Complex Movements awarded Meadows Prize, begins Community Residency in Dallas, Texas

Posted on February 19, 2015

On Friday, Feb 20, Complex Movements will begin a 10-day residency at the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU in Dallas, Texas. Complex Movements’ residency is supported by the Meadows Prize Award “for pioneering artists and creative professionals who are active in one or more disciplines represented by the academic units within the Meadows School.”

Listed below are the public events and activities of the Complex Movements community residency. Complex Movements looks forward to deeply connecting with Dallas communities and exchanging stories and strategies with Detroit. Read more about Complex Movements' approach to community engagement here.

Complex Movements is a Detroit-based artist collective developing interactive performance work that illuminates connections between complex science and social justice movements to support the transformation of communities. The collective is comprised of graphic designer/fine artist Wesley Taylor; music producer/filmmaker Waajeed; lyricist/organizer Invincible; and multimedia artist/performance systems architect Carlos Garcia. Their work draws on multiple disciplines, including community organizing, design, music, architecture, storytelling, multimedia art and theater.

For their Meadows Prize project, Complex Movements will collaborate with the Dallas community and Meadows School on a week-long residency in February. Complex Movements will return to Dallas in October for a four-week presentation of Beware of the Dandelions in Dallas’s Fair Park.

Beware of the Dandelions is a performance-based installation that also functions as a workshop space and a visual arts exhibition. Participant activity occurs inside a 400-square-foot polyhedron pod structure designed in collaboration with Detroit-based architect Aaron Jones to create an immersive visual and sound experience. Beware of the Dandelions is built upon an original science-fiction parable about a post-apocalyptic community trying to create change. The parable is told through projections, music and interactive elements.

Components of the installation are shaped and co-presented by a cohort of Dallas community members to give the work a unique local resonance. The cohort touring model is designed in collaboration with cultural strategist and producer Sage Crump. Complex Movements seeks to raise the visibility of local issues and social justice-based art and activism.

Complex Movements is pleased to welcome special guest Knoxx as part of the residency at SMU. Knoxx is an Ojibwe/Anishinaabe & Xicano emcee, music producer, motion picture artist, digital media artist, and community cultural worker, based in Southwest Detroit.

Dallas Community Residency Events

Panel Discussion on the Arts in Inner City Communities with Refa One and Complex Movements

Saturday February 21, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. at St. Philip’s School and Community Center, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in South Dallas. 

RSVP on Facebook.

St. Philip’s School and Community Center’s PSA, in partnership with SMU’s Meadows Arts and Urbanism Initiative, will host a dynamic panel discussion on THE ARTS IN INNER CITY COMMUNITIES on Saturday, February 21st at 1 PM. The event will take place at St. Philip’s, a seven decade institution located in and serving South Dallas. This discussion is being held in conjunction with a community mural project St. Philip’s is spearheading with members of South Dallas’ Forest Heights Neighborhood through a GrowSouth grant, awarded last year.

Oakland muralist/educator/activist and founder of AEROSOUL, an international African Diaspora Spray Can Art Movement, Refa One, has been commissioned for the mural project that is being created with Dallas artist, Chris Herod, and residents of the Forest Heights Neighborhood. This includes youth and adults. The mural was conceptualized by elders in the community. The unique mobile mural that will be painted in March will officially be unveiled in May and feature live performances of past and current resident stories of this South Dallas neighborhood bordered by Highway 45, Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, and Lamar Street.

Iv Amenti Holmes, a Dallas writer/performance artist/educator, will moderate the panel that will include Complex Movements, Dallas artist Emmanuel Gillespie, and Chris Herod. The event is FREE and open to the public. St. Philip’s School and Community Center is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in South Dallas.

Movement Memory Mapping skillshare and strategy session

Saturday February 21, 3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at St. Philip’s School and Community Center, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in South Dallas.

Space is limited. Please click here to RSVP.

Movement Memory Mapping is a form of oral history collection through audio and video that helps document and pass on the often overshadowed and untold stories of community resistance and resilience. This session will be an opportunity for participants to explore Movement Memory Mapping in these ways:

• Collectively define the purpose and value of collecting community stories.
Learn about projects in Detroit, Dallas, and beyond, that are connecting story collecting and creative strategies for social justice movement building.

Practice hands on skills for media based story collection.

Generate questions to ask together through conversations and interviews.

Develop strategies for how to apply these ideas to support ongoing community led work in Dallas.

Through this process we will form a team of Story Seed Savers to collect stories on an ongoing basis. These stories will be integrated into Complex Movements' Beware of the Dandelions and collectively owned by Dallas community members to incorporate into community story-collecting and archiving projects.

This event is sponsored by SMU Meadows Arts and Urbanism Initiative. More info and RSVP on Facebook

Event Horizon: Dallas to Detroit (a creative exchange of stories from our home)

Friday, February 27, 9:00 p.m. - 12:00 midnight at the Pan African Connection, 828 4th Ave., Dallas.

Hosted by Complex Movements and Studology 101

Featuring performances by

  • Jeedo X (Complex Movements, Dirt Tech Reck)
  • Du Shekere
  • AP
  • Knoxx
  • and more!

    This event is all ages. This event is not wheelchair accessible (2nd floor walk up).

    $5 Suggested donation to Pan African Connection. Sponsored by SMU Meadows Arts & Urbanism Initiative. RSVP on Facebook.

    Complex Movements Creative Collaboration Skillshare
    Saturday February 28, 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 South Fitzhugh Avenue, Dallas.

    Space is limited. RSVP here.

    Detroit based artist collective Complex Movements will facilitate a hands-on skill-sharing workshop that connects art, social justice, and collaboration across creative mediums. Building upon the themes embedded in Mississippi Goddamn and Beware of the Dandelions, participants will explore how principles of science and social justice are used to create artistic work.

    The session will include a focus on lyrics/songwriting, sound design/production, and graphic design/animation. Participants will leave with new skills, ideas, and practices that can be used to transform community conditions.

    More info on Facebook.

    Mississippi Goddamn: A New Play by Jonathan Norton

    Saturday February 28, 8:00 p.m. at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 South Fitzhugh Avenue, Dallas.

    Tickets are $5 - $20 and may be purchased here

    Explore the complexity of social justice movements by attending a performance of Mississippi Goddamn.

    Jonathan Norton's new play, examines the tensions and complications among neighbors in the years leading up to the 1963 assassination of Medgar Evers. Set against the backdrop and changing times of civil rights era Mississippi, you don't want to miss this powerful, riveting and profoundly moving play.  Mississippi Goddamn features Tyrees Allen, Stormi Demerson, Calvin Gabriel, Jamal Sterling and Ashley Wilkerson. Directed by Vickie Washington.

    Mississippi Goddamn is a commission of the Diaspora Performing Arts Commissioning Program, a project of the South Dallas Cultural Center. This project is made possible with generous support from South Dallas Cultural Center, National Endowment for the Arts, and Texas Commission on the Arts and the Mid America Arts Alliance. South Dallas Cultural Center is a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.