My performance and social practice meets people where they are and takes them on a journey that they might not have known they wanted (or needed) to go on. I create and hold open safe spaces for communal feeling, thinking, and understanding. My work celebrates joy, mistakes and exquisitely fought for failures; it is a witness to living machines operating at full-tilt. I use music, image, movement and silence as texts which can be wrought with the same precision as a turn of phrase. I champion collaborative practice, foreground borders as places of substance and create experiences for individuals to meet and listen, live and receive different points of view.
My socially engaged practice is a reflection of my personal background; I grew up in the southern USA in a multiracial family whose home was an informal safehouse. Over a hundred people lived with me over the years. Individuals or families would arrive because of a crisis–domestic to international in scale–and they would stay for anywhere from a day to years. It was a life of radical hospitality, rooted in traditions of rural creole culture, liberation theology and catholic worker houses, and a commitment to social justice. For me, this was simply daily life; making and remaking community, my ingrained circadian rhythm.
So I begin by listening, obliquely, to spaces in between. I gather and hold materials from everyday life in relation to one another. My research-based work is interdisciplinary, multimedia, and rooted in performance and social practice. Materials are infinite; collaborators and communities are diverse yet specific to the enquiry. I work with theatremakers and law enforcement, my children and teams of scientists, elders experiencing cognitive decline and poets. The projects take form as sites for active interrogation, provoking a questioning that is at the heart of the art: a dialogic practice encompassing both process and product.