My name is Jackson Neal. I am a poet, a writer, a dancer, and a choreographer. Although I prefer the simple title of artist.
We are taught to think of genre as borders. But, like land, I don't believe the soul and its expressions have these kinds of divisions.
I create with what I call the human modalities: the body and the language inside it. These are my only instruments. I do not manipulate materials, I don't alter canvas, I don't produce music other than the sounds inside me. I'm making with the only things I have: these gifts which make us human. I believe they are our only permanence, the only things which truly belong to us.
I realized the importance of the human modalities in the summer of 2016. Hurricane Harvey, what meteorologist called, "a thousand year flood" destroyed my home of Houston, Texas. Many Houstonians, including my grandparents lost everything they own. It was there, in the rubble that I realized what James Baldwin says every artist must come to learn, "that all safety is an illusion." When the world burns, When the sky falls, when the flood comes and takes everything with it, your body, your thoughts, and your ability to love are all you're left with.
So I need to use them: my body, my voice, my mind and its many corners. If this is all we've got, then we've got to use it.