Colorlines: "Facing Race Spotlight: Detroit Artist Collective Complex Movements"

Posted on January 18, 2015

Complex Movements at Facing Race 2014

Colorlines interviewed Complex Movements at the recent Facing Race conference. The interview explores the artist collective's interdisciplinary media-based organizing model.

After nearly two decades of rapping around the world, Detroit MC invincible ill weaver* had grown bored with the standard format of hip-hop shows where there’s a rapper who is backed by a DJ or a band and separated from the audience by the steel curtain of a stage. Other members of the Detroit-based artist collective invincible belongs to, Complex Movements, felt the same way. “We were really just sick and tired of the old ways we were doing things,” invincible says of their* co-members, music producer/filmmaker Waajeed, technologist Carlos “L05” Garcia and visual artist Wesley Taylor.

Out of that restlessness came “Beware of the Dandelions,” Complex Movements’ traveling installation that fuses interactive hip-hop performance, visual arts and video projection mapping with community organizing. In each city “Beware of the Dandelions” visits, invincible ill weaver and their crew make connections with local activists and students. The premise, according to its web site, is that “change occurs through critical connections rather than critical mass.” The work of Grace Lee Boggs is a major influence for the project.

Colorlines caught up with the Complex Movements as they were gearing up for a Nov. 14 event in Dallas at Facing Race, the biennial conference held by Colorlines publisher Race Forward. Complex Movements members and “Beware of the Dandelions” producer Sage talked about connecting people, self-expression and art with a purpose. 

Read the full interview here.