University of the Underground launches X-ray records

5 April 2019

The University of the Underground, the educational platform founded by designer Nelly Ben Hayoun, is auctioning a series of records cut on X-ray films.

The initiative includes audio from artists and thinkers such as Massive Attack, Pussy Riot and Noam Chomsky which have been cut on radiography films, with the records forming part of an archive called "The Library of Dangerous Thoughts".

The project has been executed in conjunction with digital museum Collecteurs and the Bureau of Lost Culture which cut the records on a 1957 recording lathe. The project is intended to raise awareness of the impact of censorship and encourage plurality of thought, particularly within educational institutions.

The University's records were inspired by x-ray records produced in the Soviet Union in rejection of censorship. Recordings of prohibited music by Western, emigre and banned Russian musicians were cut onto X-rays, which would subsequently break down after a set number of plays.

A limited number of the records will be available for sale and on auction on Collecteurs. All proceeds from the sale will go towards funding for the University of the Underground, which is a registered charity.