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Afrofuturism is about knowledge. The simplicity of knowing truly, what love is.
Yesterday I woke up thinking about my vision for the future, more specifically what Utopia looks like and nothing specific came to mind except the color blue, a color that is rare in nature. Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. According to the Yoruba if you are one who is aware you are said to possess Itutu, which is almost impossible to translate it into English, but is similar to the concept of cool. It’s a mystical coolness. The color which is associated with Itutu is always blue.
Robert Farris Thompson of Yale asserts that Itutu is the origin of American cool. His 1973 article An Aesthetic of the Cool traces Itutu from the Yoruba to several other African civilizations and finally to the Americas, where the descendants of Africans perpetuate the importance of being cool.
Itutu is part of my Utopia where many of the past and present infrastructures, or social constructs have been destroyed, or have fallen into ruins. The prisons of our present have gone and what is left is vast amounts possibility…for ALL people. Whereas blue signifies consciousness (blackness) or ancestral inheritance I can imagine specific futuristic scenarios in perceptually immersive 3D space and I decided to exploring these ideas via Second Life, a virtual 3D world.
Alternate Futures: Afrofuturist Multiverses and Beyond is a collection of virtual 3D visions that presupposes a sustained black culture — past, present, and future. It contains fragments of imagery and sounds that are cosmic, utopian, and dystopian.
Twentieth-century identities no longer presuppose continuous cultures or traditions. Everywhere individuals and groups improvise local performances from (re)collected pasts, drawing on foreign media, symbols, and languages. This existence among fragments has often been portrayed as a process of ruin and cultural decay (Clifford 1988: 14). re: The Cosmic-Myth Equations of Sun Ra
What visitors will see in my Second Life installation, Reflections External, are static and moving fragments from African art, science/technology, history & mythology. From Ndebele-inspired art to binary numbers & cosmic imagery, this installation calls upon a vast collection of images & ideas (knowledge). Each of these elements are not discrete, but are related to many of the other elements from the Afrofuturist aesthetic. It’s not a perfect future but a more inclusive one, indeed.
One part of an equation
Is a blueprint/declaration of the other part
Yet differentially not. . .
It is nothing
If it is all
Still there are different alls
The end is all
But all is everything
Yet if everything is all/the end
It denies the other side of the end
For some ends
Have many points leading to their respective selves
And there are/is each/their many points
Leading out from their
(Sun Ra 1985).
Note: Alternate Futures will officially open to the public this week on the IBM-sponsored exhibition simulation in Second Life. Stay tuned!
Thank you Kali for welcoming me into the afrofuturist.net fold. I’ve been working on an Afrofuturism art simulation on IBM Exhibition A in Second Life, a virtual 3D world. The official opening is sometime later this week, most likely this Wednesday. For those who can’t use Second Life I am documenting the work as machinima, or real-time recording of my experience virtual 3D space. Here’s the trailer (see link below). More information coming soon!
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