Friday, April 7, 2023 at 5 and 8PM
Transtraterrestrial, a prequel and premiere of The Unarrival Experiments – Unconcealment Ceremonies is a new live performance work by artist Sage Ni’Ja Whitson designed to amplify the dark. In dialogue with Yorùbá Cosmology, Astrophysics, and research on the “blackest black,” the work centers the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy through a Black, Queer, and Transembodied lens. Dark matter and dark energy serve as portals to interrogating spaces of the unknown, yet have an unequivocated impact on the composition of the universe. The performance and its environment takes an audience through an otherworldly dive into the dark. Led by space conductor, Trans Trappist the Extraterrestrial, this work traverses the dark as an ancestor, embodied transgender technology, and cosmic intervention.
Transtraterrestrial happens inside and outside of a custom-built space|ship, which is uniquely designed as a futuristic space vessel covered in painted organic matter. Whitson worked with architect Valery Augustin to realize the first prototype of this space|ship during an EMPAC residency in 2022. For the space|ship environment of the 2023 prequel and premiere, Whitson worked in collaboration with DNA Architecture + Design, Inc. and Gordon Clement. Its design and fabrication aids in visualizing darkness while also allowing for the seamless integration of immersive VR, projection, and spatial audio. The space|ship cradles performers and witnesses in encounter, collectivity, medicines, and invisibilities.
Dates + Tickets
EMPAC Spring 2023
This production and presentation of Transtraterrestrial, a prequel and premiere of The Unarrival Experiments—Unconcealment Ceremonies, is made possible with support from Creative Capital.
The Unarrival Experiments—Unconcealment Ceremonies is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project. The work is co-commissioned by EMPAC /Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) and New York Live Arts Live Feed Residency in partnership with NPN/VAN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency).
The Unarrival Experiments—Unconcealment Ceremonies is also made possible in part by the support of the Omomuki Foundation. Additional support from Fathomers and Art Reality Studio.
This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.