Wednesday, August 10, 2022
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
This event repeats on the 2nd Wednesday of every month between 7/13/2022 and 12/14/2022.
Join Sherese Francis and Lewis Latimer House Museum to research Black thinkers, writers, and artists, and respond through poetry or performance.
Participants may choose to join any one or more of the virtual sessions.
As part of Sherese Francis’ poetic project, KwaNTum, ReVer(b)sions Lab is an invitation for participants to be part of her(e) research process over the course of seven lab sessions and an open performance/collection. KwaNTum is a poetic project exploring concepts of knowledge and knowledge-making through Afro-diasporic-centered research, looking at various Black and Afro-diasporic thinkers, writers, poets, and artists as well as themes from STEM. Sherese will present research-findings and works in process and invite participants to create their own response pieces. Each lab session will include a bibliography of associated texts and other material. The project will result in a multidisciplinary collection of poems, text art pieces and performances, and was made possible partially through funds from NYSCA Literary grant.
7/13 - Filaments: Dark Universal Connectivity
What is knowing? What is seeing? Reflecting on Lewis Latimer’s invention of the carbon filament, the word filament comes from the root “Gwhi,” which means a thread or to string together. We will begin this lab series looking at the practice of making connections to conceptualize and reflect on what KwaNTum can be as a creative ground to develop ideas.
8/10 - Synthesizing Echoes
What does it mean to hear? How does sound and voice become more than noise but technologies for meaning and communication? Looking at excerpts from selected texts about and listening to various Black-originating music styles like Jazz, Hip-Hop, Dub, Blues, etc., we will explore them as technologies of knowledge-sharing and as forms of science. Through this session, we will generate poetic texts that act as scores to innovate new languages.
9/14 - Recipes for Knowledge: External Exchangeware
Respiration. Reinspiration. The Mouth. The Myth. The Nose. The Knows. What flows in and out of our bodies helps to shape who we are. We will look at how exchange and communication manifest in various forms of sense. Referring to scholar, Sylvia Wynter’s, concept of humans as both “bio and mythoi,” or “homo narrans,” we will explore themes of the body as a receiver and interpreter of signals, in constant conversation with “alien" intelligences, and how this relates to practices like call and response in Black cultures.
10/12 - Architexture: Touch and Text
What if we rethink of common sense as “community sense?” How does relationship and sense of relationship affect how we know? How do embodied networks of the self operate? What does skin reveal about knowledge? Inspired by Octavia Butler’s practice of “primitive hypertext,” we will explore how relationships of touch create knowledge systems and structures.
11/9 - Polysensic Semantics
Language can be considered a form of synesthesia. How does language become a multidimensional container for the interweaving of all senses? What is the meaning of knowledge when it is applied and experienced within a body? We will use somatic work to explore the shapeshifting of language to show how meaning changes in each person’s body.
12/14 - KwaNTum Presence Performance: Interactive Performance
In this final performance, I invite participants to be a part of a communal, interactive, semi-improvised performance where our texts are weaved into one another into a larger, collaborative text. Through the performance, we will explore the main questions of What Is eNTering? What Is iNTer-ing? What Is KNowing?
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