Center for Art,
Research and Alliances
August 14, 2023

Cooler Night #5 featuring Voluminous Arts Residents, with Gavilán Rayna Russom and Tivali Thomas

Publication Cover

Cooler Night #5 marks not an end, but an outward tidal flow, and as with tidal flows, the deposit of unmeasurable traces. It is the final Cooler Night of this summer's collaboration between CARA and the trans liberation project and label Voluminous Arts. It will be a time of ritual and spatial condensation, to meaningfully remember this past season together, the losses within the resident artists’ extended community, their time in temporary drift within the West Village, and the temporary breathing room they shared while in residence. The night will begin with a special opening performance by Tivali Tanay Thomas, and will feature Voluminous Arts artists Anka Raczynska, Mercury Symbol, Rat Porridge, and founder Gavilán Rayna Russom, whose memories of the free, artist-curated “Monday Nite” series that took place at The Cooler—a club in the pre-gentrification Meatpacking District, not far from CARA—inspired this summer’s series. Cooler Night #5 will also feature new art works by Voluminous Arts artists Ris Gumpert, Yvonne LeBien, and Omari Love. Following this final Cooler Night, CARA's second floor space will remain open to the public to present sonic and material traces of the resident artists’ research and practices.

“No bridge lasts forever”—Gloria Anzaldúa

"And there is no done, of course. That's the thing."—Gavilán Rayna Russom

Cooler Nights is part of our summer program bloom how you must, wild until we are free. Instigated by Voluminous Arts’ work during the summer program, Cooler Nights at CARA aim to reconnect with and revitalize the legacy of our neighborhood, referencing the history of The Cooler and bringing in the voices of contemporary artists.

Learn more about Cooler Nights here!

More about Cooler Night #5 Artists

Tivali Thomas aka DOLLNXTDOOR  is an internationally recognized poet, performer and DJ, creating music, literature and art that celebrates and interrogates the Black Trans experience.

Her goal is to use sound, performance and literature to create a vacuum of love and immersion. She uses her DJ sets as a medium to communicate her deep love and appreciation for black queer influence on art and music.

Mercury Symbol/ Adonis Staten is a musician, artist and educator living and working in New York City. With an acute interest in noise music and DIY culture, Adonis performs across the underground circuit of Brooklyn and Queens under the moniker “Mercury Symbol,” creating in-situ compositions using sampling, field recordings, and mixer feedback. With multiple releases under this name—and most recently a feature in critically-acclaimed People of Eternity: BDS Mixtape Vol. 1—Adonis showcases mastery and deep curiosity in improvisational and experimental techniques across his work.

Anka Raczynska is a musician and improvisationalist based in Providence, Rhode Island. Classically trained in Viola performance and composition, music has always been deeply ingrained in Anka’s life. Anka has performed and released work under an array of aliases—most recently using EAR for her two latest releases. Pervading each EAR record is a desire to find an immediacy, “what you hear is what you get”. The records contain juxtaposed found sounds and voice memos, pointing toward the transcendent in the overlooked. Her work is influenced by her politics, as well as video games, choreography, radio shows, and public access television. Anka has spent the past several years committing to a liberatory world vision:  “If I can’t dance (or play games) you can keep your revolution.”

Omari Love is a multidimensional artist who grew up in the cold city of St. Paul, Minnesota and now resides in Brooklyn, New York. Their sound is a direct reflection of their story, and for them, lyrics and poetry are a focal point within the musical realm that they’re painting for their listener to indulge in. Their sound is similar to the human spectrum of emotions, as it fluctuates from dark, heavy and electronic, to soft, light and acoustic. From refined and structured, to chaotic and distorted. Omari doesn’t conform to any specific genre and incorporates elements from different chapters in their life in order to encompass the feelings that they’re looking to convey.

Rat Porridge is an outsider no-discipline artist from Queens, NY.  She plays with sound, video, found object and performance, simultaneously reflecting and reshaping her surroundings. She has performed across the “Americas” using sound as a portal to access ancestral wisdom and open up dimensions beyond our currently programmed realities. She released her debut full-length “Live from the Plant” in 2021 with Voluminous Arts and is toying with a follow-up. These days she’s mostly hanging out with her loved ones, resting, exploring plant medicine, collective healing, and slowly forming new worlds out of dense noise-scapes.

Ris Gumpert is a musician, performance artist, and interdisciplinary wordsmith who has been performing and producing shows in countless venues across Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, Queens, and beyond since 2011. Ris’s passion resides primarily queer community building, group facilitation, and the exploration of movement-based healing modalities as methods to end our dependence on structures that continue to harm and oppress us. Ris believes firmly in the power of imperfection and leans into the occasional-to-frequent chaos that is inevitably intertwined in the collective human experience. In addition to Voluminous Arts, Ris has been integral to the formation of various NYC-based art collectives including, but not limited to, Stigma Unbound and The Cake Boys.

Yvonne LeBien has published books with GenderFail Press including Word Dysphoria and Queer and Mumbling: Fragments of Philosophical Faggotry, as well as the poetry book cumflower with Wendy’s Subway. Their music can be found at Album of vocal improv performances, Do You Really Like It When the Bad Thoughts Don’t Come, published with Voluminous Arts.

Gavilán Rayna Russom is an artist based in New York City. Over the past two decades she has produced a complex and compelling body of creative output that fuses theory with expression, nightlife with academia and spirituality with everyday life. Rayna’s renowned prowess with analog and digital synthesizers as composing instruments locates itself within her larger vision of synthesis; an artistic method of weaving together highly differentiated strands of information and creative material into cogent expressive wholes. The central thread of this practice is the exploration of liminality as a healing agent, a phenomenon she has been engaged with since childhood and has researched at an astounding depth. Her work is cumulative and experiential. It requires time and attention to take in, and it powerfully rewards those who bring their time and attention to it.

In March of 2020 Rayna founded Voluminous Arts, a creative network for trans artists experimenting with electronic music and sound.

Cooler Night #5
Monday, August 14, 2023