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“Listener” by Kite
Saturday, November 18, 2023,  8 PM
→ Hessel Museum of Art
Admission Info

Kite aka Suzanne Kite is a groundbreaking Oglála Lakĥóta performance artist, visual artist, composer, and scholar—the first American Indian artist to use machine learning in art practice. In the performance Listener (2018–ongoing), Kite brings together older technologies, such as Lakota visual language, with contemporary ones like machine learning.

The site-specific performance Listener speculates a future through Lakota ontology, narratively and physically manifesting a relationship with metals in electronics, performed via an electronic interface woven into hair (hair is sacred to the Lakota). The sonic landscape of the piece includes live police scanners, synthesizers played by the hair, and algorithmically rearranging poetry with a voice speaking of a future landscape, prophecies, dreams, rumors, and the possibilities in listening.

On the arc of the performance, Kite writes, “This is where Listener begins: with a wanderer listening, an Oglala woman, equipped with listening devices, which are passed down from woman to woman. Alone, her devices work in ways she cannot quite understand, they seem to listen farther than technologically possible, beyond time and place. She has a suspicion that she is receiving scrambled transmissions from a good place, but a Far Place. She feels they listen back.”

Kite (Dr. Suzanne Kite) is an award winning Oglála Lakĥóta performance artist, visual artist, composer, and academic, known for her sound and video performance using her machine-learning hairbraid interface. Kite’s practice explores contemporary Lakota ontology through research-creation, computational media, and performance. Kite often works in collaboration with family and community members.

This performance will be streamed and broadcast live on Wave Farm Radio: WGXC 90.7-FM Radio for Open Ears in New York’s Upper Hudson Valley.