Emily Johnson and Karyn Recollet: Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter

Come to the Kinstillatory Fire.

With artists Linda La, Sugar Vendil and IV Castellanos.

Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter is hosted, held, and lightly curated by Emily Johnson and Karyn Recollet. The fire is central and communities are invited to GATHER HERE as artists articulate our collective futures, our otherwise possibilities. Fireside, we bring our practices, grammars, needs forward and through the portals fire allows. The fire itself is process, a way to bring us out of the catastrophe of now. Alot is happening in the time/space envelope of the kinstillatory that is care, that is necessary. This is a practice of provocating. This is an offering of seed, of vessel, of protection, of becomingness.

We acknowledge communities on the Lower East Side are in grief and shock. We hold space for the grief, for the violence we experience to transform. We embody collective refusal of violence, always. We take care of we.

Thank you to Ashon Crawley for the embodiment of the otherwise, and Laura Harjo for articulation of the kinspace time envelope.

Abrons welcomes the many artists, thinkers, and activists that participate in Kinstillatory events. Abrons Arts Center takes no position on the East River Park development project or ESCR.

Please make sure to review our COVID-19 safety policies here.


Linda La is an international, multidisciplinary SAG-AFTRA performer, writer, teacher, curator, host, and model from the Boogie Down Bronx, New York. Her experimental sound has been articled in both AFROPUNK and The Fader. Last year, she graciously performed under the direction of Bill T. Jones and Lee Mingwei at the MET and made her return to the stage in the Obie Award-winning The Fire this Time Theater Festival. This year, she made her television film debut in the role of Swan on the finale of the hit series POSE on FX. Currently she resides on Munsee Lenape Land working on her first studio project set to include original music and poetry. Her work can be found on all streaming platforms and archived at the Brooklyn Museum in the “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall” exhibit. Find out more at Lindala.world.

Sugar Vendilis a composer, pianist, choreographer, and interdisciplinary artist based in Lenapehoking, known as Brooklyn. She started her artistic life as a classical pianist, and after spending nearly a decade searching for her own voice, her practice evolved into performances that integrate sound, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano. She writes and performs her own solo music for piano and electronics and has a keyboard/synth duo, Vanity Project, with composer Trevor Gureckis. Vendil is a proud second-generation Filipinx American. Vendil was awarded a 2021 MAPFund grant to support Antonym: the opposite of nostalgia. Recent commissions include Chamber Music America to write a new work for her ensemble, The Nouveau Classical Project, which she founded in 2008; ETHEL’s Homebaked 2019 for Unsacred Geometry, and ACF | Create to write for Box Not Found.

IV is a gender deficient Trans* Queer mx Indige POC Water-Protector-In-Training. One’s work bridges abstract performance art, sculpture and group task based vignettes. The anchor is the futility of labor and generating an action without a ‘purpose’ or with no inherent value; questioning value structures.

Emily Johnson, originally from Alaska, is an artist who makes body-based work and the artistic director of her performance company, Emily Johnson/Catalyst. A Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award, she is based on the Lower East Side of Manahatta in Lenapehoking. Emily is of the Yup’ik Nation and since 1998 has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. She is a land and water protector and an activist for justice, sovereignty, and well-being. Her dances function as portals and installations, engaging audiences within and through space, time, and environment–interacting with a place’s architecture, people, land, history, and role in community. Emily is a co-compiler of the document  Creating New Futures: Guidelines toward Ethics and Equity in the Performing Arts, is developing a Global First Nations Performance Network with colleagues Reuben Roqueni, Ed Bourgeois, Ronee Penoi, Lori Pourier, Vallejo Ganter; and has hosted ceremonial fires in partnership with Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side since 2017.

Karyn Recollet Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is an urban Cree scholar/writer currently living in the Williams Treaty territory, and teaching in the Dish with One Spoon treaty territory. Recollet explores celestial land pedagogies as ‘kinstillatory’ in her work, expressing an understanding of land pedagogy that exceeds the terrestrial. Recollet thinks alongside dance making practices, hip hop, and visual/digital art as they relate to forms of Indigenous futurities and relational practices of being.  Recollet co-writes with dance choreographers and artists engaged in other mediums to expand upon methodologies that consider land relationships and kinship making practices that are going to take us into the future.


Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter was created with funding from The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Image Credit: Ash Gilbertson