The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of the Arts (presenter) welcomes Rashaad Newsome as the Spring 2019 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence. Newsome’s residency is hosted by the Art Department with Professor Stephen Hilyard as lead faculty. Co-sponsors include the Dance Department, First Wave Learning Community, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the Chazen Museum of Art. The UW–Madison Division of the Arts’ Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program brings innovative artists to campus to teach semester-long, interdepartmental courses and to publicly present their work for campus and community audiences and is funded through the university’s Office of the Provost.
Rashaad Newsome is a multidisciplinary artist whose work blends several practices together including collage, sculpture, film, music, computer programming and performance, to form an altogether new field. Newsome’s work is deeply invested in how images used in media and popular culture communicate distorted notions of power.
During his residency at UW–Madison, Newsome will teach “The Gesture of Collage as Practice.” Newsome will utilize his interdisciplinary art practice as a way to engage students in a wide range of collaging strategies including creative coding, sound, video and performance, while exploring current discourses on race, sexuality, gender, performance and art history. Guest artists include Hitmakerchinx and Frances Wang and both of them will work with the students in the course. Hitmakerchinx will discuss his work as a DJ and emerging producer and will be joined by two dancers demonstrating flex dancing on Friday, March 1 from 6-7:30 p.m. at 549 Lathrop Hall (1050 University Ave., Madison). The final residency event is scheduled for Thursday, April 18 in the evening. Both events are free and open to the public. Visit go.wisc.edu/newsome for more details.
RASHAAD NEWSOME | rashaadnewsome.com
Rashaad Newsome utilizes collage, sculpture, film, music, computer programming and performance, to form an altogether new field. Newsome’s work is deeply invested in how images used in media and popular culture communicate distorted notions of power. He draws attention to the contributions that marginalized communities, whose culture is often absorbed and co-opted by mainstream advertising platforms, have made to pop culture and society in general. Through his visually engaging interdisciplinary work, Newsome explores the complexities of social power structures and questions of agency. Using the diasporic tradition of improvisation, he crafts compositions that surprise in their associative potential and walk the tightrope between intersectionality, social practice and abstraction.
At the heart of Newsome’s practice is the tenacity and resilience of marginalized communities to create globally celebrated cultural productions, despite living within what scholar bell hooks calls the ‘capitalist, imperialist, white supremacist patriarchy.’ His work speaks to the power of the human spirit to reinvent and transform itself as evidenced in the Black and Queer cultural practices referenced and abstracted throughout the work.
Newsome lives and works in New York City. He was born in 1979 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received a bachelor of fine art in art history at Tulane University in 2001. In 2004, he received a certificate of study in Digital Post Production from Film/Video Arts Inc. and in 2005 he studied MAX/MSP Programming at Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center, both in New York City. He has exhibited and performed in galleries, museums, institutions and festivals throughout the world including The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum and MoMA PS1 – all in New York City, National Museum of African American History and Culture (DC), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), New Orleans Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow) and MUSA (Vienna).
Newsome’s work is in numerous public collections including The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, SFMOMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, McNay Art Museum (San Antonio), Chazen Museum of Art (Madison, WI) and New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain, CT). In 2010 he participated in the Whitney Biennial and in 2011 the Greater New York at MoMA PS1. His many honors and awards include a 2019 BAVC MediaMaker Fellowship, a 2018 William Penn Foundation grant, the 2018/2019 Live Feed Creative Residency at New York Live Arts, the 2017/2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, 2017 Rush Philanthropic Arts Gold Rush Award, 2014 Headlands Center for the Arts’ Artist in Residence program, a 2011 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, a 2010 Urban Artist Initiative Individual Artist Grant and a 2009 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant.
Hitmakerchinx is an American dancer, DJ and record producer from New York City who currently resides in Los Angeles. After first emerging in Brooklyn’s Caribbean neighborhoods, Flex Dance Music (FDM), the all-in-one dance and music movement championed by Nicki Minaj, Madonna and Omarion, is poised to have its biggest year yet. One of FDM’s breakout stars is producer/dancer Hitmakerchinx, who has worked with Rihanna (who had him on her Anti World Tour) to Rashaad Newsome, who collaborated with him on the score for his critically acclaimed film “STOP PLAYING IN MY FACE!” FDM was originally produced to soundtrack Brooklyn flexing dance battles, with its bone-breaking, gliding and contorted movements, indebted to Jamaican Bruk Up – it is not only visually breathtaking, but also sonically infectious, thanks to beats grounded in 1990s reggae and dancehall. Considered by many to be the dark, pulsing cousin of reggae lite, above all it’s a larger movement that puts real Brooklyn-bred culture into the spotlight.
Frances Wang is an interdisciplinary artist, creative technologist and a full-stack developer who encourages expression through art, performance and the experience of both physical and virtual lives. She received a master of music in music technology from NYU and a bachelor of arts in multimedia design from Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK. Her projects have been shown at 3LD Art + Technology Center, FILE Festival, ISEA, Made in NY Media Center by IFP, Harvestworks, Wassaic Project, Maker Faire New York, CultureHub, The Firehouse Space, Make Music New York festival, NordiCHI (The Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction “HCl”) and the International Conference on Live Interfaces in Portugal.