We Series: Health

February 4, 2021 · Columns + Series, Featured, Projects + Collaborations, We Series

The We Series presents live art that blurs the line between performance and reality, with a soft spot for the participatory, ceremonial, ritualistic, immersive, and tutorial. Published in Collaboration with Elastic Arts. Published in Collaboration with Elastic Arts.

A graphic that gives information about the Health iteration of the We Series. Created by Lindsay Zae Summers.

Presented by Elastic Arts in collaboration with Sixty Inches From Center, the We Series presents live art that blurs the line between performance and reality, with a soft spot for the participatory, ceremonial, ritualistic, immersive, and tutorial. The performances in this series will debut every Tuesday evening in January 2021. In tandem, Sixty will be publishing written companion pieces on the same day, authored by poets, playwrights, designers, musicians, bakers, and more. The We Series is co-curated by Deidre Huckabay and Lia Irene Kohl. 

This text-based collaboration is created by Dain Saint and Angel Bat Dawid  on the theme of Health

*This iteration was scheduled to be published on January 12, the date of the adjacent performances, which can be streamed here.



(transmuted through Signal: a cross-platform centralized encrypted messaging service)

Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Angel: "It's me Angel." Dain: "Eyyyyyy."

Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Angel: "The chocolate hues black stamps of constant impressions are drastically compromised perpetually in this current state. #FFFFF regards the hues as unhealthy and unsafe for human existence and is threatened by any level of advancement of hues deeper than berries sweeter than juice. Bodies of HUEmanzZZ pegged as unfit and blow. Mesmerizingly glaring back images that reflect destitution poverty and lack....specifically B-Lack...health meter at compromisingly to levels."

Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Dain: "why must immune system be so anti bodies, too much time spent running, from white blood cells, telling me, i don't belong. My cells make the very, bones, of this structure, and you attack me, all the time wondering why, the fever continues to rise, inflammation is natural, and i can survive the heat (can you?)."

Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Dain: "but if i am a disease, god let me be an, empathogen, rewriting the dna of, this whole system, so it can grow into something, beautiful and free. (a,t,c, and g are the only letters in my vocabulary, don't think about it too hard, you might bust a capillary.)"
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Angel: "Supplements supple tender juicy rounded full bursting with the sweet elixir coiling circular sweet sweet spirit essences of life the stalk of walnut tree coast of ferocious cat gaze of the obsidian less indeed an anti-bodi anti christ anti thesis the is disease mutation taking the inverse dry straight pale thinn weak womban no strong she be weak in inverse of the rounded on she be full round strong pale man hate hurrrrr. The menacing attempts to weaken the cinnamon rich dark waters of ancient mama mmmmaaaaaaaa maaaaaaaa that first cry the first bout of pain to be ripped from the grips of sweet mama so we cry we say MaaaMaaa."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Dain: "ma over matter i shatter/a million tiny pieces but who will pick them up/no matter/i was never meant to be a mirror anyway/i was broken so i could be reborn/a disco ball/four to floor is more than youd think possible/movement and light explode into stars/illuminating the ultimate destiny/if we are how the universe knows herself/then i must be her...."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Continued from Dain: "...medulla/the instincts that call us from womb to tomb/we eat the placement/we nourish the root/we hide salves in psalms, prescriptions in rhythms/your past is shallow/my past is zamani/i will never die as long as someone lives to speak/my/name."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Angel: "My sister just died today and I'm faced with this terror this death I also tested positive for Covid today and I'm faced with another terror terror terror this battle to continue to LIVE when I can't hug my Mama cause I got Covid and I see her crying over the lost of her baby my baby sister my baby sister tho in her 30 she's still our baby our gift Binti Zawadi the immeasurable sadness when my Father so distraught wanting to keep everything secret so to not rehash the sadness it's easier to tell a stranger these things then all the people and relatives who loved her so much..."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Dain: "Im so sorry i have to ask. is this real?" Angel: "Yess it's real. I'm still in so much shock." Dain: "Oh fuck. Girl i am so so sorry oh my god." Angel: "Thank you my Brother...2020 what a year..."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Missed call. Dain: "i don't know what to say; and if i did, i wouldn't know how to say it. I don't know if it's appropriate to mine grief for art but it's the only way i've been able to spin the random threads of our existence into tapestry, and it only ever makes sense in reverse. i mourn for your sister, and i can't begin to imagine that pain. i lost my cousin this year and it took days for the sadness to reach my heart..."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Continued from Dain: "...wrapped in butchers paper just to get it through the year without bleeding. And i can't imagine how it hurts to someone whose heart is as open as the door on a veranda and to couple that with this plague, this uncertainty, this terror, how much terror can can we possibly bear? how many secrets do we keep? and i am afraid  for you because how could i not be? I hesitate. I have a tendency to rush from injury to lesson without stopping off at acceptance and catharsis, and i do not want to diminish what you are feeling, if such feelings even have names. but i'm compelled to reach you right now, to let you know you are still connected, that you are still here; that the pain you bear is a reminder of the love that remains; that the secrets and fear and shock will turn to compost in time; that your only duty right now is to feel and feel fully your livingness; that this woven tapestry will wrap and swaddle you so you can heal in every way you need healing; and that  none of it ever needs to make sense. i FEEL for you. you are a beautiful pattern in the tapestry. i pray for your health, and the health of your family."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. A voicemail has been left. Dain: "Hey Angel, how are you feeling? I'm so glad to see you up and about and covid-free!"
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Angel: "Hi Dain...thank you for the wonderful kind message. Yes I'm feeling much better still I'm mourning taking it day by day...things will get better. Hey Dain I Really feel what we started is spectacular...let's keep on wit it...Would you mind getting us started again?"
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Dain: "with pleasure. she returns/from the brink of extinction/and asks me how *i'm* doing/that must be evolution/that must be exhalation/that must be exaltation/that which must be/will be/we call it destiny/but we mean destination/we call it recovery/but we mean reclamation/from how deep does the well spring?/and how deep is my wellspring?/well wishes are often naught more than...thoughts and prayers/but these do more than/paper over bullet holes/in cafeteria cinder blocks/these ties that bind/sinew/this time unwinds/within you/a pot of curry simmers in a distant memory and the smell of scotch bonnet and thyme cradles me to a restful sleep/please, let me fetch you a bowl."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Angel: "Lesson/tutorials from the brink of death...The reverence obtained from the simple act of breathing. The Blood: that beautiful colbalt/crimson elixir pumping sending receiving on duty 24hrs a day never stops. keeps us:binds us:when spilled.. killzz us. The information of ancient people knowledge of the world we love, fuck, eat and shit in the same one they lived in..yet we exist harmoniously in cells in molecular sonic sonnets expressways maintained by a beating pump sending all necessary documents into every part of our being. passing on death passing on life passing on and on and on & on & ON..."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Dain: "health is full circle/the universe all circles and line/the helix within mimicking the solar system/and all our love caught in its orbit/our ancestors know us before we born/and we keep them with us still/how could we not/their molecules never left/health is more than..."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Dain continues: "...buzzword/health is more than a mere signifier of the/ruling class/health is the unclogged garden hose/health is the unlocked hydrant/the spray of municipalities on asphalt/on a hot summer afternoon/the glint in the eye of a/little black girl/twin bead goodys clacking as she/ r u n s / to the ice cream truck/with a purse-borrowed dollar/to sink her teeth into a treat/that makes all the world stand still/if only a moment/and health is the magic/that lets her revisit that memory/over/and over/and over again. health is wealth is time is connection is love infinite is us."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Angel: "I wear a crown that tick tocks keeps account of all I do. I adjust it from time to time because the roads be bumpy and it falls to the side. But for the most part it stays in place. It's a beautiful crown full of jewels and majesty it calms me and is full of serenity. Its promised me everlasting goddess long sultry gorgeous days and brisk beautiful engaging nights full of wonders like stars and moons and planets and galaxies I want to explore. Dearest friend..."
Image: Text messages between Angel and Dain. Angel continues: "...signaling to you through the means of thumbs and ancient patterns and swirling lines a stamp only reserved for me..do you think we will ever get out of this human conundrum..this plague..this depression and oppression of life and love and beauty?" Dain: "one day i was taught/that depression/is the opposite of expression/and that/was the answer."

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Featured Image: A graphic that gives information about the Health iteration of the We Series. Created by Lindsay Zae Summers.

Image: A photo of Dain Saint.

dain saint is a multi-disciplinary media artist based in philadelphia whose work imagines an abundant world without hierarchies. he has produced video games through his company cipher prime studios, as well as music, poetry, spoken word, graphic design, and live performance art, all available through his digital garden at dainsaint.com. he believes deeply in the interconnected nature of our existence and works to further that through art and activism. he currently works as a journalist, and would really, really like this bio to be over already oh my god.

Angel Bat Dawid is a Black American Composer, Improviser, Clarinetist, Pianist, Vocalist & DJ. In 2018 Angel composed Song of Solomon: A Cosmic Space Opera that was performed by prominent free jazz musicians in Chicago. Her critically acclaimed Album ” The Oracle”, released by Chicago label International Anthem was created entirely alone- performing, overdubbing & mixing all instruments & voices by herself- recorded using only her cell phone in various locations, from London UK to Cape Town RSA. In the fall of 2019, she composed and premiered “Requiem for Jazz” a 12-part Requiem Mass celebrating the life and death and Jazz at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival in Chicago. Angel tours internationally with her septet “Tha Brothahood” and released their album LIVE making NPR’s best of 2020 list. She also leads the all-woman trio Sistazz of the Nitty Gritty, and has released the album “Message from the DAOUI” with electronic artist Oui Ennui as the duo DAOUI. Angel curates a series called Mothership9 at Elastic Arts in Chicago, is a member of the Black Monument Ensemble and hosts a monthly music show on NTS Radio. “Music is a language, you see, a universal language.” -Sun Ra