in tongues, literally exhausting his own vocal chords as well as pop’s climactic hypnosis. Songs and Albums take on a more direct approach to critiquing youth culture, trend, and the pop-apparatus through lyrics, samplings, and live performances. When entering a space queered by a Vogds installation, one may watch as each piece tries to upstage one another with a wink and a grin.
Compton Q: Fashion Designer
As a designer, artist, and performer Compton Q is passionate about exploration, research, & the ways in which their identity drives creation. By focusing on cultural history & appropriation, themes of Afrofuturism, gender fluidity & movement, popular & material culture, historical narratives, queer clubbing spaces & the rapidly evolving world of street fashion Compton aims to transport their audience into imagined futures & impossible worlds. Through the vehicles of fashion & performance, the futuristic narratives created come to life through movement, voice, & space. They are heading to grad school at Central Saint Martins September 2019.
Personal Note from Sky Cubacub on how we decided to make the lyrics audio descriptive:
In November of 2017, I had a performance, lecture and workshop at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Usually in gallery and university settings I give an audio description of the garments after the performance. In this case I had a very tight schedule so I was only able to give audio descriptions of a couple of the outfits. Afterwards a member of the audience came up to me saying I should have the descriptions during the performance itself. I had not done that in the past due to feeling like it would create overstimulation when paired with music. Often in shows, a speaker describes what is happening as a disembodied voice. This doesn’t seem integrated, and feels like an afterthought that is tacked on.
My good friend and former employee Jake Vogds had asked me earlier that year if they could write some music based off of my manifesto. After the Whitney performance, I suggested that we make songs where the lyrics were the audio descriptions. I always interview my models in order to create their dream accessible garment, but in this case I asked that the models to give us a description of how they wanted to be described and their dance moves. It was important to me that the models had their own autonomy in how they chose to be described because I felt like audio describers tend to gender folx in uncool ways or might mention a person’s skin color, but only if they were a person of color, which is very uncomfortable.
We made a 5 song multi-genre album working with local queer song makers. Vogds was the music director and sang on 4 of the 5 songs. This described a collaborative collection between me, Vogds, and long time collaborator Compton Q. We debuted at the Chicago History Museum and the Evanston Art Center.
We made a performance where the audio description was fully integrated as one of the main features of the performance rather than an afterthought. This is an example of what accessible art/design should be. It is more than a checklist of bare minimum ADA requirements. It truly celebrates ACCESS.
All lyrics describing identity, physical appearance, personality, and dance-style were adapted from model interviews Sky conducted.
Album Name: Radical Visibility Collective
Executive Producer: Vogds
Producer/beat-maker: Jeremiah Meece
Vocalists: Bon Bon, Kiam, Vogds
Written by: EnGAYgement Party
Producer/beat-maker: Andy Milad
Main songwriter: Yung Assata (now known as Saki NoSaki)
Vocalists: Yung Assata (now known as Saki NoSaki) (main), Vogds (intro, outro)
Vocalists: Gabriel Anaya, Brandon Leigh, Vogds
Producer/beat-maker: Ariel Zetina
Vocal recording: Andy Milad
Vocalists: Sky Cubacub, Compton Q, Vogds
Album Name: RVC2
Executive Producer: Vogds
Mixing/Mastering: Jeremy Chereskin
Recording Engineer: Vogds
feat. JuJu Minxxx
Lyrics by Vogds
Co Written by JuJu Minxxx
feat. C’est Kevvie
Lyrics by Vogds
Co Written by C’est Kevvie
“Queer Crip Power”
feat. Afroshoujo and Sky Cubacub
Lyrics by Vogds
Co Written by Afroshoujo
Quotations from Sky Cubacub, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, and Alison Kafer