Blank Map

Circo Zero & Qcc present
Blank Map
Jun 3-6, 10-12
Dance Mission, 8pm
3316 24th St., SF

Tickets: $15-25, NOTAFLOF
Ticket Link:
All dates June 3-12 available on Eventbrite

More Information:

Blank Map is the work of Adee Roberson, Brontez Purnell, keyon gaskin, Tasha Ceyan, and Wizard Apprentice, a temporary collective of Black artist-performer-musicians. This internally-focused work activates sound and movement and creates a space where individual and shared narratives emerge.

Blank Map is psychedelic and expansive, involving Black abstractions influenced by punk, queer, and feminism. Blank Map is non-essentialized and considers anti-assimilationist tendencies.

The collective is supported by Stephanie Anne Johnson (lighting), Sampada Aranke (dramaturg), and Keith Hennessy (instigator/producer). Blank Map is presented as part of the National Queer Arts Festival, co-produced by Circo Zero and Queer Cultural Center.



Photo by Tasha Ceyan

Adee Roberson

Adee Roberson is a black feminist, visual artist, educator, musician, and healer who was born in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1981, with strong familial ties to Jamaica. Her work weaves rich celestial landscapes with drum patterns, found photos, synthesizers and various percussion instruments. Adee believes in art as a commemoration of the natural world and our ancestors. She creates through magic, dreams, and intuition. Adee has exhibited and performed her work in numerous galleries and independent venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, African American Cultural Center, and Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario. She is based in Oakland, CA where she co-founded Black Salt Collective. //

webBrontezPurnell-by-Tasha-CeyanBrontez Purnell

Brontez Purnell is the author of the cult zine “Fag School,” Cruising Diaries, the frontman for his band “The Younger Lovers,” and founder of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company (BPDC). Formerly a dancer with Gravy Train!!!, his other collaborations include an ensemble role in the queer independent feature film, “I Want Your Love” (Dir. Travis Mathews, 2012), and dancing for local artist-choreographers Amara Tabor-Smith, Keith Hennessy, Eric Kupers, and Nina Haft, and South African artist-choreographer Athi-Patra Rugra. Since founding BPDC in 2010, Purnell has presented his original dance and movement theatre works at the Berkeley Art Museum, CounterPULSE, the Garage, Kunst-Stoff Arts, the Lab, and SOMArts. With cinematographer Gary Fembot Gregerson and lighting designer Jerry Lee, Purnell produced, choreographed, and scored “Free Jazz” (2012), a 8mm B&W dance film documenting “various dance parties, structured improvs, rituals and happenings” performed by BPDC between 2010 and 2012, which has been shown internationally. He was a guest curator for the Berkeley Art Museum’s L@TE program in 2012, awarded an invitation to the 2012 Radar Lab queer arts summer residency, honored by Out Magazine’s 2012 Hot 100 List and 2013 Most Eligible Bachelors List, and most recently won the 2014 SF Bay Guardian’s Goldie for Performance/Music. He earned a B.F.A. in Theatre and Contemporary Dance at California State University, East Bay.



Photo by Tasha Ceyan

keyon gaskin

keyon gaskin prefers not to contextualize their art with their credentials.






Photo by Tasha Ceyan

Tasha Ceyan

East Palo Alto, CA
SFAI MFA/MA (2017)
Interdisciplinary artist-scholar, whose work is immersed creating an embodied language for intersectional metaphysics. This involves investigating the dynamics between religion and faith through a framework comprised of blackness, queerness, gender, and poverty.



Photo by Tasha Ceyan

Wizard Apprentice

Wizard Apprentice is an independent singer-songwriter, electronic music producer, and motion graphics artist based out of Sacramento and Oakland, Ca. Her multimedia project is an attempt to do energetic battle with an overwhelming world. Her music includes a mix of digital elements such as electronic instrumentation and voice manipulation. It also includes North American folk elements, such as simplistic song structures and straight-forward vocals that emphasize her lyrical, deliberate word-craft. Her video work uses green screen graphics, digital puppetry, and minimalistic compositing to create imagery that’s cerebral, psychedelic, campy, and hypnotic. She combines song and video to create multimedia live performances that explore deeply intimate emotional themes ranging from the challenges/truimphs of being a Black empath to overstimulation in the internet age.


Photo: by Ernie Fields

Photo: by Ernie Fields

Stephanie Anne Johnson

Stephanie Anne Johnson uses her installations and mixed media sculptures as a way to preserve and honor the history of Africans. She uses large-scale slide projections in settings such as railroad stations, churches, cemeteries and galleries. As an artist, Ms. Johnson’s work has been exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), The Jewish Museum (San Francisco), The African American Museum (Dallas), Spelman College Museum of Art (Atlanta) and The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston) among many other national venues. She has had one-person shows at The Center For African American Life and Culture (San Francisco) and The African American Historical Society (San Francisco). She has been the recipient of grants from The Gerbode Foundation, New Langton Arts, and The National Endowment for the Arts and has been commissioned by The Atlanta Arts Festival, The City of Oakland, The DeYoung Museum, Intersection for The Arts (San Francisco), and Saint Lawrence University (Canton) among other organizations.In a lighting design career that spans more than three decades, Ms. Johnson has designed shows for Cultural Odyssey (San Francisco), Dimensions Dance Theater (Oakland), The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Arizona Repertory Theater, La Mama Theater  (New York) and Black Moon Theatre (New York and Paris). Her lighting design work has been seen in India, The Netherlands, Italy, France and Belgium. She has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from The Gerbode Foundation (San Francisco), The Margaret Calder Hayes Prize (U.C. Berkeley), and California State University, Monterey Bay. Ms. Johnson holds degrees (theater, interdisciplinary studies and art) from Emerson College (Boston), San Francisco State University, The University of California at Berkeley and a PhD in Public Policy from The Union Institute & University (Cincinnati). She is a Professor in The Visual and Public Art Department at California State University, Monterey Bay.


Sampada HeadshotSampada Aranke

Sampada Aranke (PhD, Performance Studies) is an Assistant Professor in the History and Theory of Contemporary Art at the San Francisco Art Institute. Prior to coming to SFAI, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Art History at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her research interests include performance theories of embodiment, visual culture, and black cultural and aesthetic theory. Her work has been published in Art Journal, Equid Novi: African Journalism Studies, and Trans-Scripts: An Interdisciplinary Online Journal in the Humanities and Social Sciences at UC Irvine. She’s currently working on her book manuscript entitled Death’s Futurity: The Visual Culture of Death in Black Radical Politics.

Keith Hennessy

Keith Hennessy was born in a mining town in Northern Ontario, Canada, lives in San Francisco, and works regularly in Europe. He is an award-winning performer, choreographer, teacher and organizer. Hennessy directs Circo Zero, a laboratory for live performance that plays with genre and expectation. Rooted in dance, Hennessy’s work embodies a unique hybrid of performance art, music, visual and conceptual art, circus, and ritual. Hennessy was a member of Sara Shelton Mann’s legendary Contraband (85-94), as well as the collaborative performance companies CORE (95-98) and the France-based Cahin-caha, cirque bâtard (98-02). His work is featured in several books and documentaries, including Composing While Dancing (Melinda Buckwalter, U of Wisconsin: 2010), How To Make Dances in an Epidemic (David Gere, Univ of Wisconsin: 2004), Gay Ideas (Richard Mohr, Beacon: 1992), and Dancers in Exile (RAPT Productions, 2000). Hennessy is a co-founder of 848 Community Space/CounterPULSE a thriving performance and culture space in San Francisco. Awards include the United States Artist Kjenner Fellowship (2012), a Bilinski Fellowship (2011), a NY Bessie (2009) forCrotch, two Isadora Duncan Awards (2009) for Sol niger, a Goldie (2007) and the Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship in Dance (2005). In 2009-10, Keith was awarded residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Djerassi. Commissions include National Dance Project (Turbulence 2012), Arsenic, Lausanne (Crotch, 2008), Centre ChorÈgraphique National, Belfort (Sol niger, 2007), Les Subsistances, Lyon (Sol niger 2007, Homeless USA, 2005), Les Laboratoires, Paris (American Tweaker, 2006), FUSED (French-US Exchange in Dance), and Lower Left Performance Co, San Diego (Gather, 2005). Hennessy teaches internationally at festivals, universities and independent studios. Teaching since 2009 includes UC Davis, imPulsTanz/Vienna, TSEH/Moscow, Circuit Est/Montreal, Hub 14/Toronto, AEx-Corps/Dakar, Stary Bowar/Poland, Movement Research/NY, Tanzfabrik/Berlin, University of Dance & Circus/Stockholm.

Circo Zero

Circo Zero, instigated by Keith Hennessy in 2001, is one of the most prolific and widely touring of West Coast dance-performance companies. Circo Zero engages a diverse team of artists who create hybrid spectacles for theaters, streets, dance studios, and festivals. The work is interdisciplinary and experimental, operating within the tensions between intimacy and spectacle, rhetoric and ritual, personal and social. Circo Zero evolves performance language and builds community through collaboration, while crossing lines of artistic discipline, personal and cultural identity, and social expectations. We participate in local and global struggles for justice; functioning as a public laboratory for investigations of spiritual, artistic, sexual, and political concerns.

Recent accomplishments include: the work-in-progress showing of future friend/ships (Kampnagel, 2015) a duet with Jassem Hindi about Syria and the potential of Arab Futurism; the world premiere of Sara (the smuggler) (SF, 2015) a solo directed by Hennessy and performed by Sara Shelton Mann and Norman Rutherford celebrating Mann’s legacy, history, and impact on the field of dance; the world premiere of Bear/Skin (New York, 2015) a solo performance engaging the meaning of art-making, ritual, modernism, and cultural appropriation; and a MAP Fund to support the 2016 premier of tbd afro punk featuring an all-Black team of collaborators.

Artistic Director Keith Hennessy has been crafting works of genuine imagination and originality since the early 80s. These performances have been awarded a USA (Kjenner) Fellowship (2012), a NY Bessie (2009), several Isadora Duncan Awards, a Goldie (2007), and the Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship in Dance (2005).

Blank Map is supported by grants from The MAP Fund, The San Francisco Arts Commission, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.

Blank Map is supported by The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission Organization Project Grant, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, Bi-Rite Market, Rainbow Grocery: A Worker Owned Cooperative, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and MANCC.


logo_map-fundsm sfac
Zellerbach-logo sfgfta_logsmo
 dorisduke  Mellon-Logo-Squareweb
 DjerassiWeb  MancWeb
 biritelogo  Rainbow-Web