As a point is to a line is to a shape is to an object is to an hyper-object--e.g. dot: line: square: cube: hypercube aka tesseract--so is the cell to the tissue to the organ to the individual body to the community aka hyper-being. In a hypercube, each cube is one face of the hyper dimensional shape. In a community each person is one face of the one being that is all of us together, functioning collectively. Together on planet Earth we share the hyper-ecosystem which is all the ecosystems of all the places together in totality.
The connective empathic phenomenon to which we commonly refer as love can exist due to the underlying connectedness of all beings. We do not need to study the Vedanta nor the Hippocratic oath nor the 10 commandments etc. to know that there is something inherently wrong with harming others. We do not have to know the details of the golden rule nor of karma to know that it feels good to help others. Even though we live within flawed social systems that perpetuate the mistreatment of some in order to maintain status and resources of others, we know that it doesn’t feel right. The inherent sense of the wrongness in harming others is due to our undeniable interconnection within the hyper-community. Hurting ourselves hurts others. Hurting others hurts ourselves. Attempting to help ourselves through the mistreatment of others perpetrates a health breach on the hyper-community. In order for humanity to find out what we can do, we must re-examine all of our politico-socio-economic systems and replace every practice of hurting some in order to benefit others with new systems built upon a foundation of love. Love is the essential behavior that can save us from destroying ourselves and the Earth which sustains and nourishes us. Love can redeem us and guide us into sustainable futures together.
The popular distorted notion of Darwin’s theory as "survival of the fittest," when applied to humanity, implies that those deemed unfit are somehow naturally expendable. Love knows that each and every one of us is essential to the whole. Each particle composing matter matters. Herbalists worldwide concur that ecosystems provide the herbs necessary to treat illnesses that arise within them. In the hyper-ecosystem of the global human community, our ideas and multiple intelligences also operate as herbs for solving our collective challenges. The distortion of Darwin's theory suggests a world view in which resources are limited and, therefore, competition and exploitation are necessary in order for some to survive. Love knows that for every perceived lack within the community and/or environment, there is someone who possesses the particular intelligence necessary to conceive a solution, if only we value and cultivate one another. "Survival of the fittest" is convenient for perpetuating colonialist hierarchical social ideals which have historically and presently lead to enslavement, genocide, human trafficking etc; and maintaining the current (present year 2021) status quo that keeps a wealthy few in the devastating position of systematically exploiting the masses.
Nicola Tesla shows us that energy is abundant and that it is possible to provide it sustainably o all. However, energy corporations within the globalist capitalist framework, to which we imply our consent through continued participation, bar the technology from coming into common practice because it threatens their economic status. Energy is crucial to action of any kind. If we use Tesla’s and other sustainable technologies to make energy globally accessible at very low or no cost, we can begin to explore the limitlessness of our capacity, and we would effectively eliminate the perceptual need for war. Eliminating the capitalist frameworks that deny access to low cost clean energy globally would allow us to make war a regrettable historic relic of our barbaric past. War is always he result of scarcity of resources, and the cycles of trauma born of this.
As an artist who survived traumas arising from the unspeakable atrocities of the Mafaa against my African ancestors and siblings and the genocide and colonization against my indigenous siblings in the United States, both at the hands of those who have the constructed advantage of whiteness within an anti-Black framework, and at the hands of my own people suffering the illness of internalized oppressions; I say i is imperative that we build a new world order in which such heinous practices no longer have a basis and will never happen again. When we understand that we are one being together on this planet, we understand the equivalency of murder with suicide. We understand the equivalency of denial of resources to anyone with self denial. We understand the madness of mistreating anyone and that to treat anyone as valuing less is to devalue ourselves. We understand that war is tragically illogical. We must do what it takes to move on permanently in order to approach a functional planetary ecological community. Love is the paradigm to which human culture must shift in order for us to thrive on this planet together. Ecology--evolving systems in which we flourish together--is love. Love is necessary.
My performance is ritually channeled through the body, written word and trained vocal apparatus for personal and collective healing. During the pandemic I augmented live performance by video processing layers of movement based practice with polyphonic a-capella vocalization and environmental footage alongside a poetic grimoire streamed as a multichannel installation at Elastic Arts. The experiential research for my proposed project Quantum Negress Tantras took life as preamble solo performances (Links Hall, High Concept Labs, and Constellation and other venues 2018-21). I’ve channeled healings with Julian Otis and Scott Rubin entitled Intercession (Frequency Festival 2020), and with Senga Nengundi’s sculptures (DuPaul Art Museum 2017).
I share the honor of an American Book Award for Oral Literature for the album, The Amiri Baraka Sessions (2018) with poetry/music collective Heroes are Gang Leaders with whom I recorded and toured internationally (2015-18). I’m honored to have been awarded grants and residencies including Impulstanz Vienna, Ragdale, High Concept Labs, Elastic Arts, and the Chicago Dancemakers Forum and others.
In 2013 I co-founded NYC based women’s choral and improvisation a capella ensemble LushTongue with Onome. Onome and Iperformed under the moniker Inner Child, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary performance trio with Keisha Turner at Chicago and NYC venues including Links Hall and Wow Cafe Theater. I was featured in The Exponential experimental noise album Encuentro with Ben Perkins and Brian Murray with whom I performed throughout 2011-2012. I worked as a choreographer in Chicago where I was honored to be a Chicago Dancemakers Forum LAb Artist, a Link-Up resident artist with Links Hall, and collaborated with local dance artists including Asimina Chremos, Ni'ja Whitson, J'Sun Howard, Ayako Kato, and Julia Meyer, and others. I, also co-facilitated a Contact Improvisation Lab at Silverspace with Mellissa Simo.
Shaped and appalled by the Maafa (Black African-American Holocaust), I redirect my Earth-ancestor-generated power, chiseled from institutionalized trauma and generational survival, through mediating new performative rituals and spaces for trascendence.
My mother and father conceived me during their pilgrimage to London to visit their guru in the spiritual lineage of the Satsang Beas along the Path of Saints. My father taught me that each of us is a quantized particle of the totality of God as a drop of saltwater is to the ocean. He was a welder, a deeply practical Black man who bought into capitalism without reservation and inadvertently taught me, for better or worse, to equate my worth with the success of my work within the marketplace. My mother exhibited signs of extrasensory perception throughout her life by knowing things she couldn’t possibly know by Westernized frames of logic. She did things like blurt out vitamins and substances that were deficient in strangers eliciting instant verification, and awakening on the morning of 911 shrieking about death and destruction before anyone had announced the news. She was a boisterous girl--also culturally perceived as Black--with a big personality, a big ego and an artist. She came into a society that was built upon breaking the spirit of those like her. Perhaps it succeeded. When she and my father got together she was selling her soft sculptures as home decor in one of Chicago’s former department stores, Carson Pirie Scott, but her mind was beginning to falter under the weight of multifarious oppressions. In a culture that had ripped us from our traditions of mystic fortifications for the gifted, her mind began to fracture. In her 20’s her faith in herself faltered to a point of no return. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia and chemically altered with psycho-suppressive pharmaceuticals. She remains so today.
My grandmother, a school psychologist, raised my sister and me to both know that we had the power to do anything in this world, and also to suppress and alter the aspects of ourselves which signified our Blackness. She was born in 1928 to a w.a.s.p. couple who named her Gertude Marie. When she came out brown--it is suspected that her father was quite literally the milk man--her mother put her into a shoebox and left her tucked into the back of the closet beneath the hanging clothes. It was the housekeeper who found her and took her home to be raised by her sister--a dark skinned woman from the lineage of so called U.S. citizens who survived the Mafaa. The housekeeper’s sister and her husband raised my baby grandmother as their own. Their parents had been among the enslaved. Colorism, jealousy of the girl’s assured light skinned privilege, and twisted love led my grandmother’s new matriarch to teach f.k.a. Gertrude then Willie Mae that she was nothing, and that she would never be anything. Her new mama didn’t want her getting big headed. Light skinned and spiritually bruised, she wrangled herself to become the school psychologist to whom teachers sent the kids whom they deemed of substandard intelligence--mostly Black boys. She did something that has always been frowned on in the “United States.” She encouraged Black boys to assume that they had a capacity to think, rather than giving up on themselves with the reflexive “I don’t know.” Also, she taught me to be ashamed of my Black girl behind and slapped my hand whenever I used our slang. She had some issues.
My mother was in and out of the most hellish places I’ve had the trauma of visiting, Illinois State mental institutions. When she was home she obsessively wrapped herself in blankets and rocked; polished and repolished her nails, sometimes eating off the polish between coats, and decorating my mommy-Grandmother’s empty wine bottles with the dripped wax of melted crayons. She routinely disappeared, most often to be found disrobing near a body of water, near a bridge in the middle of the city. She wrote poetry as well. Her brother was a narcissist drummer who sat in with Janice Joplin and Muddy Waters, played in his own rock band, and was subject to rage attacks. The Chicago Police consistently mugged him and stole his things claiming they were too valuable to belong to him and must be confiscated. He lost a drum kit and several bicycles that way. He took it out on us nieces throughout our childhoods.
I qualified for entrance into my “gifted” elementary school by passing a standardized test, the merits of which I find questionable. I was school-bussed from the predominantly Black side of Jeffery Blvd in South Shore Chicago to the southern part of K-town which was populated with whites who emigrated to the US after the Maafa had supposedly ended. On the rare occasion that I missed the school bus, I had instructions for taking the CTA and walking the 5 blocks from stop to school. Those white folks used to follow me in their pickup trucks shouting sexualized racial slurs with their guns in hand. I was like 9.
Ted Lenart Regional Gifted Center required me to learn and value Latin, memorizing and reciting Western canonic poetry, diagramming Shakespeare, taking in eugenic Darwinian interpretations of planetary population trends that discouraged us from procreating when we grew up, researching and presenting our interests to the critical attention of our classmates. Given the frequency and regularity of difficult testing to which we were subject, and the U.S. history of covert experimentation on Black so called “citizens,” I wouldn't be surprised if I were being monitored right now as a nonconsensual subject in an ongoing study.