Desirée Holman: ‘Sophont in Action’
October 1, 2015
Produced by Black Cube, a Nomadic Contemporary Art Museum
A performance and monumental video projection.
Black Cube Artist Fellow, Desirée Holman, presented ‘Sophont in Action’ a site-specific performance featuring residents of the local community on October 1, 2015. This elaborate live performance built on Holman’s current body of work exploring the overlapping terrain of New Age mysticism, science fiction, and technology. The performance brought to life the full spectrum of related sub-cultures and their influence on the mainstream through investigations of the past, present, and future.
ABOUT THE TERM 'SOPHONT': The term ‘sophont’ was coined by science fiction author Poul Anderson to describe intelligent beings with extraordinary emotional and reasoning capacity.
ABOUT BLACK CUBE:
Our Story: The traditional idea of a museum, on its head
Unlike stationary museums marked primarily by their architecture, Black Cube has no permanent exhibition space or collection. We prefer to be defined by the art and artists (known as fellows) that we present and support. We begin with the ideas of our artist fellows and craft customized art experiences based on their thoughts and concepts. Furthermore, by constantly changing our location, our projects aspire to reach new audiences not regularly exposed to contemporary art.
Founded in 2015 by artist and philanthropist, Laura Merage, the institution upholds the belief that art is an essential part of a vibrant, just, and healthy society.
Identified by their gauzy smocks and flashing screens, ‘Sophont in Action’ Guides direct the audience along their journey.
These characters represent the elders who experienced the American ‘60s counterculture movement and embrace ideas of communalism and modern incarnations of Bohemianism. Inspiration for their sculptural headgear comes from an equal mixture of tinfoil hat and recent wearable technologies such as Google Glass. The animated helmets search for signals in an attempt to make contact with the beyond. Marked by their Psionics helmets and white linen frocks emblazoned with marbleized cosmic patterns, these psychic-fiction human hybrids have the ability to move backward and forward in time.
The Ecstatic Dancers believe that through focused free-formed dance they can effect positive change in the world. Informed by the culture of Conscious Dance, they practice the New Age ideologies of self-spirituality and individualism. These characters don calf-length unisex robes with designs based on Holman’s paintings of outer space and auras.
Indigo children, according to a pseudoscientific New Age concept, are children who are believed to possess special, unusual, and sometimes supernatural traits or abilities – such as telepathy. These digital natives embody techno-advanced intelligence and are often described as those who will usher in the next stage in human evolution. Adorned with indigo dyed costumes and hands, these characters are believed to be highly empathic and to possess psychic abilities.
Martin A. David
Leatizia Imàn Moussaid
Maylin de la Trinidad
Angel Deradoorian, Dance, 2013. 11
min. 19 secs. Courtesy of the artist.
Desirée Holman, Director/ Artist
Cortney Lane Stell, Curator
Control Group Productions, Choreographer
Ruth Bruno, Producer
Lucas McMahon, Production Manager
Andrew Almanza, Intern
Dave Fodel, Technical Advising
Katelyn Simkins, Makeup
Chad Robertson, Bus Production Assistant
Carli Franks, Shop Manager
Kerry Kiley, wardrobe
Video Production: Geek Mythology Productions
The video work "Sophont" which was projected on the rocks was commissioned by the Performance and Film program at SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) and supported by the Headlands Center for the Arts Alumni New Works.