Emily Johnson and Karyn Recollet
Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter

March 28, 2024

Join us for a ceremonial fire centering Indigenous protocol and knowledge. Guest artists and organizers share stories and performances in honor and protection of the land, water, and air of Lenapehoking, the homelands of the Lenapeyok, where Abrons Arts Center is located.

Featuring Sarah Galdes, Shane Larson, treya lam, and Melinda Faylor. Curated by Sugar Vendil.

Due to weather, Kinstillatory has been moved inside Abrons Arts Center.

Image by Maria Baranova


Understanding Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter


About Emily Johnson and Karyn Recollet

Emily Johnson, originally from Alaska, is an artist who makes body-based work and the artistic director of her performance company, Emily Johnson/Catalyst. A Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award, she is based on the Lower East Side of Manahatta in Lenapehoking. Emily is of the Yup’ik Nation and since 1998 has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. She is a land and water protector and an activist for justice, sovereignty, and well-being. Her dances function as portals and installations, engaging audiences within and through space, time, and environment–interacting with a place’s architecture, people, land, history, and role in community. Emily is a co-compiler of the document Creating New Futures: Guidelines toward Ethics and Equity in the Performing Arts, is developing a Global First Nations Performance Network with colleagues Reuben Roqueni, Ed Bourgeois, Ronee Penoi, Lori Pourier, Vallejo Ganter; and has hosted ceremonial fires in partnership with Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side since 2017.

Karyn Recollet Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is an urban Cree scholar/writer currently living in the Williams Treaty territory, and teaching in the Dish with One Spoon treaty territory. Recollet explores celestial land pedagogies as ‘kinstillatory’ in her work, expressing an understanding of land pedagogy that exceeds the terrestrial. Recollet thinks alongside dance making practices, hip hop, and visual/digital art as they relate to forms of Indigenous futurities and relational practices of being. Recollet co-writes with dance choreographers and artists engaged in other mediums to expand upon methodologies that consider land relationships and kinship making practices that are going to take us into the future.


Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter was created with funding from The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This project is made possible in part through the Mid Atlantic Folk and Traditional Arts - Community Projects program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Curator

Sugar Vendil (she/they) is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist who is forging new creative pathways as a second generation Filipinx American and future ancestor. She started her artistic life as a classical pianist, and after spending nearly a decade searching for her own voice, her practice evolved into making music and performances that integrate sound, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano. She has a keyboard/synth duo, Vanity Project, with composer Trevor Gureckis. Vendil is based in Lenapehoking, known as Brooklyn, where she lives with her partner and toddler, who she hopes will pursue dance and volleyball but will not force him/them.

About the Artists

Melinda Faylor

Pianist-composer Melinda Faylor weaves together dense and mercurial sound worlds using field recordings, synthesized sound and piano. For Kinstillatory, Ms. Faylor will be working with recordings of fire, exploring it as a symbol of rebirth, destruction and protection.

Sarah Galdes

Sarah Galdes is a drummer, composer, and music producer born in Australia to Indian / Maltese parents, Sarah is currently based in NYC and engages with a wide variety of artists. She has delved into traditional South Korean Samul Nori drumming and North Indian music traditions to further enrich her rhythmic syntax. Sarah performs as a soloist using Sensory Percussion sensors to explore texture, groove, and leafy found sounds.

treya lam

treya lam is a multi-instrumentalist composer and multidisciplinary creator whose atmospheric voice, fluency on guitar, piano, looped viola, percussion and found sounds culminates in liberation oriented songwriting and scores throughout their solo work as well as collaborations across mediums.

otherland is an interdisciplinary grief and regeneration ritual rooted in chamber-protest songs that explores grief as a catalyst for radical empathy, intersectional solidarity and repairing our relationship to the earth.

Shane Larson

Shane Larson is a NYC-based movement and video artist, focused on sense memory. listening #1 is a two-person exploration about being and seeing inside of the beast—the city and its people, its movements, and its coincidental events.