Rena Anakwe: The Cosmology of Water [iter.02]

The Cosmology of Water [iter.02] is an immersive, multi-sensory, healing offering inspired by the element of water. This activation of space and time is part of Rena Anakwe‘s ongoing exploration of a diasporic healing arts practice that incorporates a hybrid of analog and digital creative technologies to bring awareness to the mind and body while exploring the materiality of water within Igbo Cosmology.

Participants will have the opportunity to experience The Cosmology of Water [iter.02] through in-person, virtual, and audio offerings.

The Cosmology of Water [iter.02]: Healing Hotline
Live beginning May 1

Created in collaboration with Johann Diedrick, The Cosmology of Water [iter.02] Healing Hotline is a pre-recorded phone line +1 (805) 900-HEAL (+1-805-900-4325) that one can call to experience audio offerings at any time. Follow the main menu prompts to access a moment of relaxation from the palm of your hand.

The Cosmology of Water [iter.02]: Come to the Water Virtual Video Premiere
May 5, 2021 9:00 AM ET on Abrons IGTV and Abrons Vimeo Channel

The Cosmology of Water [iter.02]: Come to the Water is an audiovisual piece by Rena Anawke and collaborators Lovesbond Uyanwune and Kelley Shih that considers the duality of water as both a life-giving and destructive forceThrough movement, sound, and word, viewers are invited to ‘come to the water’ in this virtual ritual of cleansing and release.

The Cosmology of Water [iter.02]: Care Clinic
May 6, 7, 8, 2021
By Appointment Only [Tickets Available Above]

The Cosmology of Water [iter.02] Care Clinic is an in-person, immersive sound and scent experience that reimagines the necessity of personal and communal care while navigating the complexities of producing live performance in the midst of a global pandemic.  In this by-appointment-only experience hosted in Abrons Experimental Theater, Rena Anakwe will lead guests through an auditory and olfactory journey utilizing tank drums, looping vocal soundscapes, electronic sound elements, and guided meditation.  

Anakwe has also created a Herbal Care Kit, which is included in the Care Clinic ticket cost. The Herbal Care Kit contains different items of plant medicine that can aid in maintaining relaxation and balance after the session has concluded.

Each session will host a maximum of 8 guests in socially distanced fashion. The theater will be aerated and sanitized after each session.

Herbal Care Kit Mutual Aid Initiative

The Cosmology of Water [iter.02] takes place on Mother’s Day weekend. In celebration of those who are mothers in all forms and ways, Rena Anakwe has created Herbal Care Kits and a pre-recorded sound bath for women residents of Henry Street Settlement’s Urban Family Center.

If you would like to support Anakwe’s ongoing Herbal Care Kit Mutual Aid Initiative, make a donation and a kit will be sent to a BIPOC or underserved individual in need.

Venmo: @RenaA
Cash App: $renaanakwe


Rena Anakwe is an interdisciplinary artist and performer working primarily with sound, visuals, and scent. Exploring intersections between traditional healing practices, spirituality and performance, she creates works focused on sensory-based, experiential interactions using creative technology. 

Currently, Rena is a 2020–21 resident of the Abrons Arts Center AIRspace performance program. She was also a 2019 ISSUE Project Room artist-in-residence, a 2019 Abrons Arts Center Sound Series commissioned artist, and a 2018 Signal Culture artist-in-residence. She has collaborated, produced, and shown work at New York City institutions including: Weeksville Heritage Center, Dia Foundation, Fridman Gallery, Knockdown Center, Lincoln Center, MoMA PS1, CultureHub, Pioneer Works, and Montez Press Radio. Most recently, under the moniker A Space for Sound, Anakwe released the first in an ongoing audio series titled “Sound Bath Mixtape vol. 1”, through the New York City-based label and collective PTP.  Rena is based in Brooklyn, New York, by way of Nigeria and Canada. ||

Kelley Shih is a lighting designer, programmer and lighting director for live performance and film/TV. Recent designs: SLOW DOWN & SuperBlue Miami VIP Opening, Le Comte Noir (MSM), The Internet’s Hive Mind World Tour (including Sydney Opera House, London Brixton O2 Academy performances), KYLE at Madison Sq. Garden, Syd’s Always Never Home Tour, Hive Rise (Ashley Fure/Berghain/CTM Music Festival), Together Games (Ensemble Modern/Ashley Fure), and Chris Fleming’s Bobba Everyday Tour.

Lighting Programming: Kesha “Raising Hell’ on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Savage x Fenty Show 2019 (Amazon Streaming), Anderson .Paak Summer Tour 2019, and VFiles Spring 2020 Show (Barclays Center).

Johann Diedrick is an artist, engineer, and musician that makes installations, performances, and sculptures for encountering the world through our ears. He surfaces vibratory histories of past interactions inscribed in material and embedded in space, peeling back sonic layers to reveal hidden memories and untold stories. He shares his tools and techniques through listening tours, workshops, and open-source hardware/software.

He is the founder of A Quiet Life, a sonic engineering and research studio that designs and builds audio-related software and hardware products for delightfully encountering our environment and each other.

Lovesbond Uyanwune is a Seton Hall Alumni and self taught photographer with a passion for film and the creative arts.


The Cosmology of Water [iter.02]  is commissioned by the Abrons Arts Center through the Performance AIRspace Residency, which is supported by the Jerome Foundation.

The 2020-2021 Season at Abrons Arts Center is supported, in part, by generous grants from the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Jerome Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and other generous Henry Street Settlement funders. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image courtesy of Rena Anakwe.