New Museum

NIC Kay, #blackpeopledancingontheinternet, 2021. Digital Image, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.* 

June 1, 2021
June 1–September 15, 2021
New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, NY 10002
Facebook / Instagram

The New Museum’s Department of Education and Public Engagement presents “NIC Kay: #blackpeopledancingontheinternet,” the Museum’s second online artist residency, which foregrounds the department’s year-round commitment to contemporary art and growth through inquiry. Artist NIC Kay (b. 1989, Bronx, NY) will develop and present a new multi-platform movement piece, dance video, and sonic environment through this residency, which extends from June 1 to September 15, 2021.

NIC Kay is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, and conceptual choreographer who works with movement to explore relationality and yearning. They employ choreography to excavate relationships between spaces, bodies, and objects in order to shift meaning and change perceptions of place. NIC works site-specifically, informed by the architecture and the inner workings of performative spaces—theaters, galleries, nightclubs, sidewalks, and the internet—to create moments of glitch, interruption, or pause. In the course of their practice, NIC has made durational performance, evening-length dances, experimental theater, performance for the internet, an artist book, sonic interventions, installations, and sculpture.

Building from their personal archive and research practice, NIC’s residency at the New Museum will be a new progression of #blackpeopledancingontheinternet, an ongoing inquiry into the creation, documentation, and circulation of African diasporic dance/movement practices, house and techno music, and Black and queer internet cultures. NIC began using the internet in 1998—as part of the generation whose first social media accounts were on Myspace—and they continue to be fascinated by how these practices manifest through ever-changing social media platforms, including YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Vine, Triller, Twitter, and TikTok.

Through #blackpeopledancingontheinternet NIC explores ways that Black online communities have engaged in transcultural exchange of dance, movement, and music, claiming and maneuvering the internet as a space for visible, culturally-coded play, political organization, and innovation.

They are particularly interested in the ways that internet platform design can alter and influence textual and movement-based languages, ultimately shaping how content is expressed, framed, and witnessed through media such as video, images, texts, and GIFs; how bodies are compressed and expanded; how blackness can subvert and infiltrate virtual space; and how meaning is made, co-opted, and reclaimed.

NIC’s deep attention to digitally-mediated movement will manifest in three parts throughout the residency: a multi-platform, online movement work; a dance film; and a curated series of public programs. The programs will include the premiere of their newly commissioned video, keep at it, with an artist talk to follow; “Sonic Situation,” a two-hour online DJ set with echoes of the internet past and present; and a movement workshop “Dancing for the Internet,” facilitated by NIC.

“NIC Kay: #blackpeopledancingontheinternet,” the New Museum’s 2021 artist in residence program, is organized by Emily Mello, Associate Director of Education, and Andrew An Westover, Keith Haring Director of Education and Public Engagement.

Public programs
Premiere Screening of “keep at it” and Conversation with NIC Kay
Thursday, July 29, 7-8pm EST
As director, choreographer, and performer of their newly commissioned dance video, keep at it, NIC draws from memories of childhood dance routines and navigating the racially-coded environments of gated playgrounds, stifling brick housing, and ragged sidewalks.

Sonic Situation with NIC Kay
Friday, August 20, 6-8pm EST
NIC Kay creates a two-hour sonic experience jam-packed with echoes of the internet past and present. NIC highlights audio from viral videos, dance challenges, and software. Through their selections, they will create a social environment primed for remembrance and pleasure.

Dancing for the Internet: A Workshop with NIC Kay
Saturday, August 21, 2-4pm EST
This two-hour workshop centers self-identified Black people who are interested in experimenting with movement in virtual space, whether to share with community or for each participant’s personal archive. Participants will be asked to consider how point of view, composition, color, and light play important roles in dancing online and translating live choreography for the internet. Capacity for this workshop is limited.


*Image description: This image contains four photographs featured in a grid-like formation. Each photograph features NIC Kay in various poses with a particular focus on their hands. Their face is covered by a white t-shirt, they are wearing a short black tank top and a blue hat. In the background, there is a blue sky with a small white cloud hovering in the top left-hand corner of the image.

RSVP for NIC Kay
New Museum
June 1, 2021

Thank you for your RSVP.

New Museum will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.