All I See Is Blue, a performance by Ariel Jackson and Michael Love, is presented in conjunction with the group exhibition Original Language. The artists activate Jackson's sculptural installation, All I See is Blue, to translate Langston Hughes' 1935 poem "Let America Be America Again." Layering the piece with sound and dance, the performance simultaneously pays homage to Hughes while pointing to similarities between politics relating to American identity between the 1930s and now.
Ariel Jackson’s work explores and transforms gaming, navigational, and domestic systems and diagrams using video, sculpture, and performance. Using chalk, chalkboard, soil, fabric, and found objects, Jackson is interested in how educational signifiers can evoke a creolization of identity. The artist often uses installation to situate her practice into ideas of spatial matters as black matters. In Katherine McKittrick’s Demonic Grounds, McKittrick points to sociological cycle theory which argues that rather than events and stages in society and history progressing linearly, they are progressing in cycles, suggesting repetition and as an outcome remnants of the past. Throughout Jackson’s family’s history, land has been both a permanent reminder of systemic racism, as well as a temporal unfolding of possible transformations and outcomes based on individual and communal actions. Theories and familial conversations about what it means to be creole, material remnants of a life of farming, and a struggle for higher education function as guides to sourcing materials and research.
Michael J Love is an interdisciplinary tap dance artist—a dancer, choreographer, educator, director—and percussinarrative storyteller who creates and curates auralvisual performances that visceralize parts of the Black experience. His original evening-length piece, GON' HEAD AND PUT YOUR RECORDS ON!, the first in The AURALVISUAL MIXTAPE Collection series, premiered in 2017. Michael is also an MFA Candidate in the Performance as Public Practice program in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin where his work and research focus on Black American vernacular dance and culture as well as race and identity politics.