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Oceanic Leslie Lohman mockup no windows
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Courtesy of micha cárdenas, Gerald Casel, Ian Costello, Cynthia Ling Lee, Susana Ruiz, and Huy Truong.

Oceanic, Portal

Apr 29, 2023 - Aug 17, 2023

A facade installation by micha cárdenas, Gerald Casel, Ian Costello, Cynthia Ling Lee, Susana Ruiz, and Huy Truong.

How do we move through the losses of people, places, and even our own capacities due to COVID-19 and the climate crisis? Oceanic, Portal responds to this question and to the urgent need to build new queer and trans BIPOC worlds of disability justice and liberation.

Through photography, 3D video created with Lidar scanners, and an augmented reality app, Oceanic, Portal presents images of three dancers as ghosts moving through time and space. They appear at Natural Bridges Beach (on Amah Mutsun land colonized as Santa Cruz, California), and at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art (on land the Lenape named Manahatta). Queer crip Chicanx feminist Gloria Anzaldúa (1942–2004), whose writings inform this project, evoked millennia of geological transformation at Natural Bridges in her early efforts to include trans women in women of color feminism. The dancers’ movements are also inspired by scholar Tiffany Lethabo King’s theorization of shoals as disrupters to colonial systems of knowledge.

Recent floods in California portend the imminent rise of sea levels while acidification has already destroyed 95% of the kelp that once populated the Northern Californian coast. As we mourn our losses, here and elsewhere, Oceanic, Portal proposes that we make space for healing and transformation, centering one another’s access needs as we build worlds together.

Download the Oceanic, Portal app here.

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