Desirée Holman, Sophont in Action

Saturday, March 18, 2017, 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 19, 2017, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Meet at the entrance at Howard Street

This event has come and gone.

Desirée Holman, Sophont, 2015 (still); photo: Charles Villyard

Join us as Oakland-based artist Desirée Holman unveils a new chapter of Sophont in Action, a processional performance and video piece exploring theosophy, E.T. sightings, New Age mysticism, and California utopias. Originally developed in 2013, Sophont in Action was performed at SFMOMA marking our temporary closure before we went On the Go. As part of the Performance in Progress series, Holman returns to SFMOMA with her cast of Time Travelers, Ecstatic Dancers, and Indigo Children for this special debut performance that invites visitors into the future.

Program notes available here.

Desirée Holman's Sophont in Context

Desirée Holman’s Sophont (2015) is a multichannel video commissioned by SFMOMA’s Performance department for Performance in Progress, a program that invites artists working in live idioms to create new works for the museum space, with an eye to the interests and histories of the Bay Area. Sophont features three groups of performers: Time Travelers, Ecstatic Dancers, and Indigo Children. The term sophont refers to an intelligent being, human or nonhuman, capable of extraordinary reasoning and introspection. It was first used in the science fiction of Poul Anderson to describe such beings. It is also associated with the term “sentient being,” meaning one with the ability to feel and perceive, which arises frequently in Buddhism.

Imagining the Future: Race, Language, and Movement in Performance in Progress

Performance in Progress returns March 16–19, 2017, featuring works by Desirée Holman, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, and Jacolby Satterwhite. All three artists’ performances draw on the visuals and narratives of science fiction and fantasy to imagine alternative futures. Here, the scholar Mark C. Jerng describes the artists’ manifestations of an anti-racist future, LeiLani Nishime ponders race-related questions in Holman’s work specifically, and Naomi Rincón Gallardo and Sophia Wang discuss choreography as language.