The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
“Inkūb8 is on the edge of the district," Heather Maloney says of her studio lab in Wynwood. "And, I want to make it a center." Maloney has guts and a vision for the future of Miami's emerging performance art scene. In my interview with Maloney, she elaborates on this vision and gives me a preview of her upcoming collaborative performance scheduled for October 9th, during Second Saturdays, Wynwood Art Walk.
Neil de la Flor: Your open studio series, Inkūb8r, provides a space for artists to exhibit works-in-progress. Why is this so important to Inkūb8's mission?
Heather Maloney: Performance based works are inherently social mediums, where the moment of the live performance is a timeless artifact of the creative idea. Inside of the mission of Inkūb8 is to be a laboratory space for the development and production of contemporary hybrid performance based work in Miami. Inkūb8 has emerged out of a place of need in the performance community. By showing work in the different stages of development, the artist has the opportunity to get feedback. In addition, the audience is participating and witnessing live performance. This format not only builds community around the work but also an audience that has a history of seeing the work develop over time. The opportunity to show works in different stages of development is essential to the artists as well as building community around the creative act.
ND: How do you know when a work is 'ready'?
HM: This is an intuitive act as in any creative work. I like to think of each piece as a centralized ecosystem that is designed with all the fragile parts that work together so that it may take on its own life. In live performance, the “premiere” of a new work is a result of a process driven impulse. It's the framing of an idea. In the performance, the work comes to life when the conceptual and the physical narrative come together. That's when it defines the weight and realness of the ideas or questions. Though this process the work is revealed.ND: What’s it like being an artist and also an entrepreneur? How do these two things impact your creative life or your business?
HM: I like to believe in the synergy between the artist and the entrepreneur. As each require leadership and thinking outside of the box to find innovative ways to acquire new skills, and develop systems of growth. Each require a commitment to growth and change as well as courage. Also, being humbled through the (sometimes) challenging process of figuring it out. As a person with an artist's brain, which is full of chaos, hunger and passion, I sometimes daydream about being able to take a little pill when I need it. One that would infuse me with some type-A impulses to get me through the business side of things. At the end of the day, both the artist and the entrepreneur require vision and guts, both of which I have.
ND: So, what’s your long term plan for Inkūb8?
HM: As of October Inkūb8 has been open for a year. We've established ourselves as a place to take contemporary classes, launched a summer movement lab, and incubated new work through offering affordable open rehearsal space for artists. We also launched the Inkūb8r (open-studio series). At the center of the mission of Inkūb8 is the laboratory space where collaborations can happen in a multi-disciplinary way. We are not a non-profit and function more as an artist collective. Inkūb8 is a shared space with Kor Media & Lighting, which serves as an entertainment lighting and technology showroom. In the future, I would like Inkūb8 to be a residency space supporting Miami based hybrid performance artists. Also, I want to bring artists from out of town—nationally and internationally—and place Miami on the map as an Inkūb8r for performing arts in the heart of Wynwood.
(Backstage at September's Inkūb8r open studio series during Second Saturdays, Wynwood Art Walk.)
HM: The upcoming Inkūb8r (open-studio series) will include works by dance artists. Since it's a work in progress, expect the unexpected. I encourage folks to come by and check it out. Stay with us after the performance for some conversations with the dancers, make new friends.
ND: What's the future of Miami's performing arts scene?
HM: Miami is a young city with an emerging live performance scene. I see potential in the future here otherwise I wouldn’t be here. One of the beauties and challenges of Miami is that it is a transient city—a sometimes plastic city—with a big open sky. I think in the coming years we will really see a shift in the amount of work getting attention nationally and internationally coming out of Miami, as well as welcome artists from other communities that are seeking more space to develop their voices.
Inkūb8r open studio series continues this Saturday, October 9, starting at 9:00 pm. Inkub8, 2021 NW 1st Place, Miami. For more information call 305-482-1621; www.inkub8.org.