April 8, 2018
In order to rise
From its own ashes
EARTHSEED: THE BOOKS OF THE LIVING
(Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower”, chapter 14)
Our April 8th Sunday Service provided us with an evening of live art and sound curated by Rena Anakwe. Anakwe is interested in the ways in which people manifest their healing. This quote from Octavia Butler’s ‘Parable of the Sower’ speaks of an event of destruction that must first occur before healing and resilience begins in our own lives. We all have our own life experiences, ancestral and present, that form our current healing practices in all forms. While the world spins out around us, the ways in which we ground ourselves, tell our stories and survive are what reconnect us to our humanity and the humanity of others. This Sunday Service offered a glimpse into the ways that five artists evoke their own healing and discovery through various forms of media, storytelling and ritual.
Sharon De La Cruz
Sharon Lee De La Cruz is an artist and activist from New York City. She earned a BFA from The Cooper Union, is a Fulbright scholar, and obtained her Masters at NYU’s ITP program (Interactive Telecommunications Program). Sharon’s work ranges from comics, to STEM education, to interactive sculptures. She works at the intersection of tech, art, and social justice. She currently lives in New Jersey and is the Assistant Director of The StudioLab, a creative tech lab, at Princeton University.
Johann Diedrick makes installations, performances, and objects that let people play with sound. He shares his work through workshops, listening tours, and open-source software and hardware. He is a recipient of the Asian Cultural Council Fellows grant and has been featured in Wire Magazine and Musicworks Magazine. He has exhibited internationally in numerous group exhibitions, conferences and festivals, including the Soundscapes symposium at Yale University, the NIME conference in Daejeon and Seoul, Korea, and the Invisible Places conference in Viseu, Portugal. He studied at the ITP program at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU focusing on sound art. He was a researcher at the InterLab at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) in Yamaguchi, Japan and worked as an interactive software developer at Qosmo in Tokyo, Japan. He is currently a senior developer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Adama Delphine Fawundu is photo-based visual artist and activist born in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder and author of the book MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. Ms. Fawundu is a New York Foundation of the Arts Photography Fellow.
Her multimedia fine art work uses photography, video and sculpture to interrogate identity with the African African Diaspora.
Her extensive New York City 90’s hip-hop archive includes photographs of artists such as Nas, The Notorious BIG, Big Daddy Kane, Jay Z, Lil’Wayne and Mobb Deep. Since 2008 she’s been documenting the urban music scene in several African cities including Nairobi, Lagos, Freetown, Accra, Bamako, Johannesburg, and Dakar. As an activist, Ms. Fawundu has used art a vehicle to mobilize her community to fight against gentrification through her project, “Tivoli: A Place We Call Home: A Community Faces Gentrification.” She’s collaborated with the Women’s Institute/GMHC create a traveling photographic series “touched: Women affected by HIV” to spread awareness around HIV. She has also organized and facilitated photography and social awareness workshops for women and youth in Nigeria, Colombia and Sierra Leone.
Geng is a New York City-borne and currently-residing sound artist and founder of PTP (formerly, Purple Tape Pedigree), a collective, plus imprint, acting as “purveyors of weaponized media.” With roots in the city’s underground hip hop and then experimental electronic/metal/punk communities since the mid-90’s, his sonic narrative typically spills forth a cocktail of these influences, with a focus on meditative confrontation of traumatic histories, sleep paralysis, aquaphobia, and the communication bridge between self-actualized identity and spirit. In a live setting, one may be challenged by disembodied vocals piercing through a collage of field recordings, ASMR tape loops, and walls of distorted dread from various hardware – once reviewed as a “brutal ritual … drawn from dystopian nightmares … this is metal machine music meant for catharsis, not escapism” by Washington City Paper.
Pamela Liou is an artist and technologist living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work examines tensions between craft, emerging platforms, and pursuit of self-actualization. Through digitally fabricated machines, analog video, and virtual environments Pamela’s work offers alternative modalities for recoupling and reacquainting the individual with a sense of creative efficacy.
Pamela is a former resident at Eyebeam, Museum of Arts and Design, and DBRS Labs. She currently teaches hardware and environment design at Parsons School of Design in the Design and Technology department.
About the Curator
Rena Anakwe is an interdisciplinary artist and performer, working primarily with sound, visuals, and scent. Exploring intersections between traditional healing practices, spirituality and performance she creates works focused on sensory-based, experiential interactions using technology. A member of the artistic collective NON Worldwide, she is based in Brooklyn, New York by way of Nigeria and Canada.
About Sunday Service
Taking place the first Sunday of each month, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of cross-disciplinary performances and presentations that brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service centers works in progress, interdisciplinary endeavors, and diversity in format showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster the testing of ideas and critical discourse amongst peers.
Sunday Service is programmed by Stephanie Acosta and Alexis Wilkinson, Knockdown Center’s Director of Exhibitions and Live Art.
Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.