Dec 8th 2020


In monthly participatory conversations with members of the Mana Contemporary community, presenters discuss their current projects through the lens of a shared topic—thinking in adaptive, collaborative ways. Viewers are encouraged to jump into the conversation in this open dialogue format.

This month, Anaïs Duplan, chukwumaa, KT Pe Benito, and Tabita Rezaire join us in an audio-only discussion, exploring the forms of alienation and isolation we experience in our current use of technology. Removing the visual components of conversation, this discussion will facilitate a more embodied kind of engagement. Based on research that phone conversations are less likely than Zoom conferencing to cause feelings of alienation, audio-only conversations can better facilitate connection through real-time social cues and mirroring. When we experience digital glitching in video conferencing, it creates a physical feeling of disconnection as well.

This conversation coincides with the recent publication of Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture, the culmination of six years of multidisciplinary research by Duplan. The book investigates the aesthetic strategies used by experimental artists of color since the 1960s to pursue liberatory possibility. Both the book and this discussion address how artists of color use technology to facilitate personal and social freedom. This embodied sonic experience mines the overlaps between intimacy and freedom.

Automatic live captions are available for this program. If you have any accessibility questions please reach out to us at

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