Live Ideas 2021
Altered-Worlds: Black Utopia and The Age of Acceleration
May 11-15

Live Ideas 2021: Altered-Worlds/Black Utopia and the Age of Acceleration will be a hybrid festival May 11-15, 2021 with virtual and live in-person programming! Scroll down for more information!
Prior to visiting New York Live Arts, please review our Staff & Audience Covid Test/Vaccine requirements.


Contemporary Afrofuturism may be defined as an emerging social philosophy of the African diaspora and Africa. Today, partly because of a crisis in globalization, social media and other technological advances, second wave Afrofuturism is emerging as the High Culture of the African diaspora and is the cultural vibranium of a rising virtual African civilization. The 2021 edition of Live Ideas, Altered-Worlds: Black Utopia and The Age of Acceleration, will explore this second wave of Afrofuturism as an alternative to the social anomie, reactionary impulses and neo-fascism of late capitalism. The five-day inter-disciplinary hybrid festival will unfold across multiple dimensions and brings together an illustrious group of artists, writers, thinkers, activists including Tiffany E. Barber, adrienne maree brown, d. Sabela grimes, Ayana Jamieson, John Jennings, Ari Melenciano, Jasmine Murrell, Qudus Onikeku, Rasheedah Phillips, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Sheree Renée Thomas, tobias c. van Veen, Saul Williams, André M. Zachery, and many more.

Live Ideas 2021 is co-curated by Reynaldo Anderson and New York Live Arts in partnership with the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM).

The five-day hybrid festival will unfold across multiple dimensions at the intersection of arts, techno-culture, sci-fi, social sciences, philosophy and the imagination.  Highlights of the festival include the world premiere of The Motherboard Suite featuring Saul Williams and six choreographers and directed by Bill T. Jones, an interactive  installation by Jasmine Murrell, a symposium delving into second wave Afrofuturism, an immersive Afrofuturist Cabaret, an exploration of Afrobeats and entrepreneurship through the work of Nigerian choreographer Qudus Onikeku,  and more. 

Live Ideas Altered-Worlds: Black Utopia and The Age of Acceleration  is co-curated by Dr. Reynaldo Anderson in partnership with the Black Speculative Art Movement (BSAM).

Flyer artwork: Dr. Nettrice Gaskins


Prep for the week
Suggested Reading
Grand Opening - May 11
on view
May 11-15
Live Arts Lobby, Theater, Studios
daily hours specific to location please see below
Live Ideas 2021 - Installations

The festival kicks off May 11 at 7:00pm for the public in-person opening of three visual installations available and free to view, daily hours below. Grand Opening – May 11 Jasmine Murrell: Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another located in Live...

Wed, May 12 @ 6pm-7:15pm (ET)
@ INTERSPACE - Live Arts Virtual Environment
Insighting and Foresighting: The Extraordinary Prescience of Octavia Butler

A Conversation with adrienne maree brown and Ayana Jamieson It is apparent that Octavia E. Butler has been showing us the future with uncanny accuracy.  She showed us the consequences of depleting our natural resources, she wrote about the effects of Climate Change, the uneven wrath...

Wed, May 12 @ 7pm-9pm (EST)
Thurs, May 13, 7pm-9pm (EST)
@ INTERSPACE - Live Arts Virtual Environment
BLACK SPECULATIVE ARTS MOVEMENT: Selected works - Curating the End of The World & Red Spring

INTERSPACE opens on May 12 featuring selected works from the first two installments of Live Arts’ previously unveiled massive online exhibitions presented by BSAM:Curating the End of the World (organizers Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, Tiffany E. Barber and Stacey Robinson) and...

Featured Online

Originally scheduled as part of our 2020 Live Ideas Festival, we are elated to share that The Guild of Future Architects‘ project, Traveling the Interstitium with Octavia Butler. The human interstitium is the fluid space between cell walls and organs. In this mesmerizing interactive WebXR experience, the interstitium is the liminal space where...

Wed, May 12 @ 7:30pm & Thurs-Fri May 13-14 @ 8:30pm
@ New York Live Arts Studios
Drexciya Redux: An Afrofuturist Cabaret

In collaboration with 3LD and Renegade Performance Group with MX OOPS & TRIGGERED MUSIC, nia love, Timothy Prolific Edwaujonte, Sadah Espii Proctor, André M. Zachery and UFly Mothership, Audiences will be submerged inside Drexciya Redux: An Afrofuturist Cabaret in the 3

Live Arts:
Thurs-Fri, May 13-14 @ 7:00pm
Tickets start at $45 each (sold in set of 2)

Times Square:
(Father Duffy Square @ 46th & Broadway)
Sat May 15 @ 7:00pm
Free with RSVP

Online streaming:
May 14-15 @ 7pm (ET) tickets below
@ New York Live Arts Theater
Saul Williams: The Motherboard Suite

Saul Williams and musical collaborators Maria Bauman, Kayla Farrish, Marjani Forté-Saunders, d. Sabela grimes, Jasmine Hearn, and Shamel Pitts. The Motherboard Suite brings to life a suite of music by musician, poet, actor Saul Williams.  Directed by Bill T. Jones, this non-linear work is performed...

5pm- 7pm (ET)
@ INTERSPACE - Live Arts Virtual Environment

Demo 1 INFINITUM: An Afrofuturist Tale’s Tim Fielder Under the Hood Art Demonstration Conducted by: Tim Fielder This live art presentation will focus on the techniques of visual afrofuturism utilized for the groundbreaking graphic novel, INFINITUM: An Afrofuturist Tale, published by HarperCollins Amistad.  The artwork, produced by author/illustrator, Tim Fielder,...

Fri, May 14 @ 1pm-5:30pm (ET)
Symposium - Altered-Worlds: Black Utopia and the Age of Acceleration

“To create high art—work that is functional and aesthetically “cool” or pleasing—in the face of those who would deny its very existence, declaim it as “primitive,”… is itself an act of resistance that subverts the master narrative that suggests our work is imitative or inconsequential, incapable of rising...

FRI, May 14 @
8pm–11pm (ET)
@ INTERSPACE - Live Arts Virtual Environment

Join us for the Altered-Worlds (( Cosmic Funk )) After Party on Twitch! [ http://twitch.tv/pandemixDJs ]With panelists and DJs Stacey Robinson & tobias c. van Veen throwing down Afrofuturist cuts from across the cosmos, from outerspace dub and funk to interstellar hip-hop, from Detroit techno...

Panel, Screening & Conversation
Sat, May 15 @ 12-4pm (EST)
@ INTERSPACE - Live Arts Virtual Environment
Re:INCARNATION and Afrobeats, Migration and Entrepreneurship

12p – 1:15pm Panel: UPCYCLING MOVEMENT REVOLUTIONS: AFROBEATS FROM NIGERIAN STREETS TO WORLD STAGES – ART VALUE AND AGENCY Onye Ozuzu, Qudus Onikeku, Adila Omotosho, Ambrose Idemudia in conversation, moderated by d. Sabela grimes and hosted by

Sat, May 15 @ 8pm-10pm
Times Square

Photoshoot from 8:15pm-9pm Father Duffy Square
at 46th &Broadway
Cosplay @ Times Square

COSPLAY @ TIMES SQUARE 8:00 -10:00pm (Father Duffy Square @ Broadway & 46th Street) 8:15 – 9:00pm  Photoshoot 9:00 – 9:30pm  Showcase Immediately following the performance of The Motherboard Suite in Times Square is Cosplay @ Times Square. Come to Time Square in your most...

Exhibition on View Now
Curating The End Of The World

Organized by Reynaldo Anderson, Tiffany E. Barber and Stacey Robinson with the Black Speculative Arts Movement, this two-part exhibition brings together an international cadre of artists whose work responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-black violence, climate change, poor governance, trans-humanism, and an accelerating, technologically driven economic system on the verge...

On View Now
Powered by Google Arts & Culture
Curating the End of the World: Red Spring

Powered by Powered by Google Arts & Culture Scholar Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, and curators Sheree Renée Thomas, Danielle L. Littlefield, and Dacia Polk with Black Speculative Arts Movement, return to New York Live Arts with an online exhibition titled