with Kweku Abimbola, Lisa Hsiao Chen, Daniel Alexander Jones, and Thảo Nguyễn
Our first Lab theme, Time, began with a roundtable with four artists. We invited poet Kweku Abimbola, novelist Lisa Hsiao Chen, performance artist Daniel Alexander Jones, and musician Thao Nguyen to share some of their work with one another, and then met on Zoom to discuss it, and to discuss the various ways they think about time in their artistic practices. You can listen to an edited version of the roundtable:
It’s also available as the first episode of the Graywolf Lab on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. The full transcript of the podcast is available here. Click on the links below for poems, extracts, lyrics, and music videos our guests shared with one another, along with their bios and video clips from the video roundtable. Kweku Abimbola: “A lot of my work tries to decolonize time and tries to root it back in more indigenous West African cosmologies.” Lisa Hsiao Chen: “The sort of the tragicomic concept of the quote unquote project is one of the things my novel grapples with——the project being this thing that many of us work on that isn't remunerated for financially, but is sort of our soul.” Daniel Alexander Jones: “I really believe love dilates time. I think it is a force when applied that helps us to experience something.” Thảo Nguyễn: “What do we need memory for? Is it a safe harbor? Is it an indictment? Is it to remind yourself never to do something again? It’s useful to me to let go of the idea of maybe a fundamentally unsound documentation of time.” We also asked our four guests to name other artists whose work engages with time in inspiring ways. Check out our spotlights on these artists, including Darryl DeAngelo Terrell, Kaneza Schaal, Ayodele Casel, and a longer feature from Arturo Romo and Sesshu Foster.