Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener

New York
Artist in Residence, 2023
Artist in Residence, 2020

Artist Statement

We create dances with site-responsive, improvisational techniques that highlight marginalized narratives and hybrid forms. Our work deploys collaboration and ways of self-organizing to gather and create a new lexicon with cross-pollinating ideas. We are committed to synthesizing disparate ways of working and the communities, traditions, and value systems that circulate around us. Our choreography underscores a commitment to working with technology and digital strategies, but from a perspective that questions the dominance of new media in performance. Our work makes an important space for the exponential and interconnected spheres of knowledge in the world, centering emergence, desire, and social interaction.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands, we will be initiating research for OPEN MACHINE (working title). Through regular studio practice, observations of nature, and interactions with fellow residency artists, we will outline concepts, pedagogy, and interdisciplinary methods for the work. OPEN MACHINE is a multimedia performance combining improvisational structures and digital technologies to generate strategies for building provisional environments, executing movement, and relating to others. The performance will be tabulated, scored, and followed in real time using projection mapping, making visible the codes that inform the performers’ navigation through space and time. OPEN MACHINE responds to the concept of desire lines, a term used in nature studies and landscape architecture that refers to unofficial routes or social trails. These pathways represent an accumulated record of disobedience and transformation in public space.

Selected Works

Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, and Claudia La Rocco, Desire Lines: translation, 2018


Film by Charles Atlas, choreography by Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, 2015


Desire Lines: Prismatic Park, 2017


Charles Atlas, Rashaun Mitchell, and Silas Riener, Tesseract, 2017; 3D dance film featuring seven dancers and a live proscenium performance with six dancers.