Nuclear Winter is an interactive installation and performance space presented as a microcosm of our current and trans-historical political climate.  

This commission features construction materials – brick, canvas, rope, and motor – layered against the seemingly invisible technologies of digital surveillance. Bricks are stacked in playful arrangements of walls or towers and viewers are invited to deconstruct, rearrange, and rebuild. The space undergoes continuous transformation with shifting boundaries and barriers, but the underlying programming remains consistent. Mechanisms of control prolong a dominance of “whiteness” in the space.

The whiteness of Nuclear Winter presents itself in white painted bricks, theatrical snow, and the light-skinned bodies able to move about the space unimpeded. Whiteness is measured by processing digital surveillance images using custom software; it is maintained through a protectionist system of linear logic and physical computing. The pervasive and compounding micro-aggressions of this chimeric whiteness are a thing of nightmares, a Nuclear Winter.  

Print works on paper are installed as serial public texts. They cut into the unequal power constructs of the space, while encouraging public discourse on race and privilege. The analog printing methods document the labor of resistance and provide stark contrast to the supposed dominance of digital mediums. They make space for difference within the otherwise hostile environment.

Choreographer and performer Gregory King creates a place for himself within the installed landscape. He uses dance as a social text and performs rituals of lived experience. As in life, he negotiates his blackness within the context of white spaces – never stopping to ask permission or forgiveness.

The installation and performance of Nuclear Winter has grown through research and responses to a previous collaboration, titled Cloud of Whiteness, with special thanks to SPACES Gallery and The Current Sessions.

Key Words

Interactive Art
Installation
Site Specific Performance
Protest Posters
Systemic Racism

 

 

 

Angela Davis Fagen, independent artist. Photo Credit: RJ Eldridge
Angela Davis Fegan

Independent Artist

Angela Davis Fegan is a native of Chicago’s South Side. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from New York’s Parsons School of Design and her MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago. Exhibition venues include UIC Montgomery Ward Gallery, Galerie F, Chicago Artists’ Coalition, DePaul Art Museum, Center for Book Arts (NY), and Hyde Park Art Center. Her work has been featured in The Offing (LA Review of Books), Hyperallergic, and Chicago Magazine.

Photo credit: RJ Eldridge

photo of Gregory King, Assistant Professor of Dance & Artistic Director, Kent Dance Ensemble Kent State University. Photo Credit: Dennis Johnston
Gregory A. King

Assistant Professor of Dance & Artistic Director, Kent Dance Ensemble Kent State University

Gregory King is a Jamaican born artist, author, and assistant professor at Kent State University. He currently serves on the leadership team of The Association of Blacks in Dance, as the creative communication coordinator. Previous positions include resident guest artist at Temple University and visiting assistant professor of Dance & Consortium at Swarthmore College. Performance credits include: Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway, Horton Project (Library of Congress), and Washington Ballet. His scholarship has received national recognition including publications in thINKing Dance and The Dance Journal. Recently, the article he co-wrote with Ellen Chenoweth, “When Dance Voices Protest,” was selected to be a part of The U.S Department of Arts and Culture national resource guide. King holds an MFA in choreographic practice from Southern Methodist University.

Photo credit: Dennis Johnston

Megan Young, independent artist. Photo credit: William Frederking
Megan Young

Independent Artist

Megan Young creates interactive sculpture and installation with embodied performance. Notable exhibition and presentation credits include: International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA) at City University of Hong Kong, Open Engagement: Justice Conference, Art Souterrain Festival in Montreal, SPACES gallery in Cleveland, and SiTE:LAB Rumsey Street Project in Michigan. Her socially engaged artist activism has been featured in Hyperallergic and The Atlantic. Her work has also been recognized with an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Excellence Award and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Creative Workforce Fellowship. Young holds an MFA in interdisciplinary arts and media from Columbia College Chicago and a BFA in modern dance choreography from Ohio University. She is on the faculty at Kent State University and is a regular guest artist at Baldwin Wallace University. 

Photo credit: William Frederking