Black Meteoric Star
Join us for the debut screening of Gavin Russom’s new film “Black Meteoric Star – No More White Presidents”. The 60 minute film contains a soundtrack by Black Meteoric Star, one of Russom’s aliases. A panel discussion with panelists Kali Holloway, Khury Petersen-Smith and Christopher Danowski will follow the screening.
About the film
“Black Meteoric Star – No More White Presidents” is a multi layered abstract film that I, a White, recently out Trans-Woman completed in January of 2017. For the film I developed what I am calling the “flash film” technique. Initially it was a structural device similar to the chance operations used by composers such as Joh Cage to get out of the practice of creating “slick” edits or “moves” predetermined by overarching institutionalized aesthetic norms. However, as I worked with it I began to discover that the technique, although certainly “experimental”, has more kinship with craft techniques I have practiced such as beading, knitting, weaving and braiding. Although on the surface it could simply be a long form music video for my Black Meteoric Star project it is in fact a complex of evocative and energetic themes gathered around the necessity for abolition and reparations. The themes that are “braided” or “beaded” together include a repetitive meditation on death, an assessment of global capitalism as so overburdened by the karma of the triple legacies of slavery, land theft/genocide and imperialism that it can no longer function, an invocation of several of the Orishas prominent in my path of priesthood in the Regla Lukumi and an exploration of my emerging Trans-Feminine identity. The intention of the film is to open up a territory for exploration and interpretation around our current predicament, allowing the viewer to come to their own conclusions about the specific details and possible solutions, both individually and through discussions with others. In the service of unpacking these themes in a group context I have invited three panelists; Kali Holloway, Khury Petersen-Smith and Christopher Danowski to participate in a discussion of the film following the screening. The panelists and myself will also take questions from the room.
About Gavin Russom
Gavin Rayna Russom is a New York based multimedia artist and composer of electronic music. She has produced some of the most interesting and influential art and music of the last 15 years both in collaborations such as Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom, Black Leotard Front and The Crystal Ark and as a solo artist under aliases such as Black Meteoric Star, Hail of Arrows and under her own name. In July of 2017 she publicly came out as Transgender. Much of her work is informed by her deep relationship with the analog synthesizer, a tool she has applied herself to not only as a composer and player but also as a designer and builder since 1999. In addition to recording and performing music she also creates the visual elements for her work including installations, music videos, record covers, costumes, sets and props. Russom is also a member of the groups Arthur Russell’s Instrumentals Directed by Peter Gordon, Sacred Ar†icle and LCD Soundsystem.
About the Panelists
Kali Holloway is Senior Writer and Associate Editor of Media and Culture at progressive news site AlterNet. She is co-curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MetLiveArts 2017 summer performance and film series “Theater of the Resist,” and producer on the documentary Sunset and the Mockingbird. Previously, she was Director of Outreach and Audience Engagement for the HBO documentary Southern Rites, PBS documentary The New Public and the Emmy-nominated film Brooklyn Castle, and Outreach Consultant on the award-winning documentary The New Black. She worked in production and programming on the long-running PBS documentary film series POV. Prior to that, she was speechwriter for a New York City Commissioner and Deputy Director of Communications for the New York State court system. Her writing has appeared in AlterNet, Salon, The Guardian, TIME, Huffington Post, The National Memo, Yahoo! News, Jezebel, Truthout, Raw Story, xoJane, Google Music, Rhapsody and numerous other outlets.
Khury Petersen-Smith is a geographer and activist who lives in Boston. His forthcoming book, Rocket’s Red Glare: An introduction to U.S. empire (Haymarket, 2019), explores different dimensions of U.S. power on the world stage. His activism is wide-ranging, but has focused in particular on opposing U.S. empire, resisting racism, and solidarity with Palestine. Khury is the co-author of the 2015 Black Solidarity Statement With Palestine, which was signed by over 1,100 Black activists, artists, and scholars.
Christopher Danowski is a media/performance artist based in Phoenix, Arizona. He has written over eighty texts for performance works, and has presented work in living rooms, galleries, and unusual spaces (sometimes in theaters) in Phoenix, Brooklyn, Mérida, Dublin, Berlin and Kraków. He was artistic director of Theater in My Basement from 1999-2013, and now serves as a founding member of Howl Theatre Project. His book of writings, ‘Dog’s Ear’ is forthcoming this spring from Four Chambers Press. He has been teaching performance, theatre, and art in university settings since 2003. In June, 2017, he completed his doctorate from Plymouth University in the U.K. in Art and Media, linking together Afro-Cuban ritual techniques for spirit possession and method acting as transcultural performance methodology.