Space Carcasses is an interdisciplinary performance that juxtaposes, superimposes, and amplifies the contested African Diaspora relationship between the vaults on Factors Row in Savannah, Georgia, the architecture of La Rochelle, France, and the history of similarly complex sites (in terms of their connection to histories of humans traded as commodities) in Northern Nigeria. The project will use 3D audio and visual technologies to record, re-contextualize, and re-remember these spaces that echo with the impact of the events and experiences they have contained, particularly regarding African diaspora migrations. Interfacing the ephemeral residue of the body’s presence with these geographically disparate sites, Space Carcasses will reveal how space, place, history, and lineage are linked together.
Image of the vaults at Factors Row, Savannah, GA (left), the architecture of La Chambre de Commerce in La Rochelle, France (middle), and the Badagry Heritage Museum in Nigeria (right).
To develop this work, I am collaborating with visual and graffiti artist Native Maqari (Nigerian-American-French), and video and projection designer Simon Rouby (French) to map and digitally reproduce the sites. Using 3D visual and audio technologies, Space Carcasses will map and digitally reproduce the proposed sites to be superimposed during performance. These tools will facilitate the joining of not only the aesthetics of these spaces, but the gestures, actions, and interactions of bodies within them. As I have come to understand tools to be extensions of the brain’s schema and of the body and mind’s sense of itself, I am interested in the impact augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technology have on our sense of connectivity and presence.
A carcass leaves an imprint of a version of us we are no longer, a “skin,” a container that we have left behind. Like the residue of the body’s presence, the residue of these spaces—the buildings and archways, their volumes and corners, their openness and hidden places—resonate with their layered meanings through time and space. I am interested in a reunification of these spaces with technology as the facilitator and the body as a bridge to the past and future, to different lands: bodies are time travelers, truth tellers, and historical records.
Space Carcasses is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME), The QDance Center (Lagos, Nigeria), Bridge Live Arts (San Francisco, CA), and NPN. For more information: www.npnweb.org. Space Carcasses is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This work is also made possible in part through an EMPAC Production Residency and NCCAkron Research Residency.