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Drop-In Performance: With Nothing but Her Feet and the Stars


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Presented with the Chicago Public Library’s One Book, One Chicago program and the 2018–19 selection, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, this drop-in performance by Chicago artist Avery R. Young explores Starry Night and the Astronauts by Alma Thomas in connection with this year’s theme, “Imagine the Future.”

Harriet Tubman has been called both an astronaut and a futurist because of her professed ability to read the sky, travel space, and enter into the future. As a teenager, Tubman suffered a head injury at the hands of an overseer that resulted in lifelong headaches, seizures, and blackouts. During these blackouts, Tubman said, God would speak to her and relay instructions for her work.

Using text from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and referencing Starry Night and the Astronauts, artist Avery R. Young activates the Hall Branch Library, imagining what Tubman experienced in the dark—and where she might have gone. Through the African American tradition of hymn, he meditates on how the “starry night” can push a culture forward.

Avery 2

Avery R. Young

Photo courtesy of the artist.


Presented in partnership with the Chicago Public Library One Book One Chicago Program and the 2018-19 selection, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. 


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