Sadie Woods

Chicago, Illinois
Sound Art, Digital Media

It Was A Rebellion is an ongoing sound project commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination and the Chicago uprising of April 5, 1968. This work premiered in 2018 as a pirate radio broadcast in Homan Square, a former Chicago Police Department “black site” for torture victims and disappeareds, located in a neighborhood historically impacted by disinvestment and hyper-policing. It amplifies connections between then and now, redeeming radical impulses and invasions in the public space as fundamental expressions for hope and change, reminding us of the political dimensions under the surface of Black life. From the Civil Rights Era to Minneapolis to Louisville to Ferguson to Baltimore to Chicago, the public expression of Black rage that escalates into physical confrontation or property damage is often framed as mindless barbarism by municipal authorities and mainstream media with the word “riot.” In this sonic exploration, Sadie Woods recuperates and challenges the notion of “riot” and reframes it as legitimate, even loving, insurgency. Through explorations of protest music, ethics and perspectives of news media culture, political speeches, ephemeral and symbolic sounds, Woods takes us on a journey that reverberates with echoes of the unheard of yesterday’s past and sentiments of our present social struggles.

Sadie Woods, born in Chicago, 1978, is an award winning post-disciplinary artist, independent curator, and deejay. Woods’s work focuses primarily on social movements, cultural memory, and producing collaborations within communities of difference. Woods received her BA from Columbia College and MFA from The School of the Art Institute. She is a 2020 recipient of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Esteemed Artist Award, the Co-Founder and Creative Director of The Petty Biennial, Co-Founder and Curatorial Consultant of Selenite Arts Advisory, Faculty at the School of the Art Institute, and Resident Deejay at Lumpen Radio 105.5FM and Vocalo 91.5FM in Chicago.