How can art be transformative for individuals, groups, and society? What are strategies that can contribute to collective learning? And what, if anything, does karaoke have to do with this?!
Department of Transformation’s Prem Krishnamurthy explores these and other questions in an experimental talk show to launch the Groundwork residency at Canal Projects. The kick-off event includes a hybrid conversation with poet, artist, and meditation teacher Anaïs Duplan, a collective sound healing session by community-engaged artist and gong practitioner Naoco Wowsugi, as well as other contributions. Operating across different modes—including journaling, mindfulness, small group interactions (+ karaoke!)—Grounding intends to open up a dialogue around polyvocal ways of working in and on the world.
is a trans* poet, curator, and artist. He is the author of the book I NEED MUSIC; Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture; Take This Stallion; and the chapbook, Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus. He was a 2017–2019 joint Public Programs fellow at the MoMA and the Studio Museum in Harlem, and in 2021 received a Marian Goodman fellowship from Independent Curators International for his research on Black experimental documentary. In 2016, he founded the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for artists of color, based at Iowa City’s artist-run organization Public Space One. He is the recipient of the 2021 QUEER|ART|PRIZE for Recent Work, and a 2022 Whiting Award in Nonfiction. Duplan is a professor of postcolonial literature at Bennington College, and has taught poetry at The New School, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and others.
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.\