Sage Ni’Ja Whitson: Transtraterrestrial


Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 2, 5, and 8PM
Friday, April 7, 2023 at 5 and 8PM


Troy, NY




A figure stoops onstage, looking at brightly colored shapes.

A prequel and premiere of the Unarrival Experiments—Unconcealment Ceremonies.

Transtraterrestrial, a prequel and premiere of The Unarrival Experiments – Unconcealment Ceremonies is a new live performance work by artist Sage Ni’Ja Whitson designed to amplify the dark. In dialogue with Yorùbá Cosmology, Astrophysics, and research on the “blackest black,” the work centers the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy through a Black, Queer, and Transembodied lens. Dark matter and dark energy serve as portals to interrogating spaces of the unknown, yet have an unequivocated impact on the composition of the universe. The performance and its environment takes an audience through an otherworldly dive into the dark. Led by space conductor, Trans Trappist the Extraterrestrial, this work traverses the dark as an ancestor, embodied transgender technology, and cosmic intervention.

Transtraterrestrial happens inside and outside of a custom-built space|ship, which is uniquely designed as a futuristic space vessel covered in painted organic matter. Whitson is working with architect Valery Augustin to realize the first prototype of this space|ship at EMPAC, designed to aid in visualizing darkness while also allowing for the seamless integration of immersive VR, projection, and spatial audio. The space|ship cradles performers and witnesses in encounter, collectivity, medicines, and invisibilities.

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