An Introduction

Black Noetic theory is a concept and practice that organizes the interconnections between experiential knowledge and experimental modes of production.

Noetic comes from the Greek term noetiko, relating to the mind or intellect. Borrowing from the Institute of Noetic Sciences, noetic is defined as “inner wisdom, direct knowing, intuition, or implicit understanding.” A noetic experience can be understood as gut feelings or insights that seem to come out of nowhere. A Black Noetic experience locates the spiritual, the ancestral, and the ecstatic.

Black Noetic theory continues the study of intuition and pivots toward Kevin Young’s inquiry on the art of escape in Back American history. In The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, Young writes, “I’m interested in the ways the fabric of black life has often meant its very fabrication, making a way out of no way, and making it up as you go along “ (17). Despite cultures of violence and dispossession, there has always been a will to escape, invent, improvise, and survive for the Black figure. To make a way out of no way is a kind of improvisation that refers back to noetic ways of knowing (or feeling). My study on the ways that knowledge is produced and expressed begins with the body, in the body, and the embodied.

The Body & Embodied

As a former athlete, I have an awareness of the position of human bodies in a space, how they interact with one another, and how they respond to the environment. Competitive sports require athletes to develop multiple intelligences and skill sets through training, but also have natural instincts when under duress. The work in Resume at the Point of Interruption considers how the mind and body express knowledge in response to certain stimuli, specifically, congitive knowledge and emboied knowledge.

Cognitive knowledge is information acquired and understood through experience and reflection, such as how physical sensations communicate to and with the brain (i.e., patterns of habit between bodies may signal a sense of pleasure as a result of previously shared intimacies). Embodied knowledge is based on a range of psychological experience which the body knows how to act.

Exhibition text documentation courtesy of the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University

                                             Exhibition at ICA VCU  Sep 2022 - Jan 2023                                             2022 Artadia Los Angeles Marciano Award                                             2020 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Ellsworth Kelly Award                                                      Black & Kin Barber Service 2023