The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Malik Gaines

“Star Choir & Other Narratives”

Interdisciplinary artist & scholar
Associate Professor, UC San Diego


12:30pm (PST) Tues, Oct 10, 2023

Phillip T Young Recital Hall, School of Music

1:30-2:20pm Wed, Oct 11

Room B120, MacLaurin B-Wing

Free & open to the public

Presented by UVic’s School of Music

For more information on this lecture, please email

In this lecture-performance, Malik Gaines will talk about how his research informs his music compositions and other artistic activities. The talk will focus on his work as solo musician and co-artistic director of The Industry opera company in Los Angeles, along with the recent premiere of his opera, Star Choir, which he composed with Alexandro Segade’s libretto. 

Star Choir is an opera about future humans who attempt to colonize a distant planet. Through fantasy and critique, it asks urgent questions facing humanity amid our era’s confluence of natural and political crises, evoking scenes of disaster migration, fugitivity, and colonization as they are entwined with our difficult histories and our best visions of a potential future.

Malik Gaines is a multifaceted artist and scholar known for his dynamic contributions to the fields of music, performance art, visual culture, and critical theory. With a background deeply rooted in exploring themes of identity and social justice, Gaines brings a unique perspective to the intersection of art and activism, inspiring a new generation of creative thinkers.

About Malik Gaines

Interdisciplinary artist and scholar, Malik Gaines is Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at University of California San Diego. His book, Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible (2017) traces a circulation of black political ideas through performances of the sixties and beyond. He is working on a second book dealing with contemporary art and performances that act against the limits of U.S. sovereignty.

Gaines performs and exhibits on his own and in multiple collaborations. Since 2000, he has been a member of the artist trio, My Barbarian. Their work uses musical, theatrical and critical techniques to playfully act out social difficulties. As a solo musician, he sings at the piano, exploring contemporary themes through historic songbooks.

Gaines is a co-artistic director of The Industry opera company in Los Angeles. Among other projects, The Industry will present his opera Star Choir, which he composed with Alexandro Segade’s libretto, in fall of 2023 at the Mt. Wilson Observatory northeast of Los Angeles.

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

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