Heyward 2021

Julia Heyward's work centers around the orchestration of music, image, and language in the areas of multimedia performance, new media and visual art. After a decade of solo performance, Heyward staged No Local Stops which won a BESSIE for ‘Outstanding Performance of the Year for 1984’, presented by DTW New York Dance and Theater. Heyward has written, produced and performed three other large scale multimedia performances: Mood Music (premiered May 1988, The Kitchen, NY), Miracles in Reverse (premiered 1996, Potsdam, Germany), and 29 SpaceTime/The Gabriel Frequency (premiered 2017, Roulette, NY).  In addition to writing, directing and creating the visuals for each of these works, Heyward also co-composed the music.

Ma I Am, performed 1973 at the Whitney ISP.

In 1991, Heyward was signed as a recording artist to Columbia Records, but left the label because of 'artistic differences'. The following year, Heyward was commissioned to produce visuals for a large-scale multimedia performance piece for the 1992 World Expo, collaborating with the Barcelona theater group La Fura del Baus and musician John Paul Jones.

T-Venus, video disk prototype, 1979.

In 1995 Heyward was nominated for a Cal Arts / Herb Alpert Award in the Arts in the field of music composition and again in 2004-05 in Film/Video/New Media. In 1999 Heyward received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Multimedia. In 2001 Heyward received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation (including a MAP grant), The Greenwall Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts (in New Media).

Mood Music, The Kitchen, 1986.

Since early 2000’s, Heyward has been totally submerged in digital and interactive technologies. The DVD-ROM version of Miracles in Reverse has been shown at The Daejeon Municipal Museum, South Korea (curated by Lawrence Rinder), at Art Interactive, Boston (curated by Kathy Brew), at the Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh (as an installation), and at Lincoln Center, NY (as Live Cinema with a live band).

Miracles in Reverse, The Kitchen, 1997

Currently, Heyward has expanded her practice to include photo-based digital art works,‘word art’ pieces, and animatronic sculptures. Heyward is seeking a presentation space for these visual art works and their related multi-media works under the umbrella title of Nothing Random Access Memory. All the works in NothingRAM focus on the traumatic and the transcendent in our cultural myths, religious beliefs, and world views, twisted and embedded into our personal and collective narratives. Further description is on the performance and media pages.