PUSH Dance Company kicks off its 18th home season with grand-opening performances at its new BIPOC Artists Sanctuary home at 447 Minna Street in downtown San Francisco on Sunday, October 15, from 6pm to 8pm. The season will feature the world premiere of Performable Posthumanism, an Artificial Intelligence site-specific dance work by Artistic Director Raissa Simpson and a new work by Associate Artistic Director Ashley Gayle. Celebrated local choreographers Snowflake Calvert’s Seeds/Sequence and Farah Yasmeen Shaikh’s Noorani Dance will join the lineup.
The Sanctuary Grand Opening features site-specific dances on all four levels of the multi-tenant arts hub at the Community Arts Stabilization Trust building and the neighboring Parks at 5M outdoor stage. Tickets are $50, $35, $30, and $15 with a special post-show talk moderated by Bhumi Patel.
For tickets, visit www.pushdance.org/sanctuary
In creating Performable Posthumanism, Simpson examines potential outcomes of AI technology in the judicial system for people of African descent. In particular, the project illuminates the dangers of AI tools and their inevitable biases, discriminatory outcomes and unintelligible decisions for humans caught in the legal system.
The work features technology collaborators including Miles Lassi, jamil nasim, Ryan Wu, Philip Buter, and flying video drone operator John Eric Henry. For Simpson, Performable Posthumanism continues to spark creative interaction with technology tools she first experimented with in the success of a past project titled, Codelining. “To be posthuman and constantly in a state of performing is to be Black because we’re in the multiverse and constantly questioning our identity as we live within systemic racism and algorithms designed to police our speech and bodies,” says Simpson.
The stage for the grand opening is the 447 Minna Building, PUSH Dance Company’s new home. Audiences will surround the performers, creating a feeling of intimate observation and inclusion in the action. Digital projections from above will bathe the performers and parts of the audience in abstracted images from media art. Straight from speculative fiction, Afrofuturism and sci-fi, the technologist and dancers interplay with each other in an immersive landscape.