University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Lecture: Queer Eroticisim as power, Blackness, Queer Abstractions, Body, Performance and Phenomenon

Thursday, October 31, 2019
12:30pm – 1:45pm

Storrs Campus
Rainbow Center; Student Union 403

The Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality, and Community is a weekly academic lecture and discussion series with guest scholars and community activists from various disciplines examining a variety of topics related to gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. Each semester offers a broad sampling of the areas.

The Fall 2019 semester is co-sponsored by the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department (

Today's lecture is entitled, "Looking within the spaces in-between - Queer Eroticisim as power, Blackness, Queer Abstractions, Body, Performance and Phenomenon" and will be presented by Arien Wilkerson/ TNMOT AZTRO (they/them/theirs).

Synopsis: Wilkerson is particularly interested in how eroticisim, and blackness exist in spaces, time, places and institutions. Their practice currently is interested in performances that use queer abstraction as a way to dissect complete and very incomplete queer experiences, reforming those experiences into items, view points, objects, relationships and explosive boundaries. Looking within the spaces in-between is about how they’ve lived and created within the side eye, living in spaces with no corners. The goal is to staturate the audience with queerness so that it begins to humanize queer idealogy, langauage, sex, ownership, secerts and worship. TNMOT AZTRO thematic concepts include gendered labor\roles, race, cultural misrepresentation, cultural competence, possession, viewer responsibility, sensory overload, critical thought, media-created leadership, rhetoric, technology, control, sexual energy, dogma, climate change, territory, zoning, and queerness. Wilkerson aims to situate phenomenon and embodiment inside performances that then attaches itself to those thematic concepts with a hope of a chemical reaction. We will look at examples of their work, moving images, text, and even move our body around the space. As an entity TNMOT AZTRO strives to connect fine art with marginalized or displaced communities and communities that do not have direct access to fine art making nor the language that fine art produces which is largely non intersectional or inclusive.

Biography: Arien Wilkerson is a queer, black, HIV Poz, choreographer, dancer, film maker, director, producer, installation artist and the Founder and Artistic Director of TNMOT AZTRO PERFORMANCE ART AND DANCE INSTALLATION LLC. Tnmot Aztro conspires against fine art by asking what is it? Who has access to it? How does art become fine art? And what systems were put in place to keep people of color, specifically queer people of color out. Tnmot Aztro a collaborative multidisciplinary company features six to ten artists at any given time, sculpture, spatial design, lighting design, installation, photography, sound design, and at times seven or more movement artists including Wilkerson. Wilkerson was awarded 2019 Connecticut Dance Alliance Jump Start Award, The Greater New Haven Arts Council & Connecticut office of the arts


Rainbow Center (primary), Office for Diversity and Inclusion, UConn Master Calendar, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

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