niv Acosta, i shot denzel, 2014. Performance: New York Live Arts. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Ian Douglas
In his new performance DISCOTROPIC (2015), niv Acosta explores the relationship between science fiction, disco, astrophysics, and the black American experience. Reflecting the artist’s interest in the role of black women in sci-fi history, DISCOTROPIC is inspired by actor Diahann Carroll, who starred in the TV movie Star Wars Holiday Special (1978). Cast by NBC at the behest of donors and audience members, who insisted that a black person appear on the show, Carroll appears only as a holographic fantasy—an illusion that distills the ways in which the black female body has been consumed in mass media: as alien, bodacious, and marginalized. Acosta’s DISCOTROPIC reconsiders past futures, like those in Star Wars, while claiming a fantastical site of possibility through a cast whose imaginative engagement with science fiction rewrites its dominant narratives. Assembled by Acosta on the basis of shared interests in queer politics and Afrofuturism, the performers include Monstah Black, Alexandro Segade, André D. Singleton (aka Brohogany Opulence), and Acosta himself.
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