Judson-Morrissey 2021 Fellow: Ralph Day

Ralph Day (he/ him) is an alchemist: He mixes together music, video, dance, and storytelling to take people to other worlds. He is graduating from University of North Carolina – Asheville this spring.

Ralph was a recipient of a 2021 Judson-Morrissey Excellence in New Media Award.

Tell us a little about your background and your trajectory as an artist/ scholar.

I was born in West Virginia and grew up mainly in Delaware. To avoid autonomy after high school, I enlisted in the military. When that chapter painfully closes, I move to Las Vegas and fall in love with Electronic Dance Music. I begin DJing there and continue embedding myself deeper into the cultures and communities that electronic music houses. As a black queer artist, this may have been the first time I truly felt safe and loved in public settings. Thanks to the recommendation of a friend, I now live in Asheville, NC. Additionally, I am graduating from UNCA’s New Media program this spring. I often imagine my works at large scale events like the ones I frequented and aspire to have fully immersive environments. I work to create microcosms of the weird, fun, and moving.

What are some of your main influences?

Alex Grey, TAS, Android Jones, and the expanded imagination provided by altered states of consciousness.

What are you working on now?

A dance and culture workshop titled EDM 101 as part of my senior project and in conjunction with UNCA’s 2021 Art for Our Times.  Participants will learn about the history of EDM as it relates to black and queer communities while simultaneously learning the popular EDM dance style called “Shuffling” or “Cutting Shapes.”