Letter from the Editors

Date May 11, 2018

Dear Reader,

On April 29, 2018, X-TRA hosted the Los Angeles premiere of Martine Syms’s film, Incense Sweaters & Ice, at 356 Mission, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The screening, which was followed by a conversation between the curator Erin Christovale and the artist, was the third event in X-TRA’s 20th Anniversary Artist Writes series. Our goal was to provide a venue that could support a meaningful encounter with Syms’s work and an opportunity to celebrate her writing, which is …

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Date January 3, 2018

On Friday June 30, 2017, A.L. Steiner delivered an 8-hour lecture at the Women’s Center for Creative Work as part of her  contribution to ARTIST WRITES for X-TRA.  Below is a companion to Steiner’s lecture and essay, a reading list compiled from the 8-hour lecture. 

Steiner spoke for a full 8-hr work shift, and her presentation explored the root — or radical — condition of beliefs that are established through the proliferation of mediated information systems. These conditions were also taken up …

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Nao Bustamante:
Voice Memos Vol. 4: Notes on TABLEAU and Fufu

Date December 22, 2017


Our 4th release of Nao Bustamante’s selected voice memos.
This installment continues the focus on Fufu, her dog, notes-to-self, but also contains several notes about her film TABLEAU(2013).

We’re pleased to present the video here too! A bonus track to the Voice Memos collection. It’s like seeing how the sausage gets made! 
In her hilarious fiction short, Nao Bustamante captures another experimental filmmaker, JT (played by noted queer filmmaker Joshua Thorson) as he struggles with his apocalyptic film and the pesky interruptions by the …

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Travis Diehl
A Response to Nizan Shaked

Date October 18, 2017

After Trump’s election, one of the many ethical problems facing the art community took the form of a line: the U.S./Mexico border. Trump would build a wall—but who would design it? Should architects boycott the call for proposals? Or should they participate—scabs!—or somehow subvert the process? The architect Ronald Rael argued for another way. The ethical thing for artists and architects to do, he wrote, is to actively, even complicitly, reimagine the border. Only then, he reasoned, could a wall …

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Nizan Shaked
A Response to “Op–Ed: An Ultra-red Line”

Date October 17, 2017

On October 12, 2017 X-TRA published an online Op-Ed by Travis Diehl titled “An Ultra-red Line,” where he addressed the protests and debates concerning the presence of galleries and new art administrations in Boyle Heights, which have been polarizing the Los Angeles art world.

Symptomatic of the liberal misunderstanding of class-based struggle and its terminologies, Diehl positions the actual middle ground in parallax, wrongly demarcating the center and any sense of fairness at a position …

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A Response to “Op–Ed: An Ultra-red Line”

Date October 16, 2017

From Complicity to Movement
A response to Travis Diehl’s
Op-Ed: An Ultra-red Line

October 12, 2017

“But is it enough for artists to be aware of the reality of their complicity?”

Exactly. In 2012 Ultra-red convened School of Echoes Los Angeles to cultivate a network of popular educators and organizers committed to moving beyond complicity. And in 2015 School of Echoes organized L.A. Tenants Union. Today, L.A. Tenants Union has hundreds of active members across the city (many …

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