Wed, Jan 13 @ 6pm – 7:30p (EST)
Not open to public

Vanessa Anspaugh
Emily Johnson
Ni’Ja Whitson
Raphael Xavier
The Future is Present
Wednesday, Jan 13 starting at 6pm (EST) features (in order of appearance):
Raphael Xavier, Vanessa Anspaugh, The Future is Present, Ni’Ja Whitson, & Emily Johnson/Catalyst

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS features Live Arts commissioned artists and curated guests inside INTERSPACE, a dynamic 3D environment for screening and networking. Presenters and Producers are invited to attend excerpt showings happening over three days during LIVE ARTERY: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS.

Vanessa AnspaughAggression Confession Processions
Vanessa Anspaugh’s newest work, Aggression Confession Procession  is a multidimensional project consisting of an outdoor audience-based funeral procession, an experimental film, and an evening-length dance theater piece. All three components of this work echo and collide with one another conceptually and aesthetically from the vantage of bodies in mourning, and the historical concept of the “hysterical woman” as a diagnosis. Looking at the myriad ways we both hold and process atrocity, this project investigates and interrogates the question of how it is that we care for bodies.

Emily JohnsonBeing Future Being
Emily Johnson’s newest work in development, Being Future Being, delves into future creation stories. An evening-length performance for the stage and beyond featuring Johnson and a cast of more-than-human creatures, this new project seeks to build new visions of the force that brought this world into being. In doing so, it brings into focus new futures with the potential to reshape the way we relate to ourselves, and to the human and more-than-human cohabitants of our worlds. Featuring a newly commissioned score by Raven Chacon, Being Future Being builds a visual, aural and ancestral landscape of Indigenous power and present joy.

Ni’Ja Whitson – The Unarrival Experiments
The Unarrival Experiments is a transdisciplinary, multi-site, multi-form project by Ni’Ja Whitson that centers the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy through a Black, Queer, and Trans-embodied lens. In addition to two book projects, intergalactic performance and research, core facets of this work include: iterative, site-specific outdoor and indoor performance installations accompanied by virtual reality technology; Black improvisatory gatherings that catalyze experimentation in pitch Black spaces; and a ritual performance series commemorating Trans lives lost in the U.S. between 2018 and 2020, with sound and herbal essences created for each memorial site.

Raphael XavierKolâde-Xcape
Featuring Raphael Xavier and actor/musician Gary Dourdan, Kolâde-Xcape is a duet performance combining movement with live music/vocals and electronic technology. Xavier brings his hip hop aesthetic to this piece utilizing Breaking, poetry, spoken word and rap cadences that approach improvisation intuitively. Kolâde-Xcape captures a moment in time shared by performers and audience and can be performed indoors or out. The program may be expanded to also feature local performers.

The Future is Present: A Casting the Vote Project
A seven-week performance and action laboratory that centers the voices and vision of Black and Indigenous young people, and builds concentric circles of solidarity around their demands on our collective future. These demands will be amplified through a series of rigorous, joyful, and high-distribution artistic interventions to be unveiled in January 2021. A co-production of the Fisher Center at Bard, the Bard Theater & Performance Program, and Casting the Vote, and a Co-commission by Live Arts Bard and New York Live Arts, lead artists and organizers include Charlotte Brathwaite, Janani Balasubramanian, Justin Hicks, and Sunder Ganglani.

Image Credits:
1. Vanessa Anspaugh,  Image Courtesy of Artist
2. Emily Johnson, Photo by Tracy Rector & Melissa Ponder
3. Ni’JaWhitson, bubbles, Photo by Scott Shaw
4. Raphael Xavier, Image Courtesy of Artist
5. The Future is Present: A Casting the Vote Project, Image design by Sunder Ganglani