Tȟaŋmáhel Tȟaŋmáhel


In this online performance, Suzanne Kite composes a ‘visual score’ – a form of experimental music notation – entailing symbolic forms that performers and musicians can read and interpret. Deriving ideologies from traditional Lakȟóta artmaking, as seen in their quillwork and beadwork, these processes of visual score-reading are reflected in their geometric designs, and translated from the aftermath of a waking or sleeping dream.

Similarly to reading and writing music, these designs communicate concepts without verbal language, becoming a semiotic language, a language of symbols that do not have to be explained. Like stories, their meaning changes over time and develops over a lifetime, no longer confined to its original interpretation. Creating a dream narrative from a collection of visions re-enacted through videos, the performance, Tȟaŋmáhel, will assign visions to symbols and weave a complete graphic score into being.

The performance will be followed by a conversation and Q&A moderated by SAM curator Syaheedah Iskandar. This session is held in conjunction with the programme series Skill Futures.

About the artist

Kite aka Suzanne Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. Kite’s scholarship and practice investigate contemporary Lakȟóta ontologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fibre sculptures, immersive video and sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records. Her work has been featured in various publications, including the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, the Journal of Design and Science (MIT Press), with the award winning article, “Making Kin with Machines”, and the sculpture Ínyan Iyé (Telling Rock) (2019) was featured on the cover of Canadian Art.

About Skill Futures

In a time when the physical and digital are blurred, what skills do we need to understand and critically shape our hybrid realities? Artists are now being asked to invest in digital skills more than ever: to "upskill" and pursue "personal development," to prepare to emerge on the other side of COVID equipped for a future whose material and digital realities will be even more intertwined. But what does it mean to become "smarter"? To what ends are new technical skills being pursued? Skill Futures is a digital commissioning platform that consists of performances, workshops, and lectures. It elaborates on the valences of "intelligence" issuing from minor histories and invites artistic practices that considers the screen as a speculative medium of the future.


Please note:

  • Please ensure that you enter a valid email address as you will receive an email with a link to the online programme/event near the day of the programme/event.
  • This session will be recorded, and these materials may be used by SAM for museum-related publicity purposes only. By attending this programme, you consent to being photographed, filmed and/or video-recorded.
  • We reserve the right to cancel or rearrange the organised event.Please ensure that you enter a valid email address as you will receive an email with a link to the online programme/event near the day of the programme/event.