Negarra A. Kudumu is something like a marvelous cloud of thinking and practices that are constantly processing contemporary art, curation, and critical theory. Her main interest is, to use her words, "the emerging visual culture of the African continent, Iran, South Asia, and their respective diasporas." In her essays and lectures, ideas from a variety of sources (high and low) meet at points that crackle and spark. For example, her lectures and posts on Black Constellation, the local/international art movement that counts Shabazz Palaces among its members, are as rich and insightful as the works by the movement's artists. She is currently manager of public programs at the Frye Art Museum, where she recently organized Those Without Voice, an exhibition of photo and video work created by local high-school students to express their views on social issues.

Who is your favorite artist right now?

I don't have just one. I'm currently very enchanted by Mohau Modisakeng, Kader Attia, Yto Barrada, Mounir Fatmi, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, to name just a few.

What are you currently working on?

Sundry writing projects, developing exhibition ideas, and programming at the Frye.

You were new to the city not too long ago. Any advice for new Seattleites?

Take the 7 bus.

What do you think Seattle needs more of?

Folks who aren't afraid to say out loud, "Don't piss on me and call it rain," especially in the arts community.

Is there a movement or exhibit you think Seattle needs to recognize?

Everyone in Seattle, especially those working in the arts community, need to read Bruce Mau's "An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth" with special attention paid to items 5, 11, 17, 28, 40, and 42. Take great care, however, with item 35.

What is your favorite restaurant in Seattle?


What do you like to eat there?

The burger.

Favorite bar?

I pour really great wines at my home.

What music have you been listening to lately?

Lots of classical, opera specifically. Carmen is my favorite opera. And Erik Blood's Lost in Slow Motion. It continues to be the solution for pretty much everything.

What have you been reading and watching?

I am revisiting Pedro Almodóvar's films. I started getting into Ousmane Sembène and Akira Kurosawa this autumn. I will spend the winter knee-deep in nouvelle vague and cinema novo. The Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando has a newish film out that I really want to see called Diálogo Con Mi Abuela. My book lists are obscenely long. Right now, I have some Pierre Bourdieu and Frantz Fanon I need to finally finish. Need to revisit Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and James Baldwin as well. I just learned about Jean Fisher and John Berger, and their work seems like it would be useful for my practice, so I will read them, too.

What's your strategy for dealing with Seattle's winter gloom?

Home-cooked meals with friends. recommended