Series | Performance Space New York

Spring/Summer Season (2024)

This Spring-Summer season pays homage to our historical legacy characterized by a commitment to risk-taking and deliberate disruption of established artistic and social paradigms. Performance Space continues its focus on the utilization of intentional deconstruction to clear the path for regeneration, transcending us to new realms and dimensions. 
Join us this Spring as artists delve into the vestiges of our shared history and craft an innovative vision for the future, guiding audiences through non-linear and queer temporal experiences through song, dance, and visionary forms of performance.

John Giorno Octopus Series (Fall 2023)

Using the Octopus’s decentralized nervous system as an inspiration for Performance Space New York’s curatorial practice, the John Giorno Octopus Series invites artists and guest curators to organize an evening-length program with several artists working in any number of disciplines. The series is named after legendary performance poet, John Giorno, and continues Performance Space’s legacy of artist-centric programming and creating space for risk-taking.

Invisible Cultures Series

Communities of microbes swirl invisibly on and within our bodies, enriching and contaminating. The corpses of whales decompose and unleash nutrients into the magnificence and muck of poisoned oceans. Imprints of our past and visions of the future commingle with the present. In Invisible Cultures—our latest series of thematically coalescing interdisciplinary work—live performances, film screenings, installations, discussions, and lectures map systems of coexistence within ancestral, oceanic, and microbial realms. 
The series celebrates a primordial queerness in worlds whose ancient, amorphous, fluid structures metaphorically evade the grasp of colonialism and capitalism—yet are nonetheless physically vulnerable to their exploitation and destruction. 
At the heart of Invisible Cultures is the phenomenon of whale fall, in which the majestic creature’s carcass plunges to the ocean’s depths and breathes new life into it. This process is embodied in the recent works of mayfield brooks, who presents their latest iteration of Whale Fall—titled Wail•Fall•Whale•Fall—and resonates with the cyclical nature of an ancestral and futuristic temporal vision offered in programs from Knowledge of Wounds and Black Quantum FuturismAnicka Yi curates an evening considering ocean bacteria’s catalysis of multicellular life. Angel Dimayuga creates a living room environment convening artists and thinkers considering global Asian diasporic experiences, submerged in an oceanic soundscape by Miho Hatori. In quori theodor’s Open Room installation, vacuum packed fermented foods make nourishing offerings in an otherworldly, grotesque environment of curdling gender and Americana. In an evening of immersive dance and film, Galle invites us to decompose into collaboration and non-linear dimensions. Anto Astudillo curates a multidisciplinary evening gathering trans and non-binary perspectives that exude from organic matter and level hierarchies between the worlds of humans and microorganisms. 
In these works, we see how ubiquitous, unseen forces are forever at play. We see how considering their queer, wild forms (and resistance to form) can shake hardened understandings of our world that put humanity at odds with nature and science at odds with spirituality; encage gender and sexuality; and flatten time itself. The series is an invitation to navigate untamed oceanic currents, temporal entanglements, and microbial swarms that mirror the very essence of queer life: interconnected, generative, and rooted in the intricate dance between chaos and structure.

First Mondays: Readings of New Works in Progress (Fall/Spring)

One of the great advantages of living in New York City is that we can hear new ideas as they are being created, instead of having to wait years for those books to appear on bookstore shelves. First Mondays allows us to share accomplished writers’ processes as they are happening and gives us an intimate insight into their new work in-progress, long before publication or performances. Join us every first Monday at Performance Space New York for a special opportunity to hear the future.

Healing Series (Oct 2022 – June 2023)

There is little doubt that the current moment is one of great societal change. How can we actively shape change if we are weighed down by burnout and despair? How do we find agency when we are traumatized by the relentless onslaught of state violence and negligence in everyday American life? 
For the next year, we explore how finding ways to heal ourselves—through collective, connective approaches—might in turn help us create new art, forge new alliances, and imagine new worlds.
We believe that artists, especially artists who work with the body, play a crucial role in this momentous task. Contemporary science confirms what healers and bodyworkers have known for a long time— trauma is stored within the body and we cannot talk or think ourselves out of it. We have to move through it to process it. 
In a country whose oppressions, inequities, and historical foundations breed intergenerational trauma, and in which those most subjected to trauma often have the least access to health care, healing becomes a political act. We are often made to believe healing is the responsibility of the individual. We invite you to join artists, activists, healers, and bodyworkers for performances, rituals, free workshops, and clinics in the attempt to heal as a community and a collective. 

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