Activating Participation Now! Featuring Naoco Wowsugi & Andros Zins-Brown

Thursday, May 16, 2024 7-9pm

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This workshop has a maximum of 20 participants.

“Why are artists always seen as the leaders or organizers? Why can’t you be an artist by being a participant?”
— Naoco Wowsugi

“Participation doesn’t mean activity, but it does mean activation or implication.”
— Andros Zins-Browne

What does it mean to participate fully in both art and life? How does listening become active participation? And what about karaoke?!

Featuring artists Andros Zins-Browne and Naoco Wowsugi, this Department of Transformation event explores multiple modalities of participation within an experimental workshop format. Over two hours, the event prototypes different individual and collective interactions, while also opening up a dialogue around the experience itself. Together, participants will move through an interactive talk and subsequent conversation to a sound healing bath, and experimental vocal practice into opportunities for reflection, journaling, discussion, and integration—plus, there’s always a chance of karaoke to close! We would be totally tickled to see you here.

Department of Transformation (D🌏T) is an artist-organized group that mobilizes the power of art and design towards individual, collective, and structural transformation. D🌎T was founded by designer, author, and educator Prem Krishnamurthy and takes shape through workshops, events, publications, and community-based activities (+ karaoke!) around the world.

Andros Zins-Browne, born in New York in 1981, works at the intersection of performance and dance. His work extends choreographic notions into encounters with dancers, nondancers, singers, objects, and texts. Since 2016, his performance Already Unmade where he de-hearses previous works, ‘unmaking’ them, has been presented at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; and Lafayette Anticipations, Fondation Galeries Lafayette, Paris. In 2019, Atlas Unlimited, a series of exhibitions in collaboration with artist Karthik Pandian, was featured at the PERFORMA19 Biennial, New York, and as a series of music videos currently presented on the Criterion Channel. In 2020/21, his work was commissioned for online projects by Danspace Project, the Aspen Art Museum, and Triple Canopy. In 2022, Zins-Browne premiered color a body who flees, a collaborative sound installation and performance series at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Performance remixes include The Tony Cokes Remixes, 10th Berlin Biennale (2018), Dia Art Foundation (2023); See-Saw, MoMA, New York (2019) and Asymmetry 222, Getty Museum, Los Angeles by Simone Forti; as well as Jérôme Bel, 1995 (2020) KADIST, Paris, in collaboration with e-flux (2020). In collaboration with Ley, Kris Lee and a host of co-conspirators, Zins-Browne premiered duel c (River-To-River Festival, 2023) a performance that ascended Outlook Hill on Governors’ Island, in a choreography that stirs towards a commingling of care and violence. Zins-Browne is the recipient of awards from the Goethe-Institut; Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; Ministry of Culture of the Flemish Community; and New York State Council on the Arts.

Naoco Wowsugi is a community-engaged artist who lives and works in Washington, DC. Wowsugi’s cross-disciplinary projects range from portrait photography, participatory performance, and sound healing, to horticulture, exploring the nature of belonging and inclusive community building while they highlight and fortify everyday communal and interpersonal identities. Wowsugi’s art practice blurs the lines between being an artist and an engaged citizen.

Prem Krishnamurthy runs Department of Transformation, an artist-organized group that explores art as an agent of transformation for individuals, communities, and institutions. His multidisciplinary work manifests itself in books, exhibitions, images, performances, publications, systems, talks, texts, and workshops (+ karaoke!). He received the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Communications Design in 2015 and KW Institute for Contemporary Art’s “A Year With…” residency fellowship in 2018. He has curated several large-scale exhibitions including FRONT International 2022: Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows. His book-length epistolary essay, On Letters, was published in 2022. Having previously founded Project Projects and P!, he is currently a partner in the design studio Wkshps.

  • Photo: Paula Court for The Whitney Museum of American Art