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Performance Space New York Announces Spring 2023 Season of its HEALING SERIES

Artists and collaborative communities in Spring 2023 treat Performance Space as a container for their distinct visions of care-based & revolutionary models of art-making.

By: Dec. 01, 2022
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Performance Space New York Announces Spring 2023 Season of its HEALING SERIES  Image

Performance Space New York has announce the Spring 2023 season of its Healing Series, the second part of its year-long reflection on the political potency of healing and the role performance plays in it, in the midst of what feels like a momentous shift in art-making to foreground modes and practices of care. Fall 2022 programming considered embodiment and movement's roles in healing processes. Artists and collaborative communities in Spring 2023 treat Performance Space as a container for their distinct visions of care-based and revolutionary models of art-making, reshaping a venue built for presentation and production as a vessel for rest, togetherness, ritual, nurturing, knowledge-sharing-with performance often emerging, or wholly inseparable from, these modalities.

Residencies and gatherings in the Healing Series heterogeneously echo the work that began in 02020, the year-long project during which a group of NYC-based artists were invited together with the staff and board to re-vision Performance Space New York. Refusing extractive presenting models whose obsolescence has been further exposed by our ongoing era of illness, trauma, and precarity, artists reclaim theatrical space, reconsecrating it towards the creation of new paradigms for our relationships to the environment, to work, to each other.

Jenny Schlenzka, Performance Space New York Executive Artistic Director, says "A lot of artists have always worked with notions of care, embodiment, and healing and therapeutic practices. The pandemic crystallized the need to center modes that collapse corrosive Western societal separations between mind and body, man and nature, performance and sociality. Artists return to their origins as healers, and any good healer would say healing is a never ending process. We hope that with longer engagements, and with offering artists open space to bring in their communities, we're making room, at least, for a momentous start."

Spring 2023-the second half of the series' programming-begins with the third edition of Knowledge of Wounds, organized by S.J Norman (Wiradjuri) and Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee Nation Citizen), creating an Indigenous-led, autonomous space that foregrounds community, land-based relations, and holistic wellbeing (January 13 - 15). It continues with performances from Autumn Knight (NOTHING #122: a bar, a bed, a bluff, colliding a maximalist social experiment and other performances with the consideration of "nothingness," a bar: May 5-6; a bed: May 12-13; a bluff: May 19-20) and danyele (NeoLabial Acheiropoieton, an installation of transfeminine icon-shrines culminating in a ticketed one-on-one performance, July 8). The season features installations, pop-ups, clinics, and talks welcoming artists' expanded communities to consider collective imagining, political action, fellowship, and affection as sources of healing: Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle's (anti) symposium and performance art happening Assuming the Ecosexual Position: Exploring the Earth as Lover (June 14, 16, 17, 18); the return of I wanna be with you everywhere as an outdoor and digital pop-up celebrating nonlocality envisioned by and for disability communities (June 21); and, in Open Room-the organization's publicly accessible space for communal use-the "drone acupuncture" clinic Taíno Needle Science Institute: "Electric Works Laboratory" from Standing on the Corner Art Ensemble, enmeshing minimalist music and acupuncture techniques developed in the South Bronx in the 1970s, along with programming centered around political education (January 27-June 30).

Spring 2023 programming for the Sarah Schulman-organized reading series First Mondays kicks off with a special event that heightens the program's interdisciplinary dialogue between literature and performance: a reading of a conversation between Audre Lorde and James Baldwin, edited by Claudia Rankine, read by Russell G. Jones and Rosalyn Coleman Williams, directed by Dominique Rider, and co-produced by Tavia Nyong'o and Schulman (February 6). The series continues throughout the season with authors inviting their communities to experience their works-in-progress, as well as a Marathon Reading of Urvashi Vaid's Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation April 16. We the Youth - Keith Haring Lecture Series-inviting children and their friends and families to meet luminaries who talk about ideas and social issues that are often left off of school curriculums-continues this season with a lecture on justice by Dr. Cornel West (January 28). The John Giorno Octopus Series, similarly providing artists and guest curators a chance to bring in their creative communities, this season specifically convenes artists whose work surrounds healing. Open Movement-the early Performance Space tradition reimagined for today's artists and communities by Monica Mirabile and facilitated by Mirabile and Ana Beatriz Sepúlveda-offers free access to artistic experimentation, play, and disruption (January 8-May 21). On January 19, Performance Space will host its second Town Hall, an opportunity for the public to join the community of the staff, board, and collaborators to help vision the future of the organization.

Healing Series began in Fall 2022 with Niall Jones' C O M P R E S S I O N and Monica Mirabile's All things under dog, where two things are always true, and concludes its Fall 2022 programming with Moriah Evans' Remains Persist (December 10, 11, 17, 18), a performance that explores and excavates the body's internal, imperceptible, and at times immaterial remains.

See Healing Series/Spring 2023 programming details below:

Knowledge of Wounds

Curated by S.J Norman (Wiradjuri) and Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee Nation Citizen)

January 13 - 15, 12-6pm

Knowledge of Wounds, curated by S.J Norman (Wiradjuri) and Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee Nation Citizen) is an Indigenous-led, autonomous gathering space, a ceremony, a fire, a calling to vibrate in good relations across Indigenous time and space, and an evolving vessel for the exchange and cultivation of Indigiqueer knowledge, art, action, and medicine.

In its third edition, Knowledge of Wounds bridges its two previous visions of togetherness (the first in-person, the second virtual) for Indigenous artists and cultural workers engaging urgent political questions in the interlocking terrain of Indigenous sovereignty, climate justice, disability justice, and carceral abolition. When in its second year Knowledge of Wounds went virtual due to necessity, that shift opened multiform new possibilities for intercontinental connection. Through the hardship brought on by the pandemic, it became vital to have a space to exist together. The virtual gathering that emerged decentered New York and allowed geographically disparate people to participate in building an enduring relational network that foregrounds community and land-based relations and holistic wellbeing.

Knowledge of Wounds this year repurposes Performance Space New York's Neilma Sydney Theatre as a site that honors the Indigenous body at rest and centers the Wiradjuri principle of Yindyamarra-a word meaning to move with slowness, gentleness, and respect. Conversant with the established currents of Black Thought which name rest as an active praxis of defiance in a culture of extraction, the artists of Knowledge of Wounds 2023 invite a consideration of rest-as-refusal within an Indigenous framework.

This restorative community space breaks down colonial categories delineating artist and audience, and transcends settler-imposed borders. S.J Norman says Knowledge of Wounds looks to "restructure presentation in alignment with the ethics of land-based cultures." In the month of APAP, as New York teems with rapid, unsustainable models of artistic production, Knowledge of Wounds merges physically distant voices while refusing the ecologically deleterious and personally straining requisites of travel. Knowledge of Wounds communes Indigenous queer and two-spirit poets from four continents, including Billy-Ray Belcourt (Driftpile Cree), Demian DinéYazhi' (Diné, Naasht'ézhí Tábąąhá [Zuni Clan Water's Edge] and Tódích'íí'nii [Bitter Water] clans), Ellen van Neerven (Mununjali Yugambeh), Jazz Money (Wiradjuri), Alison Whittaker (Gomeroi), Hannah Donnelly (Wiradjuri), and Manu Tzoc (Maya K'Iche'). These voices join in a hypnotic sonic installation, an audiovisual loop created by Chloe Alexandra Thompson (Beaver Lake Cree) and DB Amorin (Pacific Islander), encouraging deep listening within a space installed with beanbags, animal skins, and textiles. Knowledge of Wounds will feature a library and bookstore providing further opportunities for engagement with these poets' writing.

S.J Norman and Joseph M. Pierce write, "At the heart of our curatorial vision is the conviction that to gather as queer, trans, and two-spirit Indigenous kin, in good relations, means centering our own forms of knowledge production, our own vibrations and beings-with. Thus, we refuse the limitations imposed on our bodies by colonialism, normative taxonomies and epistemologies, and instead dwell in (and as) liminal thinkers and practitioners."

Pierce elaborates, "In the aftermath of the last couple of years, people are overextended emotionally and physically. We knew from the very beginning that we wanted this year's iteration to be a space of rest, where we could bring the complexities of all ourselves together, rather than a space of production."

Says Norman, "I'm not interested in replicating the kinds of curatorial models that I've experienced personally to be so damaging as an artist. As we are moving into whatever future it is that we want to build out of the ashes of the last couple of years out of this great rupture, we're asking: how do we take a pause and move forward with some intentionality, how do we think deeply, with slowness and gentleness, about what it is that we need moving forward?"

About S.J Norman

S.J Norman is a multi-award winning artist, author and cultural worker. He is a trans-masculine Koori of Wiradjuri descent, born on Gadigal land. His career in the visual and performing arts has spanned two decades and embraced a diversity of disciplines and formal outcomes, including solo and ensemble performance, installation, sculpture, text, video and sound. His trajectory as an artist has largely been fostered outside of institutional education and under the direct mentorship of numerous artistic Elders, esteemed performance artists such as Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Yoshito Ohno, Akaji Maro and Marina Abramovic counted among them. Since 2006 he has lived and worked between so-called Australia, Germany, the UK and the continent known to many Native tribes as Turtle Island (US).

Drawing on embodied ancestral lineages of ceremonial praxis, Norman frequently utilises relational and process-based choreographies as a mode of structural critique: reflected in his work is an abiding interest in the space of co- and inter-corporeality, the forces that suffuse it, and how the live act might be utilised as a mean to examine, disrupt and re-inscribe prevailing systems of social power.

Norman's performance and installation work has been presented all over the world, including major commissions from Performance Space New York (US), The National Gallery of Australia (AU), Dark Mofo (AU), Venice International Performance Week (IT), Spill Festival of Live Art (UK), OperaEstate Festival (IT), Fierce Festival (UK), In Between Time (UK), Arnolfini (UK)m to name a handful. His most recent exhibitions include the 22nd Biennale of Sydney and the 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial. He has received multiple honors for his art and writing, including the 67th Blake Prize, the 2022 Peter Blazey Prize, a 2018 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship and a 2019 Australia Council Fellowship. Aside from his artistic and curatorial practice he is also a writer of fiction, essays and poetry. His award-winning collection of short stories, Permafrost, was published in 2021 to wide acclaim. The book was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier's Literary Award in two categories, the Indie Book Awards, the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal, the Small Press Book of the Year, and the coveted Stella Prize.

About Joseph M. Pierce

Joseph M. Pierce is Associate Professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on the intersections of kinship, gender, sexuality, and race in Latin America, 19th century literature and culture, queer studies, Indigenous studies, and hemispheric approaches to citizenship and belonging. He is the author of Argentine Intimacies: Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890-1910 (SUNY Press, 2019) and co-editor of Políticas del amor: Derechos sexuales y escrituras disidentes en el Cono Sur (Cuarto Propio, 2018) as well as the 2021 special issue of GLQ, "Queer/Cuir Américas: Translation, Decoloniality, and the Incommensurable." His work has been published recently in Revista Hispánica Moderna, Critical Ethnic Studies, Latin American Research Review, and has also been featured in Indian Country Today. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

About Chloe Alexandra Thompson

Chloe Alexandra Thompson is a Cree, Canadian, interdisciplinary artist and sound designer presently based in New York. Thompson approaches sound as a mode of connection-embracing the kinesthetic agency of sound to compose abstract feats of spatialized audio recording and synthesis. Her work engages tactics of material minimalism to create site-specific installations that sculpt droning, maximalist experiences out of space and sound.

About DB Amorin

DB Amorin is an artist from Honolulu, Hawai'i currently living and working in Portland, Oregon USA. He works within video, expanded audio and augmented environments, drawing upon DIY experimentation and using lo-fi techniques or open source technology to create mediated experiences. He is a founding member of Public Annex, an arts organization that aims to break down systemic barriers that prohibit marginalized populations from inclusivity within contemporary arts. Since 2005, he has curated deepwhitesound, a quarterly online exhibition of experimental audio by International Artists. His commercial work venture is DBAVIZ.

His work has been supported with awards from several granting organizations including the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Precipice Fund grant funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Calligram Foundation and administered by Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) in 2013, and a year-long Artist Residency at Hale 'Iolani in 2010. In 2017, he participated in a New Media Fellowship at Open Signal, Portland Community Media Center in Portland, Oregon. His visual art and curatorial programming have been exhibited at the Soundwave ((7)) Biennial (San Francisco, CA USA), PICA's TBA:16, FalseFront, White Gallery and Weird Shift (Portland OR), as well as Gallery'Iolani, GoHA, Hawai'i State Capitol Building, Doris Duke Theatre and CRC Cube Space (Honolulu HI), among others.

Taíno Needle Science Institute: "Electric Works Laboratory"

Presented by Performance Space New York, Taíno Needle Science, and Standing on the Corner Art Ensemble

Open Room

January 27-June 30

In Performance Space New York's Open Room, Taíno Needle Science and Standing on the Corner Art Ensemble will install an acupuncture clinic, doubling as a guerilla academy. For our moment of digital excess, The Electric Works Laboratory adapts experimental needle protocols developed by Dr. Mutulu Shakur and the associated activists who founded Lincoln Detox in the South Bronx in the 1970s to combat heroin addiction. Merging these practices with forms of minimalist music, The Laboratory offers a new paradigm from which to consider health of mind, body, and spirit within our shared technographic reality.

Extending into the realms of politics, culture, and identity, the Laboratory continues the search for alternative treatment methods for marginalized and oppressed people. These methods-accessible, non-chemical-are paired with education and arts, and committed to upholding the principle that the ability to choose and control one's healthcare is a basic human right.

Those who enter and engage with the Laboratory are taken into a portal overloaded with stimuli, teeming with moving images: footage from history; meteorological and interstellar information; live feeds capturing the room itself; exhibitions of detox acupuncture's history; and banners depicting revolutionary ancestors. Sound from Standing On The Corner Art Ensemble-whose multifarious approach to music and explication of Caribbean cultural signifiers form the underlying structure that the institute is built upon-submerges visitors in the genres of minimalism and drone.

This experiential environment mirrors the detoxification approach of the NADA protocol developed by Mutulu Shakur and Walter Bosque. The Laboratory is designed to shock and reset the individual's omnipresent reliance on ("addiction" to) technology, utilizing the labyrinthine and sensorially overwhelming space itself as a form of exposure cleansing. The Laboratory will feature anti-algorithmic programming-seminars, lectures, performances-that recasts culture in vivid color and dimensionality.

Taíno Needle Science Institute: "Electric Works Laboratory" continues and, in its months-long installation within Open Room, opens new opportunities for the project Gio Escobar/Standing on the Corner Art Ensemble initiated at Performance Space as part of the organization's Octopus series. The ideas that would coalesce into Taíno Needle Science Institute began germinating after Escobar was asked to teach music making classes to inmates at Rikers Island-which he treated as a vehicle for offering a political education. Escobar explains, "In the research I was doing to put together an appropriate 'reading list,' I began to read all the writings of George Jackson, who I was absolutely taken by, and followed that path of 'prison intellectuals' until I came across Mutulu Shakur. I came into knowledge about his above ground work as an acupuncturist and discovered that he started an acupuncture collective in coalition with a Puerto Rican named Walter Bosque, together creating the auricular (ear) 'NADA protocol' to combat the heroin addiction epidemic in the Bronx, prompted by the medical diplomacy of Chairman Mao. This felt to me like finding secret information, something I had never known that 'we,' as a 'pueblo,' had any role in the history of acupuncture-let alone in an effort that was so ideological and political. From there, I set off to find Walter and/or anyone left from the Lincoln Detox collective in the '70s. I was successful, and from that point on he was my acupuncture teacher and I, his student."

Bosque extensively collaborates on the Electric Works Laboratory: in the administration of acupuncture, contributing to the programming, leading a seminar and a tai chi class. Other participating activists and practitioners connected to the work of Shakur and Lincoln Detox include Cleo Silvers, Urayoana Trinidad, Carlito Roivera, Sekou Odinga, among a growing list of others.

Prior to meeting Bosque, Escobar had been experimenting with minimalist composition, predominantly long tone exercises and prepared piano (placing metal objects between the strings of a piano to produce a new, unrecognizable timbre). Escobar had an epiphany about the inherent overlap of prepared piano and acupuncture: "the act of inserting a needle into an ear and then a nail into a string opens up a world of unseen possibility."

Autumn Knight -- NOTHING #122: a bar, a bed, a bluff

NOTHING#122: a bar

May 5 - 6 | 7pm

NOTHING#122: a bed

May 12 - 13 | 7 pm

NOTHING#122: a bluff

May 19 - 20 | 7pm

A suite of performances that happen over the course of three weeks, Nothing #122: a bar, a bed, a bluff is a continued consideration within a body of performance and workshop series on economies of time, attention, and survival and the creative role within those realms. Knight approaches this work as part of an ongoing investigation into the sweetness of nothingness.

Across distinct three parts, Nothing # 122 reconceives intimacies within the relationship between audience and performer, whittling itself down weekly from its maximalist beginnings to a bare minimum: an improvisatory point of departure with no expectations and no plans.

Part one is a social experiment, transforming the Keith Haring Theatre into a host club. With a multitude of performers interacting with audience members, Knight re-engineers this concept outside of binary gendered roles and assumptions to explore the tasks of constructing desire and attraction, attention and communication.

Part two is a theatrical, choreographic, and installation-based work that pares down and formalizes Nothing #122's approach to intimacy around a traditional audience/artist framework: viewers sit and watch two performers in a bed. Inspired by ​​a conversation between the late Félix González-Torres and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, in which González-Torres spoke of using art to confront his greatest fear of losing his partner, this section offers a performance-based representation of the idea of rehearsing loss.

The third and final part in the suite sees Knight alone onstage, responding improvisationally to the space, its architecture, its audience, and pointedly launching from the potentiality-both the sweetness and desolation-of nothingness.

Following a 2021-2022 residency at the American Academy in Rome surrounding the study of "dolce far niente," for which Autumn Knight asked herself, "Within my political, social, racial, gendered, aged, position within the world and art world, can I propose the concept of doing nothing?", she has sought to continuously create work under the umbrella of nothingness. Even in conceiving a complex three-part suite, she asks: can this be approached in the absence of expectations for product-oriented outcomes?

In this vein, Knight's approach, and Performance Space New York's container for this year within the theme of healing-in which many artists are centering rest and refusal-intersect. Says Knight, "I want to demand nothing from my work-that is a practice of care I have for myself, and it in turn provides people with an opportunity and possibly permission to come to the performance for an undefined experience." She describes that this interest extending from thinking about "Blackness existing both in excess and nothingness within a white supremacist, capitalist world: trying to constantly work with what feel like nothing and produce the entire universe. Especially for marginalized people, there's so much anxiety in proposing to do nothing. But there is a power in nothingness-and to having agency over what your relationship to doing nothing is."

Autumn Knight is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist working with performance, installation, video and text. Knight's video and performance work have been viewed within several institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Kitchen. Knight is the recipient of the 2021-2022 Nancy B. Negley Rome Prize in Visual Arts and a 2022-2023 Guggenheim Fellowship.

danyele -- NeoLabial Acheiropoieton


June 5 - July 7

Wednesday - Sunday | 12 - 6pm


July 8

From sunrise to sunset. Duration is 20 mins. Multiple time slots available throughout the day for the one-one experience.

An open installation culminating in a ticketed one-on-one experience, with timed access from sunup to sundown on its final day, NeoLabial Acheiropoieton is the latest work from danyele, a transwoman set-maker working at the intersection of performance, social-practice, and sculpture.

danyele describes, "The Neolabial Acheiropoieta (NLA) are a set of transexual icons deterritorializing redemption within [the institutional space]. A glorified accumulation of neighborhood trash, this work consecrates memory and consumption on sheltered ground like so many nests. I'm ruminating on the operating theater and falsified relics, anti-Black trans-medicalism, and extralegal eviction, until you find yourself in flight."

danyele first encountered Performance Space New York taking shelter in The People's Space-a community project that was an offshoot of the 02020 activities, which came together amidst the ravages of COVID-19 and racism as a site for mutual aid, led by members of the 02020 cohort. There, she developed and performed the durational installation Confessional, which similarly ripped Christian iconography to subvert site-specific traffic in the bodies and spirits of Black trans women, as a practice of coming up for air out of "the eternally enforced confessional box, where public space becomes private, intimate space constructed by other people's expectations."

danyele is a set-maker. She does battle, codifying sets of utensils and rituals that enumerate change with respect to Black trans flesh. A transmulatta military brat from VA, she exploits breaks in repressive machinery by collaging, casting, computing, occasioning, and catching-spirit through cultural forms, material surplus, and other vital signs. She has trained in the D.C. Kiki ballroom scene, Peridance Custodial Department, and the Stanford Costume Shop. She has presented sets at Performance Space New York and FABnyc, and has held fellowships at Dia Art Foundation and the NYU Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics.

Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle: Assuming the Ecosexual Position: Exploring the Earth as Lover

A Co-Created Symposium & Performance Art Happening with Beth Stephens, Annie Sprinkle & Friends

June 14 | 12:30 - 2:30pm Free Sidewalk Ecosex Clinic

June 16 | 7pm to 9pm

June 17 | 11am - 5pm, Performances 7pm - 9pm

June 18 | 12 - 4pm

"What if our bodies didn't stop at our skin but were much, much more expansive? What if we are the Earth, not separate?" -Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle

In Assuming the Ecosexual Position, the (anti) symposium and performance art happening with Beth Stephens, Annie Sprinkle, friends, and attendees can participate in forging new relationships with the environment and social justice; engaging in human/non-human collaboration; critiquing calcified ideologies; and creating new sexualities-all through the lens of an environmentalism that is feminist, queer, sensual, sexual, posthuman, materialist, exuberant, and steeped in humor.

Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle for the first time ever bring their abundant, rejuvenating, pleasurable gathering to the East Coast, growing a lush ecosystem in Performance Space New York, in which everyone is encouraged to wear nature-inspired costumes, bring their animals, bring their plants, their biome clouds, their gut bacteria... Assuming the Ecosexual Position converges various communities of artists, scholars, sex workers, queers, ancestors, fashionistas, punks, non-humans, spores, water drops, clouds, for a weekend of paradigm-shifting explorations through the concepts of ecosexuality.

A vital proposition for a reimagined relationship with a world wounded by anthropocentrism, the symposium contributes to Performance Space New York's Healing Series. In Sprinkle's and Stephens' 2021 book, Assuming the Ecosexual Position: The Earth as Lover, written with Jennie Klein, they "humbly propose ecosex as one of many pathways to healing the pain of both the present moment and the horrific injustices of the past by encouraging people to love the Earth (including each other) more, and to consider that we are all part of the Earth's ecosystems." They emphasize: "And we can aim to have a good time along the way."

The book-whose considerations will be activated across the weekend-further explains their work in conversation with posthumanists' human-decentering theory: "Ecosexuality provides alternative ways of thinking about sexuality that go beyond human reproduction, genital sex, and human exceptionalism... Ecosexuals consider all parts of the body to be potential sites of sexual pleasure...We see the body as expanding beyond its own skin, in forms such as biome clouds, the unique clouds of bacteria and microbes that surround the bodies of all organic beings... Ecosex is a paradigm shift: we don't have sex with just another person, but instead we have sex with their water, minerals, bacteria, biomes, and stardust!"

For Stephens and Sprinkle, "ecosexuality" budded as a conceptual art practice and lifestyle in 2008, when hundreds of guests joined them in marrying the Earth amidst the Santa Cruz, CA redwoods. Since then, they have had ecosexual wedding performances with various nature entities. Stephens and Sprinkle have married the Sky (Oxford, 2009), the Moon (Los Angeles, 2010), the Snow (Ottawa, 2011), the Coal (Gijon, 2011), the Sun (San Francisco, 2011), the Soil (Krems, 2014) and most recently to Fire (Boulder Creek, 2022). They also have performed a series of Ecosex Walking Tours.

Ecosexuality is performed and lived, for Stephens and Sprinkle, in the spirit of Fluxus absurdity, with punk rock, queer, drag, sex work-oriented, pinup grrrrl sensibilities that offer an alternative to the middle class, white realm of New Age environmentalism. Their approach is a dizzy amalgamation of humor and non-literalism that also makes space for serious art and activism. Says Stephens, "Absurdity just allows you to have more fun, and we are in a shit show right now: the headline just out of COP27 was the UN secretary saying 'we're on a highway to climate hell with a foot on the accelerator.' Dadaists understood the need to throw rationality out the window in a moment when people were getting slaughtered in the trenches trying to fight planes with horses. I don't think art has to be a problem solving rational endeavor; how do you keep going if we're on a 'highway to hell' and don't adopt new relationships to the world around us?"

Annie Sprinkle says, "I performed at PS122 in the 90s, and I did a lot of work about sex and porn-and I made it funny as possible, because people can be uncomfortable bringing up these topics in public. Applying humor to these discussions is a queer strategy, like drag, using humor as a vessel for sharp critique. As an artist doing work about sex for five decades, I've found humor helps the medicine go down."

Including panels, ritual, storytelling, music, film, keynote speeches, conceptual art, drag, eco-burlesque, science, creative environmental activist strategies, soil-idarity, sensual delights-the Symposium will feature a Sidewalk Ecosex Clinic just outside of Performance Space (June 14) with a team of ecosexual clinicians offering prescriptions for whatever ails passersby. The symposium invites everyone to get their ecosexual gaze on and consider the question: what happens when we posit the Earth as our lover?

Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens have been life partners and 50/50 collaborators on multimedia projects since 2002. They are authors of the Ecosex Manifesto and producers of the award-winning film, Goodbye Gauley Mountain, and Water Makes Us Wet, a documentary feature that premiered at documenta 14 and screened at MoMA in New York. Sprinkle is a former sex worker with a PhD in Human Sexuality. Stephens holds a PhD in Performance Studies and is a professor at University of California at Santa Cruz. They are co-founding directors of E.A.R.T.H. Lab SF, making environmental art more sexy, fun and diverse.

I wanna be with you everywhere

Organized by Arika, Amalle Dublon, Jerron Herman, Carolyn Lazard, Park McArthur, Alice Sheppard and Constantina Zavitsanos

June 21 | 12 - 8pm

I wanna be with you everywhere, an everywhere gathering envisioned by and for disability communities-and organized through unfolding love and friendship by Arika, Amalle Dublon, Jerron Herman, Carolyn Lazard, Park McArthur, Alice Sheppard and Constantina Zavitsanos-returns to Performance Space and any space in Summer 23 for an outdoor pop-up, pre-dating a longer residency at Performance Space in Fall 2023. In the courtyard of Performance Space, online at home, on beaches, in transit, I wanna be with you everywhere is an ongoing and accessible celebration of nonlocality.

I wanna be with you everywhere's organizers write of their pop-up event, "Our purpose is specifically social and our only goal is getting together, conjuring, celebrating, resting, and reveling in our means beyond ends. We're only here to celebrate that we're still here and to hold space for those of us that now join from other forms. We come from traditions of healing and need in and beyond any need to be healed, made whole, or cured; we come incomplete and holographic, welcoming wounds, healers, wisdom, and fools anywhere on the bodymind-spiritsoul continuum in k/crip, chronic, incurable, incalculable, and quarantined, mad love."

As part of the Healing Series, I wanna be with you everywhere draws on a multitude of personal practices and associations with healing while underscoring a rejection of classist Western colonial mandates of health and wellness that assume an originary state of health to which people should return or move toward-and that delineate who is and isn't already here, who can and can't come in, and what we can do together. Crucially, I wanna be with you everywhere puts into practice a belief in care as love rather than control.

I wanna be with you everywhere first emerged through collaborations rooted in access intimacy, hospitality, love, and conviviality in 2019 at Performance Space New York, as a festival organized and unfolding in "crip time." While that festival centered physical togetherness as rare and important, 2023's edition generates within a time when considerations of nonlocality have necessarily opened new, more accessible visions of what togetherness can look like.

The organizing team says, "There won't really be an end as this is actually just the begin again, second round around, encore before-in continual rehearsal."

About the Organizers

Arika are a political arts organization led by Bryony McIntyre and Barry Esson, based in Scotland, UK, who organize live spaces that seek to explore the inseparable, intertwined nature of aesthetics and social life. They see their role in this unfolding relationship as celebrating and supporting connections between art and social change. When they say art, they mean the ways we sing and dance together, the ways we listen and want to be heard, how we look and hope to be seen, how we think of our bodies and how we move through space, how we feel and want to be felt. Since 2001, Arika has staged over 40 major projects with some of the leading arts institutions in the UK. Internationally, Arika participated in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, and has since collaborated regularly on projects in New York with members of the Arbert Santana Freedom and Free School from within the House|Ballroom community, and sex worker-led groups in the city, with partners including: MoMA PS1, Performance Space New York, The New School, Artists Space and Union Theological Seminary amongst others. In 2020, Arika were awarded a Turner Prize Bursary, that year's pandemic-affected version of the Turner Prize, one of the most prestigious art prizes globally.

Amalle Dublon's writing has appeared in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Artpapers, and TDR: The Drama Review, among other publications. Their artwork, often made collaboratively with friends and loved ones, has been exhibited at Artists Space (New York), Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt), ARGOS Arts (Brussels), and Dazibao (Montreal). Amalle received a PhD in Literature from Duke University, and teaches at the New School.

Jerron Herman is a dancer and writer who is compelled to create images of freedom. Premiere venues include The Whitney Museum, Abrons Arts Center, Performance Space New York, Creative Time, and The Kennedy Center/REACH. Jerron has served on the Board of Trustees at Dance/USA since 2017, most recently as Vice Chair. As a curator, Jerron facilitated the series Access Check 2.0: Mapping Accessibility for the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. In 2021 he developed a speaking series for The Joyce Theater called Discourse: Disabled Artists at the Joyce, bringing together NYC-based disabled artists to showcase their work across three distinct conversations. Jerron has been published in the US and internationally and his play, 3 Bodies, appears in Theater Magazine's May/June 2022 issue. Jerron has modeled for Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Chromat, and FFORA campaigns. Awards include a 2020 Grants to Artist Award from The Foundation for Contemporary Art, a 2020 Disability Futures Fellowship, and the Jerome Hill Artist Award in 2021. Jerron was the Artist/Scholar in Residence at Georgetown and holds a degree from The King's College (NYC)

Carolyn Lazard is an artist and writer based in New York and Philadelphia. Recent solo exhibitions include The Walker Art Center and Kunstverein Braunschweig. Their work was included in the 2022 Venice Biennale and the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Lazard holds a BA from Bard College and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Park McArthur is an artist who experiments with personal and social meanings of debility, delay, and dependency under the guidance and instruction of disability. McArthur teaches at Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts. Most recent solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Bern and Essex Street, both 2020.

Alice Sheppard is an internationally recognized dancer, choreographer, and founder of the disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light. She studied ballet and modern dance with Kitty Lunn and started her career performing with Infinity Dance Theater and AXIS Dance Company. In 2016, Alice founded Kinetic Light, a disability arts ensemble featuring herself, Jerron Herman, Laurel Lawson and Michael Maag. Working in the disciplines of art, technology, design, and dance, Kinetic Light creates, performs, and teaches at the nexus of access, queerness, disability, dance, and race. In the company's work, intersectional disability is an aesthetic, a culture, and an essential element of artistry. In addition to solo performance and commissioned choreography, Sheppard is a consultant and speaker who has lectured on topics related to disability arts, race, design, and dance. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, academic journals, and the anthology Disability Visibility, edited by Alice Wong. She is delighted to have been recognized with a Bessie and as United States Artists, Creative Capital grantee, AXIS Choreo Lab, and Disability Futures Fellow.

Constantina Zavitsanos works in sculpture, performance, text, and sound to elaborate debt, dependency, and means beyond measure. Zavitsanos has exhibited at the New Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Artists Space, The Kitchen, and Participant Inc. in New York. With Park McArthur, they wrote "Other Forms of Conviviality" in Women & Performance (Routledge), and "The Guild of the Brave Poor Things" in Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility (MIT Press). Zavitsanos is the 2021 recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Art's Roy Lichtenstein Award and the 2022 Keith Haring Fellow in Art & Activism at CCS/Bard College. Zavitsanos is on the Leadership Council for Creatives Rebuild New York and is a returning mentor in the Queer Art Mentorship program.

We the Youth - Keith Haring Lecture Series with Dr. Cornel West

January 28 | 3pm

We the Youth - Keith Haring Lecture Series, featuring talks for children of all ages and their families, from luminaries and specialists across cultural and academic fields, continues with a talk on the subject of Justice from intellectual, scholar, philosopher, and activist Dr. Cornel West.

The lectures in the series complement and further expand discussions provoked by works at Performance Space, with speakers recommended by presenting artists. Dr. West was invited by Ariana Reines, whose work DIVINE JUSTICE at Performance Space was born in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh and Kyle Rittenhouse hearings, and their precise portraits of the judiciary as a theater of white masculine hysteria, as well as the May 2 Supreme Court revelations.

Part of Performance Space's multifaceted partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation, the lecture series is inspired by Haring's own dedication to collaborating with children and using art and the ideas it holds as educational tools for participating and creating a more accepting society. The series is free for everyone under 18-and for anyone over 18 bringing or accompanying a child. Tickets for unaccompanied adults over 18 are $10.

Dr. Cornel West, affectionately known to many as Brother West, is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. West teaches on the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as courses in Philosophy of Religion, African American Critical Thought, and a wide range of subjects -- including but by no means limited to, the classics, philosophy, politics, cultural theory, literature, and music. He has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of publics in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. - a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.

Dr. West is the former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.

He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.

First Mondays


AUDRE LORDE/James Baldwin-through the lens of Claudia Rankine

With Russell G. Jones, Rosalyn Coleman Williams,Dominique Rider, Tavia Nyong'o, and Sarah Schulman.



With Zaina Arafat, Samiya Bashir, and Randa Jarrar



With Charles Rice González, Ava Chin, and Penny Arcade


Marathon Reading of Urvashi Vaid's Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation



With Rinaldo Walcott and Christina Sharpe

Boundary-breaking reading series First Mondays, organized by novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer, and AIDS historian Sarah Schulman, begins its Spring 2023 programming with a very special event: a reading of a 1984 conversation between Audre Lorde and James Baldwin edited by Claudia Rankine (Citizen, an American Lyric; The White Card, a Play), directed by Dominique Rider, co-produced by Tavia Nyong'o and Schulman, and read by acclaimed actors Russell G. Jones (Ruined, Father Comes Home From The Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3, Only Murders in the Building) and Rosalyn Coleman Williams (To Kill a Mockingbird, Travesties, The Wedding Band).

First Mondays continues throughout the season with captivating events bringing audiences in contact with works-in-progress from vanguard authors long before they hit the shelves, as well as resonant excerpts from previous writing. In this free series, audiences gather over free drinks as writers give intimate insight into what's on their mind and what's making its way onto their pages. First Mondays is a rare opportunity for readers to hear the future of literature.

Readings include: LGBTQ Arab-American fiction and nonfiction writer Zaina Arafat (You Exist Too Much), poet, writer, librettist, performer, and multimedia poetry maker Samiya Bashir (Field Theories, Gospel: Poems), and Randa Jarrar, author of the "visceral, unforgettable" (Esquire) memoir Love Is an Ex-Country (March 6); Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal author Ava Chin (upcoming: Mott Street: A Chinese American Family's Story of Exclusion and Homecoming), arts critic/writer, poet and educator Charles Rice González, and legendary performance artist, writer, poet, and experimental theatre maker Penny Arcade; and writers and professors Christina Sharpe (In the Wake: On Blackness and Being) and Rinaldo Walcott (On Property: Policing, Prisons, and the Call for Abolition, The Long Emancipation: Moving toward Black Freedom).

The season continues a First Mondays tradition: across the program's previous four seasons, it has featured Marathon Readings, durational events that cohere creative communities by bringing people into the same space to share extraordinary texts by avant-garde women authors we have lost. (In the past, they have included bell hooks' Black Looks: Race and Representation, Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee, and Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School). For Spring 2023, First Mondays will feature a Marathon Reading of Urvashi Vaid's Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation (April 16).

Open Movement

Open Improvisation & Workshops

The Neilma Sidney Theatre

January 8 - May 21

Sundays |12 - 6pm (with workshops at 4pm)

RSVP encouraged but not required

Open Movement offers free weekly movement improvisations and artist-led workshops in Performance Space's theatres. Move to curated soundscapes by various artists and musicians together but in no particular way, every Sunday from 12-4pm. At 4pm shift to Open Movement Workshops where various artists share their self proclaimed practices of embodiment, dance and performance exploration. In this second year, we are working with artists who want to build these practices over multiple workshops as well as with artists who are working with one-off emerging practice forms. The workshops inform the improv and vice versa as we build on ways of regulating the nervous system and expanding what it means to process information in the body. *NO dance experience of any kind is necessary.

Check the website as we build the season.

Theatres are located on the 4th floor with elevator access, gender-neutral restrooms, and a sprung floor equipped with a house sound system.

Open Movement is a revival of the eponymous program that started in 1979 and was at the foundational and collectivizing core of Performance Space 122 (now Performance Space New York).

Open Movement is facilitated by Monica Mirabile and Ana Beatriz Sepúlveda, with workshops and musicians organized by Monica Mirabile. For any questions, Monica can be reached at Visitors are encouraged to take a look at Open Movement's Community Guidelines.

John Giorno Octopus Series

Guest-Curated Program


Performance Space Staff and Crew

February 16 | 7pm

devynn emory

April 13 | 7pm

Michael Roberson

May 25 | 7pm

Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle as part of Assuming the Ecosexual Position: Exploring the Earth as Lover

June 17 | 7pm

Using the octopus's decentralized nervous system as an inspiration for Performance Space New York's curatorial practice, the John Giorno Octopus Series-renamed in 2022 after the groundbreaking poet and Downtown legend- invites artists and guest curators to organize an evening-length program with several artists working in any number of disciplines. The series continues Performance Space's legacy of artist-centric programming and creating space for risk taking.

Spring 2023 events include an evening organized by the Performance Space staff and crew (February 16); choreographer/dance artist, dual licensed bodyworker, ritual guide, medium, and registered nurse devynn emory (April 13); public health practitioner, advocate, activist, creator of The Federation of Ballroom Houses and co-creator of the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition Michael Roberson (May 25); and Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle, organizing performances around Assuming the Ecosexual Position: Exploring the Earth as Lover, June 17.

About Performance Space New York

Over the last 40 years Performance Space has been propelling cultural, theoretical, and political discourse forward. Futurity and world-building connect the interdisciplinary works presented here-works that have dissolved the borders of performance art, dance, theater, music, visual art, poetry and prose, ritual, night life, food, film, and technology, shattering artistic and social norms alike.

Founded in 1980, Performance Space New York (formerly Performance Space 122) became a haven for many queer and radical voices shut out by a repressive, monocultural mainstream and conservative government whose neglect exacerbated the emerging AIDS epidemic's devastation. Carrying forward the multitudinous visions of these artists who wielded the political momentum of self-expression amidst the intensifying American culture wars, Performance Space is one of the birthplaces of contemporary performance as it is known today.

As the New York performing arts world has become increasingly institutionalized, and the shortcomings within our industry were further revealed during the ravages and transformations of 2020, our focus has been not just on presenting boundary-breaking work but on restructuring our own organization towards prioritizing equity and access. We seek to build deeper relationships with our artists and communities by creating new access points. Through community programs, annual town halls, guest-curated programs such as Octopus and First Mondays, we welcome the public to actively shape our future and help us hold ourselves accountable. Programs like the revived Open Movement and the new Open Room invite the community in and reclaim the institution as a rare indoor public space in the ever-more expensive East Village.

Our search for new models is an embrace of the unknown-and an acknowledgement of transformation as a process of continuous inquiry, imagination, response, and accountability. Mirroring the spirit of experimentation artists have brought to our spaces across four decades, we strive towards something which does not yet exist. We believe this focus on changing the conditions in which art is made is just as fundamental as the art itself, and only serves to make it more substantial.

02020, the year-long project during which a cohort of salaried artists were invited together with the staff and board to re-vision Performance Space, initiated this transformation, and itself rapidly reshaped to meet artists' and community members' needs amidst the early days of the pandemic and uprising for racial justice. 02020 was a new beginning for us, a sharp and needed turn back towards artists to help rethink the institution for the future.


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