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

June 16th, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Outside in the amphitheater at Abrons Arts Center. 466 Grand St. Lower East Side, Mannahatta, Lenapehoking.

This fire, the second in a series curated by IV Castellanos is gathering toward and in resistance with people in different points of relationship to direct action and protection. Referring back to one of Emily’s prompts we are asking, how do we orient our cells to justice? In creating a question, what possibilities emerge? 

Following instructions, prompts, questions, drawings, codes offered by artists Jean Carla Rodea, Arantxa Araujo, Vanessa Dion Fletcher and Performance Art Delivery Service collectively activate, imagine, shift, disrupt, tend.

What is the medicine for what has happened here, what will happen, what could happen?

We consider care shared between us  – human and more than human – in kinstillatory relation. We consider the need also to tend, fear, anger, rage. 

We are here to think through thoughts, questions, actions with you and are excited for the possibility of your contribution. 

Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter is an ongoing collaborative project of Karyn Recollet and Emily Johnson.

Photo credit: Maria Baranova

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


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.

IV is a gender deficient Trans* Queer mx Indige POC Water-Protector-In-Training. One’s work bridge’s 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.


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.


This event will take place in the Amphitheater.

The Amphitheater consists of sixteen steps including four distinct landings. Patrons who cannot navigate stairs can only be seated on the upper landing. The Amphitheater can be accessed via an elevator.

Read more about accessibility at Abrons Arts Center