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Premiere of short film "Upwelling"

Streaming online soon and available in The Box

In May 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread and quarantines were put in place, intermedia artist and Ohio State Professor of Dance Norah Zuniga Shaw (ZShaw) invited 27 friends — fellow artists scattered across three continents and two hemispheres — to leave a trace of their lives. Using WhatsApp as a platform for message exchange and collection, ZShaw’s prompt to participate activated individual practices to create a nourishing creative community during a period of isolation and uncertainty. The resulting short film, woven together from the collected video and cellphone audio messages, moves from learning to live in isolation to participating in the Black Lives Matter protests held in response to the police killing of George Floyd.

While the work chronicles a series of fragmented, widely varying experiences, "Upwelling" also offers a restorative beacon of presence. Created over the intervening period and now viewed from almost two years later, the project can be seen as an act of care and remembering, or what the artist calls “a form of memory work, a way of recalling to deconstruct, to understand, and to remain in the moment of planetary need and urgency.” "Upwelling"’s gathered recitations and incantations create a collective register of a transformative moment on the planet — together, in short, they leave a trace. (14:13 mins., video)

"Upwelling" was created with the support of the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Studio as well as a yearlong residency for experiments in digital performance. ZShaw’s projects include "Synchronous Objects" with William Forsythe, "TWO" with Bebe Miller, the transmedia performance ritual "Climate Gathering," and the "Livable Futures" public practice and podcast.

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We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. If you have questions about accessibility or require an accommodation such as CART captioning or ASL interpretation to participate in this event, please contact Accessibility Manager Helyn Marshall at or via telephone at (614) 688-3890. Requests made by two weeks in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the Wexner Center for the Arts will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.