Free Outdoor Performance-Based Installation in Manhattan’s Astor Place Ponders Interdependence of Humanity and Nature

The OBIE-winning HERE (Kristin Marting, Founding Artistic Director), in partnership with grassroots arts organization LEIMAY, continues its return to safe and socially distanced in-person events with the world premiere of Correspondences, a free, outdoor, performance-based, public art installation in Manhattan’s Astor Place, created by HERE resident artists and multidisciplinary duo Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya. A presentation of HERE’s new #stillHERE: IRL series, and supported by The Village Alliance, Correspondences has been envisioned by LEIMAY as a hyper-local work that will tour to each of the five boroughs. The installation offers spectators multiple entry points to engage with questions of being, interdependence, and coexistence.


In Correspondences, performer, observer, machines, natural elements, and the urban square mingle in an entangled poetic microcosm while opening inquiries into animate life and environmental ethics. Running October 1–4, audiences can safely engage with the installation at any time and also witness 35-minute activations performed by members of the LEIMAY Ensemble.


As part of Correspondences, single bodies are enclosed inside transparent chambers partially filled with sand. Bodies are donned with gas masks as they try, time and again, to rise to standing. At intervals, machines attached to the chambers trigger a blast of sand causing the performers to lose their footing, sinking them back down into the ground. This seemingly perpetual eruption repeats throughout daily performance activation periods of Correspondences, both with and without performers.


How can we reconcile existential tensions between the flow and currents of the animate life of environments in contrast to the human-centered occupation of the world? What happens to our bodies when we encounter the unknown? How are we reshaping environmental ethics? Why are existential questions of being, interdependence, and coexistence, vital in these times of readjustment of powers and values? These are some of the questions Ximena and Shige are asking as New Yorkers, as immigrant people of color from eastern and western hemispheres, as a couple who share a life and artistic partnership, and through the poetic entangled microcosm of Correspondences.


Correspondences is performed by the LEIMAY Ensemble which includes Masanori AsaharaKrystel Copper, and Ximena Garnica, along with guest performers Ricardo Bustamante and Brandon Perdomo. The creative team includes Jeremy D. Slater (soundscape) and Irena Romendik (costume fabrication).


Correspondences will be on view from October 1–4 at the Astor Place Plaza, located at the corner of 8th Street and Lafayette Street in Manhattan. Over the four-day period, 14 activations will take place including October 1 at 8pm; October 2 at noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm; October 3 at noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm; and October 4 at noon, 2pm, and 4pm. Correspondences follows strict social distancing and safety guidelines. Please visit for more information.


A series of ancillary actions, running September 21 – November 30, will also take place and include:

Correspondences -The Audience Files: A growing oral and written interactive archive for audiences to engage with over conversation by sharing their responses to questions of being, interdependence, connectivity, and environmental ethics. QR codes located at various tables across the plaza guide audiences to participate both on-site and on-line. Correspondences -The Audience Files will be open to the public to engage for 30 days starting a week prior to the installation launch. (September 21, 2020 | www.correspondence


Correspondences Talks: A conversation with guest activists, scholars, designers, and scientists to discuss what “decentering the human” means for them and how this action relates to issues of environmental ethics and social justice. (October 29th, 2020)


Dancing for the Environment:  In support of local and international, indigenous, and immigrant-led organizations working to create a more just world, from the Amazons to the Bronx to LEIMAY’s home neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Correspondences inaugural site East Village, LEIMAY’s season of Movement Classes for All will culminate with a series of encore classes where 100% of proceeds will be donated to: Organización Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas de la Amazonia ColombianaGreen Worker CooperativesEl Puente, and the Loisaida Center. (October 6 and October 10, 2020 | register at


Image courtesy of Correspondences