Conversations Without Walls: The Dream of the Artist – Danspace Project
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Conversations Without Walls: The Dream of the Artist

Clockwise from top left: mayfield brooks. Photo: Maria Baranova; Silas Riener. Photo: Rashaun Mitchell; iele paloumpis. Photo: courtesy the artist; Ogemdi Ude. Photo: Chidozie Ekwensi; Christopher "Unpezverde" Nunez. Photo: Ian Douglas; Rashaun Mitchell. Photo: Rashaun Mitchell.

Part of Platform 2022: The Dream of the Audience (Part II)

Saturday, April 23, 12pm-1:30pm

*This Conversation Without Walls will take place via Zoom. A link to access the event will be sent to registrants approximately 30 minutes prior to start time. Registration is required to access the link.*

Accessibility: CART captioning will be provided. A phone number will be provided so that the Zoom chat may be accessed audibly. For further inquiry, feedback, or to submit specific access requests, please email

A Platform 2022 opening conversation and catalogue launch with facilitator Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez. This afternoon of conversation between Judy Hussie-Taylor, mayfield brooks, Rashaun Mitchell, iele paloumpis, Silas Riener, and Ogemdi Ude, focuses on the Platform works and the artists’ experience of making work during times of pandemic, precarity, and ambiguity. 

Conversations Without Walls (CWW) was designed to bring together voices of artists, curators, scholars, writers, and more, into long-form roundtable discussions. The content of these conversations are intentionally wide ranging and artist driven—they can provide further context and insight into an artist’s research, reflect on a Danspace Project program, unpack methodologies and practices, or reflect on larger systemic and structural issues that impact artists today. 

mayfield brooks improvises while black and is based in Lenapehoking, the homeland of the Lenape people also known as Brooklyn, New York. brooks is a movement-based performance artist, vocalist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. They are on the faculty at Movement Research NYC and the 2021 recipient of the biennial Merce Cunningham Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. brooks’ dance film, Whale Fall was nominated for a 2021 Bessie Award and they will be a 2022-23 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University this year. brooks is an international teacher and performer whose entire body of work arises from their life/art/movement practice, Improvising While Black or IWB.

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener are New York-based dance artists. Their ongoing work involves the building of collaborative worlds through improvisational techniques, digital technologies, and material construction. Together they have been artists-in-residence at LMCC, Mt Tremper Arts, pieter, Jacob’s Pillow, New York City Center, The Watermill Center, MANCC, Headlands Center for the Arts, BOFFO, New York City Center, The Center for Ballet and the Arts, and Baryshnikov Arts Center. Their work has been commissioned by Danspace Project, Madison Square Park, The Joyce Theater, BAM/Next Wave, The Barbican, EMPAC, The Walker Art Center, MCA Chicago, REDCAT, The Wexner, On The Boards, The LAB, Marfa Sounding, Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, SFMOMA, and MoMA PS1.

(b. Costa Rica, Garífuna descendant) Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez is a Visually Impaired Choreographer and Accessibility Consultant based in NYC. His performances have been presented at The Brooklyn Museum for The Immigrant Artist Biennale, The Kitchen, Movement Research at The Judson Church, The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Battery Dance Festival, Performance Mix Festival, among others. His work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail and The Dance Enthusiast. He has held residencies at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Danspace Project, The Kitchen, Center for Performance Research and Movement Research. Recent collaborations include “Dressing Up for Civil Rights” by William Pope L, presented at MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art and “La Procession” by Nacera Belaza presented at Danspace Project. Núñez was invited by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to share his story as a queer, disabled and formally undocumented artist during Immigrant Heritage Week 2020. Núñez received his green card in 2018 but he continues to be an advocate for the rights of disabled, queer undocumented artists. He holds a BFA in Science in Performing Arts from the National University of Costa Rica.

iele paloumpis is a dance artist, herbalist, astrologer and end of life doula living in Canarsie/Munsee territory in Lenapehoking. iele’s work is rooted in kinesthetic awareness, trauma-informed griefwork, and ancestral re-membrance practices that reflect fragmented lineages across queer, trans and crip aural histories, alongside their Greek, Anatolian and Irish-American diasporic bloodlines. Most recently, iele has been exploring intergenerational trauma and resilience related to centuries of occupation, forced displacement, and eventually the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, known to Greeks as “The Catastrophe.” iele comes from a long line of mystics, and is grateful to have studied with many teachers who have influenced their path. Under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield and Jeffery Bullock, iele received a BA in Dance from Hollins University in 2006. As an end of life doula, they have received certifications from Valley Hospice, Mount Sinai’s Palliative Care Institute, and Deanna Flores Cochran’s Accompanying the Dying program between 2014-16. iele has practiced Tarot since 1995, most recently with the mentorship of Eva Yaa Asantewaa. In summer 2014, iele studied herbology with Rosemary Gladstar, and more recently iele has deepened their connection to ancestral plant medicine across the Mediterranean & SWANA regions with guidance from Layla K. Feghali & SWANA Ancestral. Following in the footsteps of their Anatolian ancestors, iele is mostly a self-taught astrologer, though studying the teachings of Demetra George on Traditional Astrology has been particularly impactful. iele will always be a student of the more-than-human world, and is in endless gratitude to the forests, mountains, rivers, stars and animal-kin who offer so much wisdom. As a disabled, trans, queer survivor from a working class background, iele empathizes across multiple axes of oppression and brings this awareness to their work as an artist, educator, doula and intuitive healer.

Ogemdi Ude is a Nigerian-American dance artist, educator, and doula based in Brooklyn, New York. Her performances focus on Black femme legacies and futures, grief, and memory. She aims to incite critical engagement with embodied Black history as a means to imagine Black futurity. Her work has been presented at Issue Project Room, Recess Art, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Gibney, Center for Performance Research, Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, and for BAM’s DanceAfrica Festival. As an educator, she serves as Head of Movement for Theater at Professional Performing Arts School and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, MIT, and University of the Arts. In collaboration with Rochelle Jamila Wilbun she facilitates AfroPeach, a series of dance workshops and talks birth work specialists for Black postpartum people in Brooklyn. She is a 2021 danceWEB Scholar, 2021 Laundromat Project Artist-in-Residence, and 2021 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement Grantee. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English from Princeton University. 

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