As a prologue, Center for Art, Research and Alliances (CARA) is pleased to present Conjurings, a public program unfolding over three weekends in July and August 2022. Shaped by scholars, artists, musicians, writers, shamans, machines, sonic technologies, and many other life-forms and undefinable disciplines, Conjurings braids invocation, incantation, questioning, un-earthing, and ceremony to open space for future (un)doings.
Convened by Erika Sprey and artists Lamin Fofana and Sky Hopinka have been working together with Emmy Catedral, Curator of Public Programs, and Manuela Moscoso, Executive Director, conjuring weaved voices inspired by each of their own practices and research throughout the program and beyond. Out of this process of forging new collaborations and expanding our networks, we are happy to present various evolving forms of live and situated experimentings.
Our guiding question is: How do we dream not only about ourselves? That is to say, to dream not only about ourselves, but about each other, about beings of the forest, of water, of animals, buildings, shelters—of concrete or invisible beings, as porous interdependent entities reliant on each other and everything around us. Such collective dreamwork requires a deep and thorough understanding of the shifting mechanisms of oppression and the realities of racial capitalism. It demands the undoing of Western categories and demarcations of thought; linear and quantifiable time-space notions, and inadequate dichotomies of body and spirit, rational and organic, nature and culture, dreaming and waking. Each invited conjurer will speak to and through these conditions for collective and liberatory dream practice—listening with care to what emerges from these future ancestries, and tending their rich and opaque transmissions.
July 08, 2022
7:00 pm Doors Open
7:45 pm Manuela Moscoso: Opening Remarks
8:00 pm Lamin Fofana: Ballad Air & Fire
Ballad Air & Fire concerns time; the immeasurable and unfathomable. It worries time. It is a disruption of the linearity of historical time, and a gesture towards what historian Robin D. G. Kelley alluded to as blues time — “simultaneously in the moment, the past, the future, and the timeless space of the imagination.” It’s about slowness, slowing down long enough and digging deep enough to open up new temporalities and possibilities, as the structures (of domination/ power/tyranny of time, of man) crumble and break down, something else bubbles up with a sense of urgency — I only hope you can hear it. Ballad Air & Fire is the name of a poem by Amiri Baraka and it is the first installment in a new material from an upcoming album trilogy.
9:45 pm Jace Clayton aka DJ/Rupture: DJ SET
11:00 pm End
July 09, 2022
1:30 pm Doors Open
2:00 pm Manuela Moscoso: Opening Remarks
2:15 pm Lamin Fofana DJ SET
3:00 pm Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Robin D.G. Kelley and Lamin Fofana
We gather to celebrate the 20th anniversary edition of Professor Robin D. G. Kelley’s influential book Freedom Dreams, an exploration of Black radical writers, artists, activists, and intellectuals; a deeply insightful book overflowing with lessons for surviving, resisting, transforming, and transcending our turbulent and uncertain times. To do so the scholar, activist, and poet Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Kelley and Fofana will gather and create a space for collective listening and dreaming and dancing our way out of our constrictions.
4:30 pm Miatta Kawinzi: t r u s t : we will come thruuu as gems
t r u s t : we will come thruuu as gems is an experiment in embodied sound, poetics, and gesture exploring how we can give voice to both the heaviness and tenderness that swirl swiftly around us.
5:15 pm Wanda Phipps: Poetry Reading
6:00 pm End of Afternoon Session
7:15 pm Manuela Moscoso: Opening Remarks
7:05 pm JJJJJerome Ellis
Musician and poet JJJJJerome Ellis will play new music with Kenita Miller-Hicks, Justin Hicks, and John Murchison. The musicians will improvise around sounds from Ellis’ projects Fountains and Antiphonary.
8:30 pm ray ferreira: a wavy situation, another function
Perched, performer ray ferreira conjures an assemblage of texts that, in their reverberations, attempt to mark the moment as a node in a sea of complexity.
9:15 pm DeForrest Brown, Jr.: Assembling a Black Counter Culture
Assembling a Black Counter Culture is a history of techno and critical reconsideration of the extended thinking and techniques behind electronic music created from a Black theoretical perspective. A brief lecture and performance by Brown, Jr. encourages a reimagining of techno beyond the dancefloor as a timeline for technologies of Black exodus and a myth-scientific world system, spanning 1582 to 2100. DeForrest Brown, Jr. will end the night with music.
11:15 pm End
July 10, 2022
1:00 pm Doors Open
1:30 pm Manuela Moscoso: Opening Remarks
1:45 pm Nance and RaFia Santana: UNCOOL
Presenting for the first time together, artist RaFia Santana and her mother artist Marilyn Nance discuss ancestry, deep time, and visual thinking.
3:00 pm Neema Githere: Obfuscation Politics
A gamified interactive performance piece created by Neema Githere. Using the artist’s Feminist Tech Principles as a departure point, Obfuscation Politics explores the fragility of consent within our digital ecospheres and experiments with reflection around the following question: What is your most valuable data point?
4:15 pm Grandma Baby Apothecary: Whips + Visions
A one/card reading/meditation using a card from the Black Gold Lenormand; a 37-card deck celebrating the enduring legacy of Black Americans.
5:00 pm End
Blue CHiLD. & iris yirei hu will produce a commissioned installation in CARA’s main gallery, accompanying the program of performances, talks, and presentations. The second floor will also host an ongoing exhibition rooting the program in legacies of Black, Latinx and Indigenous intellectual frameworks and their many intertwined cultural expressions, with an intergenerational span of works by Amanda Piña, Betty Tchomanga, Emerson Uyra, Grandma Baby Apothecary, June Jordan, Khari-Johnson Ricks, Marilyn Nance, and Sky Hopinka. Presented in the ground floor gallery and CARA bookstore are works by Neema Githere, Juan Alvear, and the late Anishinaabe and Chemehuevi poet Diane Burns.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
(she/ they) is a Queer Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all life. She is/ they are the author of several books, most recently Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals and the co-founder of the Mobile Homecoming Trust, an intergenerational experiential living library of Black LBGTQ brilliance.
is an Alabama-raised, Ex-American rhythm-analyst, writer and representative of the Make Techno Black Again campaign. As Speaker Music, he channels the African American modernist tradition of rhythm and soul music as an intellectual site and sound of generational trauma, bursting through the frames of Western music and thought. His written work explores the links between the Black experience in industrialized labor systems and Black innovation in electronic music.
Grandma Baby Apothecary
is a Black owned and operated spiritual apothecary specializing in tools that specifically align with the practices of Black American people.
is an artist and writer, also known as DJ/rupture. Clayton uses an interdisciplinary approach to focus on how sound, memory, and public space interact, with an emphasis on low-income communities and non-Western geographies. He is the author of Uproot: Travels in 21st Century Music and Digital Culture and was awarded a 2020 Andy Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant to support Behold the Monkey, his upcoming book on contemporary art, faith, and social media.
is an animal, stutterer, and artist. He was raised by Jamaican and Grenadian immigrants in Tidewater, VA, where he prays, gardens, and resides among the egrets and asters. Through music, literature, performance, and video he researches relationships among blackness, disabled speech, divinity, nature, sound, and time. He dreams of building a sonic bath house!
is an artist and musician currently located in New York and Berlin. His music contrasts the reality of our world with what’s beyond, and explores questions of movement, migration, alienation and belonging. Fofana’s overlapping interests in history and the present, and his practice of transmuting text into the active medium of sound, manifests in multisensory live performances and installations featuring original music compositions, eld recordings and archival material. Lamin Fofana is based in New York City.
has produced images of unique moments in the cultural history of the US and the African Diaspora. While serving as the photographer for the US delegation of FESTAC ’77, Nance made one of the most comprehensive photographic accounts of this landmark Pan African festival of arts and culture. Marilyn Nance: Last Day in Lagos published in 2022 is a focused study of Nance through an archival encounter with her documentation FESTAC.
is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and filmmaker of Kenyan-Liberian-American heritage. She explores hybridity within the African Diaspora and the liberatory and regenerative potential of gesture and softness. Still and moving images, the voice and body, language, objects, space and sound are all forms to explore practices of re-imagining the self, identity, and culture through abstraction & poetics. Kawinzi is based in Brooklyn.
(they/she) is a guerrilla theorist and curator whose work explores love and indigeneity in a time of algorithmic debris. Having dreamt themselves into the world via the Internet from an early age, Neema investigates digital Africanity through work that spans public lectures, performance, travel, community organizing, and image-making. Presentism2020 is the manifestation of a series of ongoing theories, projects and relationships birthed along the way: afropresentism, radical love, #divestfrominstagram, reindigenization, and data::healing. Githere is based in Brooklyn.
(she/her) is a Black genderqueer and neurodivergent multidisciplinary artist from Brooklyn, New York. As a self-taught singer, RaFia Santana discovered the wellness benefit of respiratory kinematics through vocalization. RaFia Santana’s music emulates breathing and rumination as she uses it to soothe the stress of existing in an antiblack, ableist world. Her echolalia turns to chants, choruses, and background vocals. RaFia seeks to provide herself with excitement, serenity, and relief.
(she/her) a performer of sorts. She is a blaqlatina from occupied Lenape lands called New York, NY: the illegitimate EEUU. Another spacetimemattering/materialdiscusive (dis) continuity: [a n o t h e r a r c h i p e l a g o] the Caribbean>the Greater Antilles>Hispañola>the Dominican Republic [a n o t h e r a r c h i p e l a g o] Corona> Queens>Brooklyn>Lenapehoking She stays playin, showing work at the Little Island, Performance Space New York, Queens Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Wendy’s Subway and The Knockdown Center.
(she/her) Phipps’ books include Mind Honey (Autonomedia), Field of Wanting: Poems of Desire (BlazeVOX [books]), and Wake-Up Calls: 66 Morning Poems (Soft Skull Press). She has received awards from the NYFA, the National Theater Translation Fund, and others. Phipps has collaborated on numerous theatrical productions as a founding member of Yara Arts Group, and has curated reading series at the Poetry Project. She is based in Brooklyn.
started dancing at the age of nine and turned to contemporary dance in 2007 when she studied choreography at the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine (CNDC) in Angers. To this she added a master’s degree in modern literature from the Sorbonne, which becomes visible in her work firmly rooted in dramaturgy. Tchomanga was born on the French Atlantic coast and is the daughter of a Cameroonian father and a French mother.
(1957–2006) was born in Lawrence, Kansas to a Chemehuevi father and an Anishinabe mother. She moved to New York in the 1970s where she became active in the poetry scene of the Lower East Side. She was a founding poet of the Nuyorican Poets Café, a frequent performer at the Bowery Poetry Club and the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, and published a book of poems entitled Riding the One-Eyed Ford (1981), illustrated with her pen and ink drawings. In her direct, wry poems, Burns engages themes of Native American identity and stereotypes. She lived in New York City until her death.
Iris Yirei Hu
(she/her) is a journey-based artist and educator who paints, weaves, dyes, writes, and composts her lived reality into installations, public artworks, and intercultural, generational, and geographical collaborations. Central to her work are the building of relationships with people and places through slow and critical reflection, and the uplifting of feeling, sensuality, and beauty. She is interested in how storytelling and working with our hands deepens our relationships to what we experience, with whom we connect, and how we live.
is an artist and straddles the adjacent and often separate realms of fine art, design and beauty industry by crafting his instantly recognizable nail art. He has recently been featured in the Vogue World 100, Paper Magazine 100, Milk 10, and numerous other publications. Alvear was born in New York City and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NYC.
(1936, 2002) is one of the most widely-published and highly-acclaimed Jamaican American writers of her generation, poet, playwright and essayist June Jordan as known for her fierce commitment to human rights and political activism. Jordan engaged the fundamental struggles of her era: for civil rights, women’s rights, and sexual freedom. Jordan was passionate about using Black English in her writing and poetry, teaching others to treat it as its own language and an important outlet for expressing Black culture.
is a multimedia artist whose practice extends across media, including painting, performance, murals, zines, and nightlife spaces. Johnson-Ricks’ explores fellowship, engaging acts of fiction and poetry to capture moments with kith and kin that feel loving. He asks himself what it means to make a family, community, friendship, when the world is so precarious, when the water rises, when death comes, and when all that is visible is capital. Ricks lives in New York City.
8 – 10 July, 2022
Conjurings are free and open to the public. We have limited capacity, reservations are required.
COVID-19 Protocol: For the health and safety of our staff, invited artists, and public, we shall be requesting everyone to mask during the performance programs.
Accessibility: The entry to CARA is ADA-compliant and our bookstore and galleries are barrier free throughout with all gender, wheelchair accessible bathrooms. CARA shall accommodate guest wheelchair needs if requested in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org. Service animals are welcome. The closest wheelchair accessible subway is 14th St/8th Avenue station.
We would love to have you with us.