D.R.E.A.M. = A WAY TO AFRAM (DIFFRACTION + RESTORATION + ELECTROMAGNETIC ANALOGUE OF MASS = A WAY TO AFRAM) is a formulaic method of representing the expansion of the universe to reveal safe spaces for all Black beings to be in their bodies. Harris considers two dream spheres colliding: Black people resting in peace, merging with the sounds of the Earth’s dreams.
Using sound, video, soft sculptures, and elements of performance, Harris will engage in AFRAMATIC actions and revival technologies to share how compositional theory D.R.E.A.M. = A WAY TO AFRAM can be used as a direct pathway to liberation. This D.R.E.A.M. formula explores how sound can awaken dormant potentials in our DNA. Participants are invited to slow down and rest in a bed of sonic rejuvenation.
D.R.E.A.M. = A WAY TO AFRAM is about imagineering various technologies and applied sciences to continue the ancestral practice of creating safe places for Black people to exist abundantly on this planet and beyond. Similar to the ways in which Black inventors created spirituals, blues, trance, and house music to transport to different dimensions as a means of joy and survival, D.R.E.A.M. = A WAY TO AFRAM investigates the alchemical compounds of wave patterns, abstract movement, rhythm, and dream sounding to activate a network of portals around the world.
The project will feature visual collaboration with interdisciplinary artist, Alisha B. Wormsley, developed through a series of site-specific performances between 2021 and 2023.
INSTALLATION ON VIEW
Wednesday, September 6 – Saturday, September 9, 1 – 6 PM
Enjoy light refreshments and preview the installation with the artists on-site, Wednesday, September 6, 5 – 6 PM
Sonic benediction in honor of awakening the AFRAM portal within. Li Harris with Michelle Coltrane, Joy Guidry, Houston Boychoir and Abijan Johnson.
Thursday, September 7, 8 PM, Doors open 7:30 PM *Sold out – limited sales at door
Friday, September 8, 8 PM, Doors open 7:30 PM *Sold out – limited sales at door
Pay-what-you-wish, $25 suggested. All are welcome.
OPEN LAB – WORKSHOPS
Interactive sound experience & research-based workshop featuring Li Harris & Alisha Wormsley. These workshops will feature live performances and on-site filming.
Saturday, September 9, 11 – 1 PM
Saturday, September 9, 2 – 4 PM
Free admission with registration. All are welcome.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
LI(SA E.) HARRIS
Li(sa E.) Harris “Li” is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, creative soprano, performer-composer, improviser, researcher, educator, and cultural producer from Houston, Texas. Her work considers the energetic relationships between body, land, spirit, and place. While exploring intuition, (per)sonification, movement, dream, and psychic activations, Harris maintains a focused concentration on healing in performance. Her debut LP, Life and That, combines original art songs with transcendent studio-recorded improvised first takes. Harris appeared in the world premiere of The Nubian Word for Flowers, a Phantom Opera by Pauline Oliveros and IONE. She is the founder and creative director of Studio Enertia, an arts collective and production company in Houston, which recently produced Harris’s 10-year durational work, Cry of the Third Eye, that archives the effects of redevelopment and the displacing of Black people and culture in her Houston neighborhood. In 2018, Harris created and curated Houston’s inaugural Free Time Flow Festival at MacGregor Park, celebrating the intersections of basketball, electro-acoustic music, improvisation, and creative expression. She is also responsible for instating and curating Pauline Oliveros Day at Discovery Green Houston. Harris is the recipient of several honorable awards, including a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is a guest lecturer at Harvard University’s Department of Music and a research fellow at Harvard ArtLab. Harris would like to thank God, her mother, loved ones, and ancestors for their continuous inspiration and love.
ALISHA B. WORMSLEY
Alisha B. Wormsley (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer. Her work contributes to the imagining of the future of arts, science, and technology through the black womxn lens, challenging contemporary views of modern American life through whichever medium she feels is the best form of expression, creating an object, a sculpture, a billboard, performance, or film and thrives in collaboration. Her work has been exhibited widely. Most recently, the Oakland Museum, VCUArts Qatar, Speed Museum, Artpace, Times Square Arts and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Over the last few years, Wormsley has designed several public art initiatives including Streaming Space, a 24 foot pyramid with video and sound installed in Pittsburgh’s downtown and several park designs. Wormsley created a public program out of her work, There Are Black People In the Future, which gives mini-grants to open up discourse around displacement and gentrification and was also awarded a fellowship with Monument Lab and the Goethe Institute. In 2020, Wormsley launched an art residency for Black creative mothers called Sibyls Shrine, which has received two years of support from the Heinz Endowments. Wormsley was awarded a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship with longtime collaborator Li Harris. An Awardee of the Sundance Interdisciplinary grant, Carol Brown Achievement award among others. Wormsley has an MFA in Film and Video from Bard College and currently is a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University.
D.R.E.A.M. = A WAY TO AFRAM is supported in part by an Arts Projects Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
D.R.E.A.M. = A WAY TO AFRAM is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by DiverseWorks in partnership with Ballroom Marfa. This project is additionally supported by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the ArtLab at Harvard. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information: www.npnweb.org
The project is further expanded into space in unlit: sof landin, Harris’s current sonic exhibition at Ballroom Marfa, on view until September 16, 2023. There will be a special performance of D.R.E.A.M. = A WAY TO AFRAM at Ballroom Marfa featuring Harris and Burniss Earl Travis II on September 2nd.
On ViewWednesday, September 6 - Saturday, September 9
Opening ReceptionWednesday, September 6
5 - 6 PM
Performances $25 suggested
MATCH – Matchbox 3
3400 Main Street
Houston, TX 77002