Black Cube Plans To Transform Red Rocks Into An Otherworldly Setting

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Photo: Artist Desiree Holman during Black Cube rehearsal
Black Cube artist Desirée Holman stands during a rehearsal of her performance piece "Sophont In Action."

That’s where Oakland-based artist Desirée Holman presents her new performance piece “Sophont in Action." It's a meditation on science fiction, tech culture and the occult.

"Sophont" refers to someone with extraordinary intelligence and sensory perception. Holman said the piece combines contemporary dance with around 30 participants and images projected onto the Mars-like surfaces of the iconic natural ampitheater.

“I’m really fascinated with the fantasy of the other and what’s beyond the earth and how these fantasies are an extension of our aspirations and fears,” she said. “There’s something very particular about this Red Rocks landscape that evokes those shared fantasies.”

Black Cube serves as a nomadic art museum that will travel to public spaces around Denver metro, curator Cortney Lane Stell told Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

“The two goals of Black Cube are to support artists’ sustainability and to increase access to art,” Stell said. “It’s a rare opportunity to seek out a specific building based on an artist’s idea, and we hope that it’ll help move their career by thinking about space more critically.”

The organization will install its next exhibition in a parking lot near the Capitol in Denver. It will feature a large, inflatable sculpture by artist Chad Person. "Prospector" will run for two weeks starting Oct. 16 with a reception on Oct. 22.

“It’s a monument speaking to our relationships to economies, prospecting and the new frontier of digital commerce,” Stell said.

Black Cube will also go to the old mining town of Gold Hill near Boulder in 2016.

On casting for “Sophont In Action”:

“Artist Desirée Holman intentionally wanted to cast a mix of professionals and nonprofessionals and also ethnically diverse individuals. These ideas of community, engagement, utopia, breaking down boundaries between others. So in order to reach out to other diverse backgrounds and age groups, we did Craigslist posts, we hit the ground handing out flyers at different places and really found that in searching for this cast, we had to as much as possible seek out individuals.”

On where else Black Cube will go:

“Our third event in 2015 is with local artist Derrick Velasquez. He’s going to be building an enormous tower that aestheticizes -- or makes kind of beautiful -- the building process that we’re seeing throughout Denver. So everything from the Tyvek we see on buildings to framing. And at the end of it, it’s going to be broken down and the materials will be dispersed to the community. This installation is going to be in an airplane hangar. It’s on the border between Stapleton and Aurora at the new Stanley Marketplace that opens next spring or summer. There you can see the growth of Denver and how that can sometimes create barriers.”