flowers in the basement
(Kite, Alisha B. Wormsley, Mel Elberg, Tsedaye Makonnen, Frances Ines Rodriguez and Amy Ruhl)
Flowers in the Basement is the name of both a project and a collective consisting of Kite, Mel Elberg, Alisha B. Wormsley, Frances Ines Rodriguez, Tsedaye Makonnen, and Amy Ruhl formed to create new work and speculate on insurgent, utopian living. Using the “demon text” of second-wave feminism, The Dialectic of Sex (Shulamith Firestone, 1970), as a jumping off point, the project offers a contemporary, polyvocal response to revolutionary demands for gender abolition, artificial reproduction, polymorphously perverse pansexuality, child liberation, and “cybernetic communism.” Bringing together a group of core collaborators working in vast fields of inquiry — Afrofuturism; queer, speculative, intersectional and Marxist feminisms, Lakota epistemologies; and Latinx and African migration narratives — their mode of collaboration forges collectivity while respecting the autonomy of each artists’ individual praxis. Their devising/scoring strategies for live performance range from traditional means of workshopping and improvisation to generating AI texts based on mutual input.