Black Angel of History by Stacey Robinson, 2021

The Black Angel of History

The Black Angel of History exhibition is an analysis of visual culture and technology within the genre of Afrofuturism.

Black Angel
Darkness came into the world as it was told
In it we have got the most beautiful Angels
They are called the Black Angels
—Adewale Ajakanri, 2015

 

The »Afrofuturism« movement emerged as part of the general enthusiasm for technology and space travel after the Second World War. The Afro-American community developed its very own interpretation of the space age: the expanses of the galaxy as an escape from racism, marginalisation and debasement, the future as the utopia of a freer world. Since then, their visions have been articulated in films, literature, comics and music, as highlighted in the current Elbphilharmonie spotlight.
The exhibition presented here, featuring the works of contemporary artists, takes a visual approach to the topic of Afrofuturism. It is divided into the sequences »Myth-Science«, »Metamodernism« and »Metaverse«, and is accompanied by comic talks by the curator Dr Reynaldo Anderson. Read more about the background to the exhibition

Myth-Science

Myth-Science is a quality of Black or African speculative agency used to expose or criticize the limitations and ironies of the ideas of the European enlightenment and other forms of Anti-Blackness.

Scroll to read a conversation between the curator and Rev. Andrew Rollins about Myth-Science. 

© Damian Duffy

Black Angel of History :by Stacey Robinson

Sun Ra: Mythscientist :by John Jennings

AstroSankofa :by Quentin VerCetty

How Long 'til Black Future Month? :by Paul Lewin

Cover art for N.K. Jemisin's collection of short stories, How Long 'til Black Future Month?

Unveiling Visions

The modern Black Speculative Arts Movement formally began in the fall of 2015 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The historic Harlem library was ground zero for the groundbreaking, multimedia visual arts exhibition Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination. The show evolved the possibilities of the visual Afrofuturist genre.

Today, Afrofuturism is emerging as the high culture of a transnational, pan-African, humanistic Astro-Blackness. Contemporary Afrofuturism is the conscious location of African culture and agency in time and space. Within its creative scope are metaphysics, aesthetics, social science, theoretical and applied science, and programmatic spaces.

Venus Rising :by Greg Aimé

Wanted :by Karo Durojaiye

Conscience :by Zaika dos Santos

Kiana's Ascension :by Quentin VerCetty

Mother :by Karo Durojaiye

#BlackHistoryMatters :by Black Kirby

Who ist the Black Angel?

The Black Angel of History exhibition continues the visual exploration of complex narratives on the Black or African speculative imagination in conversation with the previous Unveiling Visions exhibit. Now, the figure of the Black Angel functions as a messenger for Afro-Speculative making and interpreting of counternarratives of a cosmology and cosmogony that reimagines phenomena for African peoples worldwide. This reimaging is essential during the existential crisis of climate change, fascism, the global COVID-19 pandemic, collapse in biopolitics, and accelerating technological change.

Nyansapo :by Zaika dos Santos

»Nyansapo fell from her ship on an unknown planet, and in an attempt to return she undergoes an immersive search for her bodily, scientific, sound and technological consciousness. Nyansapo is the Adinkra of knowledge who only manages to return to her ship after mythically worshiping her orixás in Afro-Brazilian ancestry.«

—Zaika dos Santos

Metamodernism

Metamodernism- Describes the structure of what is emerging »after postmodernism;« it focuses on the new ideas and cultural practices growing in the wake of the vacuum of meaning, alienation, and exhaustion in contemporary societies.

Afropessimism is the belief by scholars Jared Sextion, Frank Wilderson and others, that asserts people of African descent live in an anti-black world and Black existence is characterized by social death.

Scroll to read a conversation between the curator, Dr. Candice M. Jenkins, and Dr. John Murillo III about Metamodernism.

KINDRED: Dana with lost arm :by John Jennings

INFINITUM Quad Cover :by Tim Fielder

New cover for Harper Collins' INFINITUM: An Afrofuturist Tale by Tim Fielder.

Impossible Stories :by Black Kirby

Brother Keep Your Head Up :by June Reddix-Stennis

»Call Yo Mama« (The Black Woman is God) :by Karen Seneferu

EARTH ANGEL in San Francisco :by Malik Seneferu

City on a Hill :by Karo Durojaiye

Greg Tate :by André Leroy Davis

UnAdjustedNowRaw :by Black Mau

Welcome To Our Healing Sanctuary Part 1 :by Safiya Eshe Gyasi

»A Black screen is the vessel that symbolizes the mind. The imagery scrolling up the screen represents memories, rapid thoughts, experiences, nightmares, dreams, and peace. About 8 million people have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] in a given year. Medical racism is so real. About 2.87 million Americans sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury [TBI] each year.

Who's talking about TBI & PTSD in the Black community? How many people in the Black community even know the signs and symptoms of TBI & PTSD? Better yet, how many people in the Black community know what healing through art looks like?

Join Two Black women as they share their experiences with TBI & PTSD, as they break down the walls of mental imprisonment, as they heal through art, and as they invite you to join their healing sanctuary.« —Safiya Eshe Gyasi

Metaverse

Metaverse- A dystopian reality first described in the novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson describing an enclosed integrated network of 3D virtual worlds presented as an alternative to human social interaction.

Scroll to read a conversation between the curator, Dr. C. Tsehloane Keto, and Prof. John Jennings about the Metaverse.

Critical Race Design Studies :By John Jennings

According to John Jennings, critical race design studies is an interdisciplinary design practice that intersects critical race theory, speculative design, design history and critical making to analyze and critique the effects of visual communication, graphic objects, and their associated systemic mediations of racial identity.

John Jennings is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside (UCR), Jennings examines the visual culture of race in various media forms including film, illustrated fiction, and comics and graphic novels. He is also the director of Abrams ComicArts imprint Megascope, which publishes graphic novels focused on the experiences of people of color. His research interests include the visual culture of Hip Hop, Afrofuturism and politics, Visual Literacy, Horror, and the EthnoGothic, and Speculative Design and its applications to visual rhetoric.

Proposed adaptation of Samuel R. Delany's 1968 novel, NOVA

Write No History :by Black Quantam Futurism/Rasheedah Phillips

»Write No History is a short speculative triptych film featuring found and archival footage of The Temporal Disruptors, members of an ancient Secret Society of Black scientists, healers, and writers. Spread out across time in the relative past/present/future at one of their meeting lodges, the Hatfield House in Philadelphia, performing quantum time capsule burying and unearthing rituals to transport quantum time capsules containing tools, maps, clocks, and codes as technologies to hack colonized timelines.

Write No History is directed and produced by Black Quantum Futurism with filmmaker Bob Sweeney.

Featured Temporal Disruptors include: Dominique Matti, Iresha Picot, Marcelline Mandeng, Vernon Jordan III, Angel Edwards, Vitche-Boul Ra, Sheena Powell, Alex Farr, Camae Ayewa, Riot Dent, and Rodnie King.«

—Black Quantam Futurism/Rasheedah Phillips

Primavera :by Nettrice Gaskins

»Created using deep learning (Artificial Intelligence).« — Nettrice Gaskins

Metasphere :by Jessi Jumanji

Terminus II :by James Mason

The Glych :by Muniyra Douglas

Introduction to Preview of The Glych

by Muniyra Douglas

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The Glych

by Muniyra Douglas

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The Glych // Preview

by Muniyra Douglas

None

I Stand Asleep :by Junior Tomlin

Dark Universe: The Bright Empire :by James Eugene

Cover art for Dark Universe: The Bright Empire, an anthology edited by Milton J. Davis and Eugene Peterson.

All Possible Future :by Alan Saint Clark

Atoms of an Evening Wing :by Quentin VerCetty

OutKast :by Stacey Robinson

The power of creativity and innovation

Through an analysis of visual culture and technology within the genre of Afrofuturism, The Black Angel of History examines the power that creativity and innovation wields in the struggle for various freedoms of expression and the politics of resistance and victory. The Black Angel of History's task is to shift the geography of reason to navigate the present Metamodern moment, engagement and tension between Afrofuturism and Afropessimism, social death and immortality, and respond to the future challenges of the Metaverse with the Cyberfunk worldbuilding and Pluriverse flair of the Astro-Black Speculative design imagination.

Angel of Sankofa :by Quentin VerCetty

Seriiyun, The Spirit of Buccoo Reef :by Meighan Morson

OPEN MIND :by Sunahtah Jones (Spice Cam Visuals)

Gayngel at the Red Door of the Apocalypse :by Stacey Robinson

God Forbid :by Stacey Robinson

Prince of Knowledge :by Tokie-Rome Taylor

Earth Seed :by Stacey Robinson

Awakenings-We Were Always Here-Mission Sankofa Awakening :by Quentin VerCetty

 

Courtesy of Carnegie Hall and Google Arts and Culture. Supported by the Carnegie Hall Rose Archives.

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