Particle and Wave: A Conversation
In a roving, shimmering conversation that took place in May 2021, scholar, poet, and activist Alexis Pauline Gumbs and playwright, songwriter, performance artist, and educator Daniel Alexander Jones discuss love as a foundational principle of artistic practice and societal change. Reflecting on Love Like Light, Daniel Alexander Jones's collection of seven plays and performance texts (published by 53rd State in July 2021), DAJ and APG illuminate the ways in which an attention to care, community, nuance, invitation, perceptual particularities, and embodied conditions can resist the profoundly extractive context in which life is lived and art is made. As they discuss the work of Audre Lorde, Billie Holiday, Beah Richards, Bayard Rustin, and Malcolm X, as well as that of DAJ's grandma Daisy Mae and APG's grandmother, aunt, and niece, DAJ and APG propose that love, like light, suffuses everything, and that love, like light, creates a field in which transformation, justice, healing, and radical beauty are not just possible--they are already, now.
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About the Author
Daniel Alexander Jones exemplifies the artist as energy worker. Jones's boundless body of work includes performance pieces, plays, essays, recorded music, digital media, and teaching. Daniel was named the 2021 PEN America/Laura Pels Awardee in Theatre and has been a Doris Duke Artist, an Alpert Award recipient, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Creative Capital grantee among many other accolades. His work has premiered at The Public, Soho Rep, Penumbra Theatre Company, Pillsbury House Theatre, and Frontera @ Hyde Park Theatre. His latest work, Aten is produced by CalArts Center for New Performance. www.aten.life
Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a queer black trouble-maker and a black feminist love evangelist. She walks in the legacy of black lady school teachers in post slavery communities who offered sacred educational space to the intergenerational newly free in exchange for the random necessities of life. As the first person to do archival research in the papers of Audre Lorde, June Jordan and Lucille Clifton while achieving her PhD in English, Africana Studies and Women's Studies at Duke University, she honors the lives and creative works of Black feminist geniuses as sacred texts for all people. She believes that in the time we live in, access to the intersectional holistic brilliance of the black feminist tradition is as crucial as learning how to read.