Montez Press Radio "Instruments of the Black Gooey University On Air" graphic presented by The Kitchen. Courtesy of Montez Press Radio.

The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency x Simons Foundation x School for Poetic Computation

Instruments of the Black Gooey Universe On Air

On View: September 25-September 29, 2023 and archived on

As part of The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency x Simons Foundation x SFPC, a four-part radio series will air in partnership with Montez Press Radio as an intersection with the radio platform's own 12-month residency with The Kitchen.

Residency primary researchers and advisors will host four radio segments with invited collaborators to discuss topics related to their ongoing research and materials within The Kitchen’s archive. The series will feature Zainab Aliyu, American Artist, Sharmi Basu, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Jessica Hagedorn, Kumi James, Amirtha Kidambi, Taylor Levy, Romi Ron Morrison, Mendi + Keith Obadike, Rajna Swaminathan, Asha Tamarisa, Che-Wei Wang, and Layla Zami and Oxana Chi. Each conversation will touch on themes related to influence and the avant-garde, approaches to sonic improvisation, the boundaries between reproduction and repetition, and more.

Select events in the Instruments of the Black Gooey Universe On Air series will be available to attend in-person, in addition to their airing as episodes on Montez Press Radio. All will be archived and available to listen to, on-demand, at after they broadcast.

This radio series is organized as part of The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency x Simons Foundation x School for Poetic Computation and The Kitchen x Montez Press Radio's 12-month Residency.


Lillian-Yvonne Bertram and Jessica Hagedorn In Conversation

Live Broadcast from Montez Press Radio (46 Canal Street, New York, NY 10014)

September 25, 7pm EDT

Free with RSVP

The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency Primary Researcher Lillian-Yvonne Bertram joins artist Jessica Hagedorn for a conversation about how artists use—or talk about using—technology in performance. Centering on the performance Class at The Kitchen in 2000 by the interdisciplinary trio Thought Music (Robbie McCauley, Laurie Carlos, and Hagedorn)—which was detailed in The Kitchen's press release as a piece in which the characters "use video and computers to exchange dialogue, gossips and poetry"— Bertram and Hagedorn discuss the extent to which such descriptions align with the nature of the performance and the reasons discrepancies might exist between language and reality.

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram and Jessica Hagedorn in Conversation

American Artist, Zainab Aliyu, Taylor Levy and Che-Wei Wang Explore The Black Gooey Universe

Airing on Montez Press Radio September 26 at 7pm EDT

As the collective in residence for the 2022–2023 Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency, The School For Poetic Computation has been investigating the technological, social, and archival import of “the Black Gooey Universe,” a concept that American Artist developed to describe a dimension of computer technology that posits Blackness as neutral, or as the backdrop of virtual creation. The expanded theme created by SFPC for the residency, “Instruments of the Black Gooey Universe,” explores this idea through physical computing, musicology, and notation. In this discussion, SFPC Co-Directors and The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency advisors American Artist and Zainab Aliyu and SFPC educators and The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency advisors Taylor Levy and Che-Wei Wang invite listeners to learn more about the questions that inspired the residency’s thematic.

American Artist, Zainab Aliyu, Taylor Levy and Che-Wei Wang Explore The Black Gooey Universe

Roundtable Discussion and Performance: Romi Ron Morrison In Conversation with Kumi James, Mendi + Keith Obadike, and Layla Zami and Oxana Chi

In-person Event at Collapsable Hole (155 Bank St, New York, NY 10014)

September 27, 7pm EDT

Free with RSVP

Airing on Montez Press Radio September 28, 6pm EDT

The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency primary researcher Romi Ron Morrison hosts a roundtable discussion with artist Kumi James and the collaborative duos of Mendi + Keith Obadike and Layla Zami and Oxana Chi that will explore Morrison’s research on the graphic scores and personal life of Julius Eastman. To culminate their residency with The Kitchen, Morrison will create a graphic score inspired by their research on Eastman’s use of graphic notation: the artist has commissioned this group of invited artists to develop a composition in response to their forthcoming score. On September 27 at the Collapsable Hole, Morrison will host an in-person conversation about the project with the contributing artists, followed by a collaborative, movement-based performance by Zami and Chi. A recording of the program will air on Montez Press Radio the following day, September 28, at 6pm EDT.

Song Book: The Quotient of Desire

Roundtable Discussion with Sharmi Basu, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Amirtha Kidambi, Rajna Swaminathan, and Asha Tamirisa

Airing on Montez Press Radio September 27, 7pm EDT

The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency primary researcher Asha Tamirisa presents a roundtable conversation that expands understandings of the influence of the Global South on sonic arts presented at The Kitchen in its first decade. Facilitated by Tamirisa, the discussion will feature artist-researchers Sharmi Basu, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Amirtha Kidambi, and Rajna Swaminathan.

Counter-Archiving the Avant-Garde


American Artist (they/them) makes thought experiments that mine the history of technology, race, and knowledge production, beginning with their legal name change in 2013. Their artwork primarily takes the form of sculpture, software, and video. Artist is a recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Visual Art and a Creative Capital grantee. They are a former resident of Smack Mellon, Red Bull Arts Detroit, Abrons Art Center, Recess, EYEBEAM, Pioneer Works, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. They have exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Modern Art; Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; and Nam June Paik Center, Seoul. Their work has been featured in New York Times, Cultured, Artforum, and Art in America. Artist is a co-director of the School for Poetic Computation and a core faculty at Yale.

Zainab "Zai" Aliyu (she/her) is a Nigerian-American artist and cultural worker living in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn, NY). Her work contextualizes the cybernetic and temporal entanglement embedded within societal dynamics to understand how all socio-technological systems of control are interconnected, and how we are all materially implicated through time. She draws upon her body as a corporeal archive and site of ancestral memory to craft counter-narratives through sculpture, video, installation, built virtual environments, printed matter, archives, and community-participatory (un)learning. Zai is currently a co-director of the School for Poetic Computation, design director for the African Film Festival at the Film at Lincoln Center in NYC and was recently a fellow at NYU Tisch's Future Imagination Collaboratory. Her work has been shown at Lincoln Center (NYC), Museum of Modern Art Library (NYC), Miller ICA (Pittsburgh), the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (Hong Kong), Casa do Povo (São Paulo, Brazil), Aktuelle Architektur der Kulturimages (Murcia, Spain), Pocoapoco (Oaxaca, Mexico) among others.

Sharmi Basu (they/them) is a multimedia performance artist, curator, composer, and arts organizer born and based in the unceded territories of Chochenyo Ohlone peoples, also known as Oakland, CA. They create sound and performance pieces that address vulnerability, accountability, and experiences of diaspora by creating new narratives for decolonial thinking toward individual and collective liberation. Their primary performance project, Beast Nest, shows us that the abstract and immaterial experiences of trauma can be transformed through the process of creation in art and sound. They believe that transcending the emotional landscape through active presence is the key to accessing multidimensionality and work with these ideas in their Sound and Liberation workshops, their curatorial projects, and their BIPOC improvisation group, the Mara Performance Collective. They received their MFA from Mills College and have hosted a number of workshops internationally that center on sound healing, decolonization, and conflict & accountability, as well as technical skill-shares. They have performed for SFMOMA, YBCA, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Cluster Festival, Ableton Loop, the International Symposium of Improvised Music, Soundwave SF, Human Resources LA, and many other spaces throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. They have exhibited work at Coaxial, Southern Exposure, SOMArts, Counterpulse, Gray Area, and the Smithsonian.

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (they/them) is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection Negative Money (Soft Skull, 2023) and the poetry collection Travesty Generator (Noemi Press, 2019), winner of the 2018 Noemi Press Poetry Prize and finalist for the National Poetry Series. Travesty Generator received the 2020 Poetry Society of America Anna Rabinowitz Prize for interdisciplinary and venturesome work. Bertram is also the author of Personal Science (Tupelo Press, 2017); a slice from the cake made of air (Red Hen Press 2016); and But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise (Red Hen Press, 2012), chosen by Claudia Rankine as the winner of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award. Bertram’s other publications include the chapbook cutthroat glamours (Phantom Books, 2012), the artist book Grand Dessein (commissioned by Container Press), and Tierra Fisurada, a Spanish poetry chapbook published in Argentina (Editoriales del Duende, 2002). They collaborated with the artist Laylah Ali for the exhibition booklet of her 2017 art show The Acephalous Series. Bertram’s honors include a 2017 Harvard University Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Grant; a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship; finalist nomination for the 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship; and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Cave Canem, and others. Bertram holds a Ph.D. in Literature & Creative Writing from the the University of Utah, along with degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (he/him) is a contemporary artist, researcher, and writer. Chattopadhyay produces works for large-scale installations and live performance addressing contemporary issues of environment and ecology, migration, race, and decoloniality. His works have been widely exhibited, performed, or presented across the globe. Chattopadhyay has an expansive body of scholarly publications in artistic research, media theory and aesthetics in leading peer-reviewed journals. He is the author of four books: The Nomadic Listener (2020), The Auditory Setting (2021), Between the Headphones (2021), and Sound Practices in the Global South (2022). Chattopadhyay holds a PhD in Artistic Research and Sound Studies from the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, and is currently a Visiting Professor at the Critical Media Lab, Basel, Switzerland.

Oxana Chi (she/her) is a Nigerian-German dancer, choreographer, curator, writer, filmmaker, educator, and trendsetter. Her work explores how our present is built upon in/visible remnants from the past, and its porous relation to our futures. Her rich multidisciplinary repertoire includes commissioned works for Humboldt-University (Berlin) and for the Leo-Baeck-Institute (NYC/Berlin). International tour history includes Jack Crystal Theater at NYU, Volksbühne Berlin, HAU, Societätstheater Dresden, Delhi International Queer Theatre & Film Festival, SIPA Festival Surakarta, University of Ghana, Goldsmith University, among many others. Honors, residencies and awards include: PSi 2023 Bursary, Abrons Arts Center AIRspace Grant 2017-2018, Ambassador of Peace DOSHIMA 2016, and being listed in The Dance Enthusiast’s A to Z of People Who Power the Dance World (NYC 2018). Her choreography and film works are discussed in several publications and university syllabi. She was a Curator for the International Human Rights Art Festival and a guest faculty in the Dance Department at NYU.

Jessica Hagedorn (she/her) was born and raised in the Philippines and came to the United States in her early teens. Her novels include Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love, and Dogeaters, winner of the American Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Award. Hagedorn is also the author of Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, and the editor of three anthologies: Manila Noir (2013), Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction (1993) and Charlie Chan Is Dead 2: At Home In The World (2004). Honors and prizes include The Rome Prize for Literature, The Idea Award from the Adams and Reisch Foundation, a Guggenheim Fiction Fellowship, a Philippine National Book Award, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. She is presently working on a musical play about the pioneering, all-female rock band, Fanny.

Kumi James (she/her), aka BAE BAE, is a DJ/producer, sound artist, and filmmaker born and raised in Los Angeles. Her sound design practice explores the permeability of identity, the liberatory potential of Black culture(s), and possibilities for personal and collective healing. James’ uncanny sonic assemblages and dj mixes provoke muddy flows of knowing through the body, senses, and memory. She curates LA's beloved underground party, Hood Rave, and hosts a monthly radio show on NTS Radio called Hypersensitivity.

Amirtha Kidambi (she/her) is a musician, educator, activist, and organizer dedicated to the creation and performance of subversive music from free improvisation, avant-jazz, Indian music, experimental bands, and new music. Rooted in anti-racism, decolonization, and anti-capitalism, Kidambi is co-founder of South Asian Artists in Diaspora (SAAID) and, with Matana Roberts, co-organizer of Musicians Against Police Brutality. As the bandleader of the incendiary protest group Elder Ones, Kidambi has earned accolades from publications such as The New York Times, Pitchfork, and Wire Magazine. She has been recognized by Downbeat as a Rising Star in the female Vocalist, Composer, and Best Group categories. Kidambi's collaborations include projects with Mary Halvorson's sextet Code Girl, saxophonist Darius Jones in the duo Angels & Demons, bassist Luke Stewart in a duo setting, percussionist Matt Evans in Neti-Neti, and acclaimed composers Muhal Richard Abrams and Robert Ashley. Kidambi has performed at festivals and venues including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Whitney Museum, MoMA PS1, Big Ears Festival and the Berliner Festspiele. She has been deeply engaged with teaching and decolonizing curriculum at Brooklyn College and the New School and will be a visiting professor at Bennington College in Fall 2024.

Mendi + Keith Obadike make music, art and literature. Their early works include The Sour Thunder, an Internet opera (Bridge Records), Crosstalk: American Speech Music (Bridge Records), Black.Net.Art Actions, a suite of new media (internet art) works (published in re:skin on M.I.T Press), Big House / Disclosure, a 200-hour public sound installation (Northwestern University), Phonotype, a book & CD of media artworks, and a poetry collection, Armor and Flesh (Lotus Press). They have contributed sounds/music to projects by wide range of artists including loops for neo-soul singer D'Angelo's first album and a score for playwright Anna Deavere Smith at the Lincoln Center Institute. They were invited to develop their first "opera-masquerade" by writer Toni Morrison at her Princeton Atelier. Their recent projects include a series of large-scale sound art works: American Cypher at Bucknell University and The Studio Museum in Harlem, Blues Speaker (for James Baldwin) at The New School in New York, Free/Phase at the Chicago Cultural Center, Sonic Migration at Scribe Video Center and Tindley Temple in Philadelphia, and Fit (the Battle Of Jericho) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Their other honors include a Rockefeller New Media Arts Fellowship, Pick Laudati Award for Digital Art, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award. Their intermedia work has been commissioned by The NY African Film Festival and Electronic Arts Intermix, The Yale Cabaret, Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), and The Whitney Museum of Art, among other institutions. Their music has been featured on New York and Chicago public radio, as well as on Juniradio (104.5) in Berlin. They are currently exhibiting in the group show I Was Raised On The Internet at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and developing new work as artists in residence at the Weeksville Heritage Society in Brooklyn, NY.

Keith (he/him) received a BA in Art from North Carolina Central University and an MFA in Sound Design from Yale University. He is a professor in the Department of Art at Cornell University. Mendi (she/her) received a BA in English from Spelman College and a Ph.D. in Literature from Duke University. After working as a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University, she became a poetry editor at Fence Magazine and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute. Mendi and Keith also serve on the boards of Rhizome and The Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

Rajna Swaminathan (she/her) is an acclaimed mrudangam artist, composer, and scholar whose work explores the undercurrents of rhythmic experience and emergent textures in collective improvisation. She is one of only a few women who play the mrudangam professionally. Through extensive experience performing in the Karnatik music and bharatanatyam scenes, an affinity for various streams of South Asian film/popular music, and deep collaborative work in New York's jazz and creative music scene, she developed experimental approaches to improvising on the mrudangam, piano, and voice. Swaminathan’s ensemble RAJAS has been a prominent medium for her expansive compositions, which involve a lattice of rhythmic, textural, and modal approaches. The ensemble's debut album, Of Agency and Abstraction (Biophilia Records, 2019), received considerable critical acclaim. Their newest record, Apertures, was released by Ropeadope this year. Swaminathan was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Music (Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology) at UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts. She has composed for JACK Quartet, Del Sol Quartet, violinists Jennifer Koh, and Lucia Lin; been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Sawdust, and Chamber Music America New Jazz Works; and has been awarded a fellowship from the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. She performs in ensembles led by Ganavya Doraiswamy, Amir ElSaffar, Vijay Iyer, and Aakash Mittal, and has collaborated with playwright Anu Yadav, visual artist Zahyr Lauren, the Ragamala Dance Company, dancer/choreographer Mythili Prakash, and poets Mahogany L. Browne, Sarah Kay, and Jon Sands.

Romi Ron Morrison (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, and educator. Their work investigates the personal, political, ideological, and spatial boundaries of race, ethics, and social infrastructure within digital technologies. Using maps, data, sound, performance, and video, their installations center Black diasporic technologies that challenge the demands of an increasingly quantified world—reducing land into property, people into digits, and knowledge into data. Morrison has exhibited work and given talks at numerous exhibitions, conferences, and workshops around the world including Transmediale (Berlin), ALT_CPH Biennial (Copenhagen), the American Institute of Architects (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Queens Museum (New York), and the Walker Museum of Art. They have been in residence at Eyebeam Center for Art + Technology, New York University (ITP), The Joan Mitchell Foundation, and FemTechNet. Their writing has appeared in publications by MIT Press, University of California Press, Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, and Logic Magazine. They have taught at Parsons School of Design and the University of Southern California (USC) and are currently an Annenberg PhD Fellow in the School of Cinematic Arts at USC in Los Angeles.

Asha Tamirisa (she/her) is an artist and researcher, primarily working with sound and video in performance and installation. Her work often explores matereality and metaphor, history and archives, and gender and technology. Tamirisa holds a Ph.D. in Computer Music and Multimedia and an M.A. in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University, and has taught at Street Level Youth Media, Brown University, RISD, and Bates College.

CW&T started as and remains the two-person design practice of Che-Wei Wang (he/him) and Taylor Levy (she/her). With backgrounds in Architecture, Film and Computer Science, the duo met at NYU ITP where they began their scale and medium agnostic approach to design. Wang and Levy lecture extensively on design and technology as a creative medium. They teach courses on time, electronics, hardware, programming, inflatables and morphology at Pratt Institute, New York University and the School for Poetic Computation. Their pedagogy extends into the home/studio where they host office hours to lend a hand, or offer insight to anyone interested in figuring out how to make something themselves. CW&T is the recipient of the 2022 National Design Award for Product Design from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. CW&T live and work in their Brooklyn-based studio and prototyping shop along with their two young children, Pau and Tree.

Dr. Layla Zami (she/her) is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist working with music, sounds, poetry, and theater. She is currently Postdoctoral Researcher in Performance Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and a Resident Artist with Oxana Chi Dance & Art. Born in Paris in 1985, she is proudly rooted in a Jewish-European and Afro-Caribbean-Indian heritage, and blossoms on tour with her wife. The duo has gratefully and gracefully performed in universities, theaters, and festivals in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. The author of Contemporary PerforMemory (2020), she holds a PhD in Gender Studies (Humboldt-University) and a Diploma in Classical Saxophone (Conservatoire du Mans). During her NYC years, Zami was Adj. Associate Professor of Humanities and Media Studies and Co-Chair of Black Lives Matter at Pratt Institute in NYC, and a LABA Fellow at the 14th Street Y Theater.


The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency is generously supported by the Simons Foundation, whose mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. The Foundation’s Science, Society and Culture division seeks to provide opportunities for people to forge a connection to science—whether for the first time or a lifetime. Through their initiatives, they work to inspire a feeling of awe and wonder, foster connections between people and science, and support environments that provide a sense of belonging.

The Kitchen’s programs are made possible through generous support from annual grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Simons Foundation, Ruth Foundation for the Arts, and Teiger Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.