D. Denenge Akpem is an Afro-Futurist space sculptor, performance artist, designer, writer, and educator. Her work bridges the disciplines of site-specific sculpture, ritual, public art practice, interior design, and science fiction. She creates interactive spaces that interrogate stereotypes, titillate the senses, and empower those who experience them to shape their own futures, based on the belief that the intentional sculpting of space is a methodology for manifesting transformation for self, community, globe, and universe and inspired by Sun Ra. Her performances and installations have been featured at galleries and museums including Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center, Fe Gallery Pittsburgh, and THE LAB for installation+performance NYC.
Akpem is a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Art History, Theory, and Criticism, teaching courses “Ritual Art Performance in the African Diaspora”, “Survey of African Art”, and “Power to the People: Revolution and the Black Arts Movement”, and is Adjunct Faculty at Columbia College Chicago where she teaches “Black World Ritual Performance”, “Black Arts Movement”, “Arts of Africa”, and a course she designed originally in 2010 “Afro-Futurism: Pathways to Black Liberation.”
She runs Denenge Design + Studio Verto–offering specialized design services for residential and commercial clients–and speaks nationally and internationally about her work in Afro-Futurism and space sculpting, appearing for television, radio, print interviews, articles, and books about her work in the field, most recently featured in Ytasha Womack’s Afro-Futurism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture. She publishes commentary focused on Afro-Futurism, science fiction, and related inspirations at The Afro.Futurist blog and at denenge.net.