I investigate ancestral re/connection and re/membering such that time, blood, and traditions matter or disappear, communities emerge, and radical aliveness becomes possible. My work uses performance, video, photography, and social practice to gather communities at the intersection of longing and play, at times building personal expansion, community transformation, and/or collective liberation.
Through social practice art, I am investigating my cultural heritage, Lithuanian paganism, and through experimentation I am learning what makes ritual a meaningful experience and, by contrast, what ends up feeling like a photo op.
As a white person engaging in a practice of everyday anti-racism and aliveness, my creative practice centers on investigations and experiments around my racial identity and positionality, whiteness, cultural appropriation, anti-racism, cultural re-appropriation, and how meaningful experiences for one individual can have a range of impacts on other individuals, groups, and the collective, with effects ranging from healing to harming to none.
At the edge of anti-racism best practices, we encounter the question: how can white people in the United States embrace culture as a layer of dissolving white supremacy? White people destroying white supremacy may only be possible if we have other cultural practices of aliveness to replace practices of colonialism, oppression, and harm. We have an alternative to answering this question through cultural appropriation. Instead of using the cultures of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color as our own and only tools of aliveness, we can re-appropriate our own cultures.
What does this cultural re-appropriation look like? (How) can white people pull and remix layers of our own heritages and ancient traditions to create a healthy/decolonization experience of culture in the 2020's? These questions frame my current work.
About me (she/her):
Over the centuries, my ancestors’ lands were stolen and released multiple times by various governments, primarily the Russian government. The cultural hiding and dying created during these waves of take-over has made my Lithuanian cultural heritage one I must actively seek and unearth. I was born on the island of Manahatta, the unceded ancestral land of the Lenape people, in the city now called New York. I live on the stolen and unceded territory of the Ohlone people, in what is now called Oakland, California.