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MAY 11-15, 2021

Special thanks to our partners, collaborators and sponsors

Live Ideas 2021 is co-curated by Reynaldo Anderson and New York Live Arts in partnership with the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM).

Live Ideas 2021

ALTERED-WORLDS: BLACK UTOPIA AND THE AGE OF ACCELERATION Contemporary Afrofuturism may be defined as an emerging social philosophy of the African diaspora and Africa. Today, partly because of a crisis in globalization, social media and other technological advances, second wave Afrofuturism is emerging as the High Culture of the African diaspora and is the cultural vibranium of a rising virtual African civilization. The 2021 edition of Live Ideas, Altered-Worlds: Black Utopia and The Age of Acceleration, will explore this second wave of Afrofuturism as an alternative to the social anomie, reactionary impulses and neofascism of late capitalism. The five-day interdisciplinary hybrid festival will unfold across multiple dimensions through installations, conversations and performances at the intersection of arts, techno-culture, sci-fi, social sciences, philosophy and the imagination.


Jasmine Murrell photo courtesy of the artist


FREEING YOURSELF WAS ONE THING, CLAIMING OWNERSHIP OF THAT FREED SELF WAS ANOTHER Interactive Installation by Jasmine Murrell OPENING MAY 11, 7PM MAY 11-15 Theater Installation FREE with RSVP MAY 11-JUNE 2021 Live Gallery Installation FREE with RSVP Murrell has created an interactive multimedia living installation of sound, soil, and film. In this paradisiacal setting, all life may thrive by supporting a collective ecosystem built out of love. The installation includes material organically embedded with a layered socio-cultural significance which encourages a transformative experience through ancient memory. Soil as a medium to conjure up modern and ancient interspecies communication as a method for healing and analyzing our humane purpose. The possibility of building a space where all life matters in the present, past, and future. This installation is commissioned by New York Live Arts with additional support through Chashama Residency Program. Please visit for installation hours.


Image by André M. Zachery



with MX OOPS & TRIGGERED MUSIC, Epsii Proctor, UFly Mothership, André M. Zachery and more In collaboration with 3LD and Renegade Performance Group OPENING MAY 11, 7PM ON VIEW MAY 11-15 Studio Installation FREE with RSVP MAY 12, 730PM; MAY 13-14, 830PM Live Arts Studio Tickets start at $20 Audiences will be submerged inside Drexciya Redux: An Afrofuturist Cabaret in the 3rd floor studio transformed into a digitally immersive experience of projection mapping and sound design inspired by the mythological realm of Drexciya through interdisciplinary performances and queer interruptions by an intergenerational contingent of Black artists activating the possibility of a new world. “Drexciya” was the name of a pioneering Detroit techno duo, the late James Stinson (1969 - 2002) and Gerald Donald, who created a speculative origin myth about an underwater population of aquatic-humanoids in the Atlantic Ocean populated by the offspring of pregnant African women cast overboard from slave ships along the Middle Passage. As electronic musicians they created the mythology by subverting the horrors of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade into an imagined sea of potentiality. Please visit for installation hours.



By Ari Melenciano MAY 11-JUNE 2021 Vestibule Installation LAUNCHING MAY 11 Virtual Interactive Experience FREE Baïlaurâ considers frequency in four dimensions: sound, auratic energy, kinetic energy and a quantization of the subconscious. Designed with computer vision, machine learning and modular synthesis, bodily movements engage with the algorithms to explore new forms of electronic ritual and divination, and the relationship between sound and dance. In its simplest essence, movement in response to the synthesized soundscapes is converted into data and interpreted into a visual language for the viewer to decipher. This hands free interactive version is created specially for people passing in front of the vestibule at Live Arts simplifies the experience to create a visual representation of movements through patterns and colors. The full version of Baïlaurâ is an expanded web experience that can be played with on your own browser at home. Baïlaurâ is commissioned by New York Live Arts Live Feed Residency Program.

Image by Ari Melenciano



adrienne maree brown by Anjali Pinto

Fireside conversation with adrienne maree brown & Ayana Jamieson MAY 12, 6PM INTERSPACE Tickets start at $10

Ayana Jamieson

Octavia E. Butler has been showing us the future with uncanny accuracy, from the consequences of depleting our natural resources, the uneven wrath of pandemics on communities of color, to the demagogic authoritarian US President whose campaign slogan was “help us Make America Great Again”. She seems to have been telling us that our actions have consequences. This intimate conversation with celebrated author and women’s rights activist adrienne maree brown and Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network founder Ayana Jamieson delves into the extraordinary prescience of Octavia Butler, the relevance of her work, and the lessons we continue to learn.


EXHIBITION @ INTERSPACE OPENING MAY 12, 7PM MAY 12-15 INTERSPACE FREE with RSVP This exhibition at INTERSPACE, our customized online 3D platform and virtual home for the festival will feature 3D digital sculptures by Jasmine Murrell and selected works from BSAM’s online exhibitions Curating the End of the World and Red Spring including works by BLACKMAU, La’Nora Boror, S. Ross Browne, Gerardo Castro, Nettrice Gaskins, Zeal Harris, Winifred Hawkins, John Jennings, Algernon Miller, Mahwyah Milton, Stacey Robinson, tobias c. van Veen, Quentin Vercetty and many more.


By Sophia Nahli Allison, idris brewster, Stephanie Dinkins, Ari Melenciano, Terence Nance. Produced by the Guild of Future Architects (GoFA) and Crimes of Curiosity in collaboration with New York Live Arts Virtual Interactive Experience Image by Jessi Jumanji


AFROFUTURIST INVERSE MAY 13, 5PM INTERSPACE FREE with RSVP INFINITUM: An Afrofuturist Tale’s Tim Fielder Under the Hood Art Demonstration Conducted by Tim Fielder Afrofuturist VR Demo Conducted by Micheline Hess Afrofuturist Comics Roundtable With Julian Chambliss, Greg Anderson Elysée, Tim Fielder, Jason Reeves and Regine Sawyer Afrofuturist Inverse is supported in part by Dieselfunk Studios

Image byTim Fielder



Featuring choreography by Maria Bauman, Kayla Farrish, Marjani FortéSaunders, d. Sabela grimes, Jasmine Hearn, and Shamel Pitts | TRIBE MAY 13, 14, 7PM Live Arts Theater

MAY 14, 15, 7PM Live Stream

MAY 15, 7PM Times Square

Tickets start at $45

Tickets start at $20

Father Duffy Square at 46th and Broadway FREE

Marjani Forté-Saunders

Saul Williams by Andrew Gura

Maria Bauman by Tanya Williams

d. Sabela Grimes by Chris Wormald


Jasmine Hearn by Whitney Browne

Shamel Pitts | TRIBE by Scott Shaw

Kayla Farrish by Kerime Konur

The Motherboard Suite brings to life a suite of music by musician, poet, actor Saul Williams inspired by his multi-tiered project MartyrLoserKing. Directed by Bill T. Jones, this non-linear work is performed by Saul and his musical collaborators and features six choreographers - Maria Bauman, Kayla Farrish, Marjani Forté-Saunders, d. Sabela grimes, Jasmine Hearn, and Shamel Pitts | TRIBE. Each choreographer is invited into the world of Saul’s exploration at the intersection of technology and race, exploitation and mystical anarchy, where hackers are artists and activists. The performance at Live Arts will take place inside Jasmine Murrell’s installation.


In partnership with BSAM, Lot Radio and Time Square Arts MAY, 8-10PM Times Square Father Duffy Square at 46th and Broadway FREE Immediately following the performance of The Motherboard Suite in Time Square, the Lot Radio will spin Techno and new sounds from the African Diaspora. Come to Time Square in your most imaginative Afrofuturistic Cosplay outfit (or come as you are). Saul Williams Photo by Maria Jose Govea


LIVE IDEAS SYMPOSIUM ALTERED WORLDS: BLACK UTOPIA AND THE AGE OF ACCELERATION MAY 14, 1-530PM INTERSPACE Tickets start at $15 “To create high art—work that is functional and aesthetically “cool” or pleasing— in the face of those who would deny its very existence, declaim it as “primitive,”... is itself an act of resistance that subverts the master narrative that suggests our work is imitative or inconsequential, incapable of rising to the level of “the universal” or incapable of being seen unless they frame it so”. - Sheree Renée Thomas

Organized by co-curator Reynaldo Anderson and New York Live Arts, the symposium seeks to create a temporal space to investigate and celebrate Black Speculative Art at the intersection of accelerating technological innovation, climate change, a rising tide of neo-fascism and ethnic tension, and a world ravaged by the Pandemic.


With DJs Tobias (CA) & Stacey Robinson (US)

MAY 14, 8-11PM INTERSPACE & Twitch Free for Interspace ticket holders Hosted by @pandemixDJs on Twitch



Welcome Opening Remarks

Welcome by Bill T. Jones Reynaldo Anderson Afrofuturism 2.0, High Culture and the Black Atlantic World


New Suns Rising: The Black Speculative Arts Movement and Future Time Danilo Deluxo, Tasha Douge, Andrea Hairston, John Jennings Tiffany E. Barber (moderator)


Afro-Rithms From The Future (ARFTF): Democratizing the future where Black Futures Matter Ahmed Best and Lonny J Avi Brooks


After the Dark Winter Robyn Maynard, Ingrid LaFleur, John T. Maddox IV, Andrew Rollins tobias c. van Veen (moderator)


Calculating the Sensory Aesthetics of Black Liberation Stacey Robinson


Black Quantum Futurism: CPT Symmetry and Violations Rasheedah Phillips


“Where There Is A Woman There Is Magic”: Forecasting the Speculative Vision of Black Women H. Jande Golakai, Natasha A. Kelly, Danielle R. Littlefield, Niama Safia Sandy Sheree Renée Thomas (moderator)

Closing Remarks

Reynaldo Anderson: Coda 13


With Onye Ozuzu, Qudus Onikeku, Adila Omotosho, Ambrose Idemudia. Moderated by d. Sabela Grimes and hosted by Osubi Craig MAY 15, 12PM INTERSPACE Tickets start at $25 (includes admission to Re:INCARNATION) Panel conversation presented by the Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship (CAME) at the University of Florida | College of the Arts exploring the Afrobeats dance movement with a network of artists featuring Qudus Onikeku (Maker in Residence with CAME UF) and members of QDance. Discussion will be focused around the tangible and intangible value generated from Afrobeats innovation and cultural production and the negotiation of economic and social justice when art becomes commercial venture. This panel is presented by the Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship (CAME) at the University of Florida | College of the Arts (

Photo by Herve Veronese


Re:INCARNATION Qudus Onikeku & QDance MAY 15, 130PM INTERSPACE FREE with ticket to UPCYCLING MOVEMENT REVOLUTIONS Re:INCARNATION is a 2021 dance, music, fashion and visual art creation that showcases the depth of ancient Yoruba philosophy, mixed with the current Nigerian youth culture and its pure and uncompromising joy. It is the work of a crop of Nigerian dancers marked by the rhythm and groove of Lagos. Paying tribute to this richness, the choreography is written with a highly musical structure, with an intricate and carefully designed visual aesthetics. Coming from a deep Yoruba cultural understanding, at the core of this multimodal and multi-sensorial composition is the Yoruba central concept of reincarnation (birth, death, re-birth) which offers a distinct way of thinking about time in a cyclical manner. Screening followed by Conversation with Qudus Onikeku & Bill T. Jones Moderated by Onye Ozuzu. The screening and conversation are made possible with support from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York City


CALENDAR & EVENTS Virtual Events MAY 10 7PM

Live Ideas Gala 2021 Digital Gala | $100 Digital Event Tickets

MAY 12 6PM

Insighting and Foresighting: The Extraordinary Prescience of Octavia Butler INTERSPACE | Tickets start at $10

MAY 12 7PM

Interspace Exhibition Opening INTERSPACE | FREE with RSVP

MAY 13 5PM


MAY 14 1PM

Live Ideas Symposium INTERSPACE | Tickets start at $15

MAY 14 7PM

Saul Williams: The Motherboard Suite Livestream | Tickets start at $20

MAY 14 8PM


MAY 15 12PM

Upcycling Movement Revolutions & Re:INCARNATION INTERSPACE | Tickets start at $25

MAY 15 7PM

Saul Williams: The Motherboard Suite Livestream | Tickets start at $20

Box Office

Tickets can be purchased at


FESTIVAL PASSES: $50/$35/$25 virtual pass Use code liveideas2021 and get 50% off the virtual pass when you buy 1 live in-person ticket to The Motherboard Suite or Drexcia Redux: An Afrofuturist Cabaret.


Live In-person MAY 11 7PM

Installation Opening: Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another, Baïlaurâ & Drexciya Redux FREE with RSVP

MAY 12 730PM

Drexciya Redux: An Afrofuturist Cabaret Studio | Tickets start at $20

MAY 13 7PM

Saul Williams: The Motherboard Suite Theater | Tickets start at $45

MAY 13 830PM

Drexciya Redux: An Afrofuturist Cabaret Studio | Tickets start at $20

MAY 14 7PM

Saul Williams: The Motherboard Suite Theater | Tickets start at $45

MAY 14 830PM

Drexciya Redux: An Afrofuturist Cabaret Studio | Tickets start at $20

MAY 15 7PM

Saul Williams: The Motherboard Suite Times Square | FREE

MAY 15 8PM

Cosplay @ Time Square Times Square | FREE

COVID precautions

In-person audience will be required to provide proof of negative results from a PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test or COVID-19 full vaccination, as well as temperature checks on event day in order to gain entry. More info


219 W 19th Street, New York, NY 10011 (Between 7th & 8th Aves) Subway: 1 to 18th Street, 2/3, F, M, L and A/C/E to 14th Street.


SUPPORT Without our wonderful friends at Crux, we would not have been able to create such an innovative and interactive virtual performance space. INTERSPACE is the vision of the Crux team and we highly recommend them if you’re looking for your next digital venue! Click here to learn more and reach out to them. Support for Live Ideas is provided by: Partners for New Performance. Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts, Ford Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Google, Marta Heflin Foundation, Alex Katz Foundation, Lambent Foundation, Alice Lawrence Foundation, The Poss Family Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Semel Charitable Foundation, Scherman Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Support for discounted tickets provided by Con Edison. Live Ideas receives public funds from Humanities New York, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council with special thanks to Council Member Corey Johnson.

219 W 19th Street New York, NY 10011