New York, NY…New Museum’s Department of Education and Public Engagement presents “NIC Kay: #blackpeopledancingontheinternet,” the Museum’s second online artist residency, which foregrounds the department’s year-round commitment to contemporary art and growth through inquiry. Artist NIC Kay will develop and present a new multi-platform movement piece, dance video, and sonic environment through this residency, which extends from June 1 to September 15, 2021.
NIC Kay is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, and conceptual choreographer who works with movement to explore relationality and yearning. They employ choreography to excavate relationships between spaces, bodies, and objects in order to shift meanings and change perceptions of place. NIC works site-specifically, informed by architecture and the inner workings of performative spaces—theaters, galleries, nightclubs, sidewalks, and the internet—to create moments of glitch, interruption, or pause. In the course of their practice, NIC has made durational performances, evening-length dances, experimental theater, performances for the internet, an artist book, sonic interventions, installations, and sculpture.
Building from their personal archive and research practice, NIC’s residency at the New Museum will be a new development of #blackpeopledancingontheinternet, an ongoing inquiry into the creation, documentation, and circulation of African diasporic dance/movement practices, house and techno music, and Black and queer internet cultures. NIC began using the internet in 1998—as part of the generation whose first social media accounts were on Myspace—and they continue to be fascinated by how these practices manifest through everchanging social media platforms, including YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Vine, Triller, Twitter, and TikTok.
Through #blackpeopledancingontheinternet NIC explores ways that Black online communities have engaged in transcultural exchange of dance, movement, and music, claiming and maneuvering the internet as a space for visible, culturally coded play, political organization, and innovation.
They are particularly interested in the ways that internet platform design alters and influences textual and movement-based languages, ultimately shaping how content is expressed, framed, and witnessed through media such as video, images, texts, and GIFs; how bodies are compressed and expanded; how blackness can subvert and infiltrate virtual space; and how meaning is made, co-opted, and reclaimed.
NIC’s deep attention to digitally-mediated movement will manifest in three parts throughout the residency: a multi-platform, online movement work; a dance film; and a curated series of public programs. The programs will include the premiere of their newly commissioned video, keep at it, with an artist talk to follow; a movement workshop Dancing for the Internet, facilitated by NIC; and Sonic Situation, a two-hour online DJ set with echoes of the internet past and present.
“NIC Kay: #blackpeopledancingontheinternet,” the New Museum’s 2021 artist in residence program, is organized by Emily Mello, Associate Director of Education, and Andrew An Westover, Keith Haring Director of Education and Public Engagement.