NO GUTS, NO GALAXY is a weekly series of artist-curated slideshows that expand upon the diverse subjects addressed in RAMMΣLLZΣΣ: Racing for Thunder, such as, the Downtown scene, early hip-hop and performance, Afrofuturism and cosmology, the mythology of Gothic Futurism, and the coercive power of language.
Event Description: The Ramm Riff is a layered experimental composition, part manifesto, part oriki praise song/citation poetry, a call-and-response with The Rammellzee’s Garbage Gods. Led by Black Light Primal Nun “A” through hallowed virtual halls of Gothic Futurism and Afrofuturity, this audience-interactive lecture-performance weaves through space and time to illuminate histories of African-centered masquerade and mythologies; rituals of the body in clay, hair, soil; assemblage and costuming the cosmic android in the detritus of consumer culture; hauntology and becoming Spirit (in the) Machine; language and code systems as weaponized methodologies of decolonization; and the train as vessel of liberation.
D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem is space sculptor whose visual art, writing, performance, and teaching bridge the disciplines of site-specific, ritual, public art, interior design, ecology, and Afro-Futurism. She meticulously constructs fantastical interactive Afri-sci-fi environments and projects to interrogate, titillate, decolonize, and empower, rooted in Sun Ra's transformational legacy, asking "Who controls the future?" Her practice is concerned with themes of incarceration and liberation; surviving and thriving in the apocalyptic landscape; and environmental consciousness.
Duyst-Akpem is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Low-Residency MFA Program, Sculpture Department, Undergraduate Division, and faculty advisor at Career and Professional Experience.She is the founder of Denenge Design and In The Luscious Garden, a new initiative focused on holistic and conceptual approaches to human-centered design. She has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally along with many interviews and articles for television, radio, print, and digital platforms, and is the recipient of the SAIC Diversity Advisory Group inaugural 2016 Teaching Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion and a 2014 NEH Fellowship in Black Aesthetics and Sacred Systems. Duyst-Akpem received her MFA from SAIC and BA from Smith College. www.denenge.net @DenengeTheFirst
Photo Credit: D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem as Black Light Primal Nun "A" for The Ramm Riff, 2018. Photo credit: Tonika Johnson.