Press Release: Inaugural Edition of the Curatorial Lab

Jakob L. Dwight,  Satellite (AQSK739) , 2017, digital print. Image courtesy of the artist.

Jakob L. Dwight, Satellite (AQSK739), 2017, digital print. Image courtesy of the artist.


Negarra A. Kudumu | essayist and curator will present N'CHI by artist Jakob Dwight for the first installment of the Curatorial Lab, a critical online space dedicated to showing the work of emerging contemporary artists and initiating conversations via social media. Dwight's ongoing social sculptural project is simultaneously a world building social media platform, a gaming application, and a live action art role-playing and exhibition series.  N'CHI allows players to inhabit an imaginary planet where they can take up national, tribal, and civic avatars and engage in an ongoing sci-fi narrative.

The works selected for Curatorial Lab are exemplary of the component parts of Dwight's world known as SDAAV91QMi, SDAAV for short (pronounced stahv), a partly conscious planet that has come to support a new species of human.  These works offer representations of landmasses in varying stages of evolution, views of planets from space, and even magnetic resonance images of this humanoid population. N'CHI will run from March 21 - May 9 and will feature three iterations launching on March 21, April 7, and April 24 respectively.

N'CHI currently exists on the physical plane in the form of digital prints, paintings, video, installation, and will eventually live online as a gaming app and social networking platform. In the virtual iteration of N'CHI, participants and their nations will respond to a continuum of challenges thrust upon them by the hostile new world through the strategic macro-management of national resources. At the tribal and citizen gaming levels, users will balance individual needs against those of the collective, society or nation. Participants will have the opportunity to develop their own nations through strategic alliances, networking and the development of axes of power, seeking to control as large a swath of natural resources as possible.  As a live action art exhibition series, N'CHI will allow players to act out their nations' imaginary cultural forms - rituals, flags, anthems, and styles of dress - in international art events. 

"To what end?” you may ask.  In a time where uncertainty is rampant, resources are scarce, increasingly devastating wars are aplenty, and a greater volume of reliable research into new, hopefully habitable, worlds moves desperately forward, N'CHI is the bridge between the reality of now and the reality of the future. If we can learn from our successes and failures on Earth, and apply them to a teaching tool in the form of a virtual reality gaming mechanism, maybe we can figure out how to avert the seemingly wholesale collapse towards which we are racing. Through N'CHI, Dwight examines the story of our existing world, including those still unfolding, and places them into a new virtually untouched world, and dares humans to work and think differently about civilization and the process thereof.

N'CHI obscures the lines between digital, imaginative and lived experiences and allows participants and observers alike to explore the relationships between art, cultural evolution, ethics and ecology through play and collective mythopoesis.


Jakob Dwight is a painter, media and light artist living and working between Atlanta and New York City. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Berlin, Atlanta, Vienna, New York, Switzerland, - at the European Graduate School - and in Kassel, represented by Kreuzberg Pavilion on the occasion of documenta(13). In 2011, he was awarded a United States Artists Residency and in 2012 the Harvestworks New Works Residency in NY. In 2015 Dwight participated in the touring exhibition Disguise: Masks & Global African Art, organized by the Seattle Art Museum, which subsequently traveled to the Fowler Museum at UCLA and the Brooklyn Museum.

Press contact:
Negarra A. Kudumu, Founder
Negarra A. Kudumu | essayist & curator
+1 206 743 1394