Daniel Alexander Jones, a Belknap Short-Term Visiting Fellow in Princeton’s Humanities Council, collaborates with members of the Princeton community at the Lewis Center for the Arts to construct an altar over the course of a week-long residency. Centered around the prompt “Ask Your Questions,” the conversations, offerings, building and activation of the altar will be rooted in the cultivation of intentional space for inquiry, deep listening, and consideration of traditional practices of presence, particularly those rooted in Black Queer interiorities. Jones will weave the threads through formal class visits and presentations, informal conversations, open hours for drop-in collaboration, and listening sessions with offerings from Jones and dialogue with attendees/participants. The week of residency will culminate in a dynamic duet between Jones and Dr. Deborah Paredez of Columbia University in an evening entitled Question/Generation (X) featuring both artists reading from their work and discussing not only their own questions, but questions born of the week’s invitations, followed by time for celebration.
Jones, who will return to Princeton in the Spring of 2023, is a commissioned artist of The Toni Morrison Project. He will include reflections on his research into Morrison’s storied career in his conversations, and as a major part of his contribution to the week’s altar.
How to Participate
Students, faculty, staff, and other members of the Princeton community are invited to participate in the residency with Daniel Alexander Jones in one or more of the following ways:
Build or Contribute to the Altar
- Hang out and help build the altar!Attend any or all of the daily open hours sessions. Please arrive in time for a brief orientation if you are coming for the first time. You do not need to stay for duration of the daily window, however.
- Contribute materials for use in the altar* (ideas for materials listed below). You may bring them to the space during open hours, or leave them in the hamper outside the CoLab if you have donations before the onset of the residency or during the hours we will not be in the gallery.
- Create an object or offering for the altar as a creative piece (a collage, a sculpture, a letter, a painting, etc.)
Attend a Listening Session
You may choose to attend one or more Listening Sessions. Each session will start by listening to a selected work, followed by an ancestral reflection by Jones, and a process of offering and gathering questions and testimonies, as well as informal conversation born of each evening’s process. Altar building work can and will occur amidst these evening sessions.
Join the Celebration
Attend the Final Sharing Session and Celebration. Daniel Alexander Jones and Dr. Deborah Paredez lead Question/Generation(X), a celebratory evening of reading, discussion and conversation.
Ask a Question
There will be postcards available for you to ask questions to add to the altar and to inform the week’s conversation and creative offerings. These may be contributed anonymously or with your name depending on your desire. They can be dropped in the Question Box that will live within the gallery space.
- Monday, Sept. 19 from 6-7 PM — Introduction (also Open Hours)
- Monday, Sept. 19 from 7-8 PM — Listening Session
- Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 2:30-4 PM — Open Hours
- Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 6-8 PM — Listening Session
- Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 1-3 PM — Open Hours
- Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 6-8 PM – Listening Session
- Thursday, Sept. 22 from 12-4 PM — Open Hours
- Thursday, Sept. 22 from 6-8 PM — Listening Session
- Friday, Sept. 23 from 11 AM-2 PM — Open Hours
- Friday, Sept. 23 from 4:30-6 PM — Final Sharing Session and Celebration (open to the public)
About Humanities Council Visiting Fellows
The Humanities Council’s Long-Term and Short-Term Visitors are made possible with support from the Belknap Visitors in the Humanities Fund, the Class of 1932 Visiting Lectureship Fund, the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project, the Eberhard L. Faber Class of 1915 Memorial Lecture Fund, the Edward T. Cone ’39 Humanities Fund, the Old Dominion Fellowship Fund, the Virginia and Richard Stewart Memorial Fund, and the Whitney J. Oates Fund for Scholarship in the Humanities.
Admission & Details
All events Monday-Thursday are open to Princeton students, faculty and staff. On Friday, September 23, the general public is invited to join the Final Sharing Session and Celebration and view the altar from 4:30-6 p.m. Free; no tickets or registration required.
COVID-19 Guidance + Updates
Per Princeton University policy, all guests must either be fully vaccinated, or have recently tested negative (via PCR within 72 hours or via rapid antigen test within 8 hours of the scheduled visit) and be prepared to show proof if asked, or wear a face covering when indoors and around others.
The CoLab is wheelchair accessible. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Students in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email LewisCenter@princeton.edu at least one week in advance of the event date.