AUMI-Futurism: the Elsewhere and "Elsewhen" of (Un)Rolling the Boulder and Turning the Page

  • Jesse Stewart Carleton University
  • Sherrie Tucker University of Kansas
  • Peter A. Williams University of Kansas
  • Kip Haaheim University of Kansas
Keywords: Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), Afrofuturism, disability studies, community music, music and technology, improvisation


This article discusses two performances that used the movement-to-music technology known as the "Adaptive Use Musical Instrument" or AUMI to allow differently-abled participants to collaborate with one another: (Un)Rolling the Boulder: Improvising New Communities, a multimedia, mixed ability improvisation that was staged at the University of Kansas in October 2013 and Turning the Page, an interdisciplinary musical theatre piece premiered in Ottawa, Canada in April 2014. We theorize these performances as examples of "AUMI-Futurismâ€, combining insights gleaned from two different sources: the Afrofuturist philosophy of composer, improviser, and bandleader Sun Ra, and the work of disability studies scholar Alison Kafer. This essay examines the collaborative, improvisatory processes that surrounded (Un)Rolling the Boulder and Turning the Page, focusing in particular on the role that the AUMI software played in imagining and performing new communities.

Author Biography

Sherrie Tucker, University of Kansas

Professor of American Studies, University of Kansas

[longer bio to be submitted at a later date]