Artist Rashaad Newsome seems well-suited to be the UW-Madison’s Spring 2019 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence. The New York-based artist combines several disciplines including collage, performance, film and even computer programming, to create works that are always changing.
“I like the idea of transforming these certain elements into other things,” he said. “I think that transformation could be an allegory that runs through all of the work. Thinking of trans-ness not as a sexual identity, but as a state of mind. To transgress, which I want all the work to do, and which I try to do in life.”
The class Newsome is teaching at the UW, “The Gesture of Collage as Practice,” brings together students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to experiment with collage, movement, sound design and creative coding. The underlying thread of the class, as with much of Newsome’s work, is look at the power of media and popular culture to shape views of race, class and sexuality in society. Newsome’s residency is present by the UW’s Division of the Arts and hosted by the School of Education’s Art Department.
Newsome will bring in another guest artist Hitmakerchinx, a DJ and producer who has worked with Rihanna among others, to talk and perform with two flex dancers. That performance takes place at 6 p.m. Friday at 549 Lathrop Hall, 1050 University Ave. and is free and open to the public.
The students’ final residence event takes place in the same place on Thursday, April 18. Newsome described this as an “experience.”