Tag Archives: George Clinton

The My-Stery: Spooky Entanglement — When Black Contribution Is Obscured


The other day as I was looking for some Basquiat inspiration, I came across this article about his artistic influences, “John-Michel Basquiat: The Afrofuturistic and His Art: Part I – Cosmic Slop and George Clinton’s Afro-Futurism. One part struck me the most, especially we discuss appropriation and often the lack of social credit given to black influencers:

Art historians gush over his white artistic influences: Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Cy Twombly and Franz Kline figure prominently. No argument here. The western art tradition, jealously guarded by a ‘high art’ priesthood, had to justify Basquiat’s membership. Basquiat, no dummy, wanted fame.

Celebrity required cultural legitimacy, an artistic heritage defined by the western art canon. His first dealer, Annina Nosei, helped to fashion his art pedigree (fig. 2). Basquiat was complicit in this action. “Picasso” writes Dick Hebridge, could afford to leave the marketing and manufacturing of the iconic self to future generations.” Not so for Basquiat. His blackness remained an issue. Luca Marensi writes: “The use of some imagery, specifically black or African, leaves no trace that would allow an uninformed viewer to suppose the painter is black.”

Continue reading The My-Stery: Spooky Entanglement — When Black Contribution Is Obscured

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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music


AiRich

*Afropunk “Feature: Visual Artist AiRich Talks About Her Afrofuturistic and Raw Style:“My name is AiRich. According to the people who surround me, my photography can work safely in the category of “afrofuturism”. This has mainly to do with the style, the spiritual aspects that others link to my work. I see this as a great compliment, because my style was first developed by an optimistic philosophy that whatever is inside of me can come out. I welcome it, as it is an expression and reflection of my lifestyle, taste, who I am and how I see the world. One of the most recognizable landmarks in my work is that I only make use of Black models, whom in the first instance are not the ideal beauty image requirements in western photography. My approach is conceptual and in the opposite direction, of western photography. Often with a specific story [traditional and non-traditional] or message that I want to say the story is often in the expression, the styling or setting. Most times the story alone is a non-theatrical physical positioning of the model. Whatever comes out, it is always and expression of the culture, myth and reality of the Black people’s truth.”

*CCCADI Roots and Stars: Destiny and Purpose – Pathways to Passion event will be tomorrow at 6:30pm at the Dwyer Cultural Center: We beckon our most passionate lives in this cross-traditional conversation exploring the concepts of Destiny and Purpose. Marinieves Alba presents a prayer-talk about the Lukumi concept of Ori, a metaphorical bird of destiny and highest purpose that, perched atop each person’s spiritual head, guides us in our flight through life.  Joshua Bee Alafia, representing the Buddhist tradition, discusses the power of meditation to achieve greater levels of personal clarity, courage, and a bold allegiance to the sincerity of the heart.Roots and Stars is CCCADI’s salon series dedicated to exploring Black spiritual genius as expressed in art, practice, and the ritual of everyday life.

*Also tomorrow: Schomburg Center presents conversation, Before 5: Xenobia Bailey and Tammi Lawson, in which the two will discuss the inspirations to Xenobia’s Reconstruction of Funktional Design: A Design Project for Social, and Economic Urban Redevelopment. The artist will share how the creative wisdom of her family’s history originating crafts skills and a material culture in the aesthetic of funk within small African American and multi cultural communities in Seattle Washington and how the migration to Brooklyn and presently living in Harlem influenced her lifestyle and is the foundation of her education and the principal of her Professional Practice. She will speak of her environment of being raised by self educated parents and extended family members of how they manifested an art form, of humbly living in grace by design, in spite of the set backs of Jim Crow Laws that most hard working African American Families experienced in rural and urban communities.

This will be an afternoon survey of a few examples of the Material Culture of the Visual Aesthetic of Funk: The Dynamic Art of Gracefully Living a Dream in a North American Discriminatory Nightmare. Xenobia will share images of Familiar, but under appreciated references and inspirations from the Designs, Engineering and Inventiveness of the low-income, African American homemakers and domestic workers.”

Continue reading Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music

Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music


Submit to the Afrofuturist Affair’s 4th Annual Ball and Mont-long Celebration- Black Holographic Memory

Support this blog by donating to my Paypal (send donations to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com) or my become a patron on my Patreon page!

*Check out my two features on Atlanta Blackstar’s Blerds series, “Using Afrofuturism to Power New Modes of Tech,” and The Root’s My Thing Is series, “Maybe My Weird Version of Blackness Isn’t That Weird.

*Newswise’s “Science Fiction Through Lens of Racial Inclusiveness: Prestigious grant will fund exploration of ethnic futurisms at UCR in 2015-16:” “The University of California, Riverside will expand that universe with a yearlong exploration of ethnic futurisms that have been largely overlooked or marginalized until recently, a program of events funded by a prestigious $175,000 Sawyer Seminar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Alternative Futurisms,” which will launch in September 2015, will bring together African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American scholars, artists and writers to examine the colonial roots and legacies of science fiction and the power of speculative fiction as a tool for social change.”

*Listen to Africa Writes 2014 – Imagining Future Africa: Sci Fi, Innovation & Technology panel discussion featuring ” Ivor W. Hartmann, writer, editor, publisher and visual artist; Tade Thompson, writer, psychiatrist and clinical director for Adult Mental Health at St James Hospital, Portsmouth; and Geoff Ryman, writer and senior lecturer at the Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester. Moderated by Emma Dabiri, PhD researcher at Goldsmiths University and teaching fellow at SOAS.”

*Books Live’s “Bulawayo, Oduor, Huchu, Kahora and Chela Tackle the Tricky Subject of African Writing, and Hail the Rise of Afro-futurism

*Afropunk’s “FEATURE: ‘Juniper Leaves‘ fantasy book features Black kinky-haired queer nerd:“”AFROPUNK contributor Jaz Joyner is self-publishing a fantasy book featuring a Black kinky-haired queer nerd as the main character. She tells us: “After a year of reaching out to agents and publishing firms with the continuous response that the book ‘sounds good but may not be marketable,’ I decided to take matters into my own hands and self publish.”
Click here if you’d like to support the project (Kickstarter campaign).”

*Huffpost’s “Sci-Fi Artist Saya Woolfalk Creates A Hallucinatory Human Mandala From Dancers:” “The artist, whose father is African American and white and whose mother is Japanese, conjures mythical utopias to explore ideas of race, sexuality, difference, hybridization, cooperation and creativity. Her multimedia works summon viewers on a multicolored trip through mythical research, bunk biology and bizarre costumes, exposing cultural rituals as the fantastical occurrences they have been all along.

Her 2012 exhibition “The Empathics” introduced viewers to a bizarre breed of women who, after encountering genetically unusual buried remains, begin experiencing psychedelic visions that transform them into part plant, part animal hybrids.

This uncanny species, dubbed the Empathics, are an extremely porous culture, literally absorbing their cultural influences and physically mutating as a result. When searching for an iconography suitable for her mythical breed, Woolfalk incorporated the mandala, a nest of squares and circles that, to many, represent the cosmos.

For Buddhist practitioners however,” the Asian Art Museum explains, “mandalas are not just images to view, but worlds to enter — after recreating the image in their mind’s eye, meditators imaginatively enter its realm.”

*Black Girls Code received $190,000 from Google for their Initiative, “which will teach 75 black and Latina teens how to build a mobile app in one day.” Awesome!

Continue reading Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music

Moving on the Wires: Recent News and Posts


*Today is my Birthday!!!! Officially 24! You can give me a gift through support of my blog by becoming a patron on my Patreon page or sending donations to my PayPal account (email: svfreebird87@gmail.com). Any amount is appreciated. Thank you!

*I haven’t been able to post as frequently lately, since I have been working on other projects, but thank you for continued reading. Also, if anyone wants to help with the blog, click on the Contact/Submissions page.

Here are news and other important posts from the past few weeks:

*”Sun Ra’s Full Lecture & Reading List From His 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Cosmos” on Open Culture: “In 1971, he served as artist-in-residence at UC Berkeley and offered a spring semester lecture, African-American Studies 198, also known as “Sun Ra 171,” “The Black Man in the Universe,” or “The Black man in the Cosmos.” The course featured readings from—to name just a few—theosophist Madame Blavatsky, French philosopher Constantin Francois de Chasseboeuf, black American writer and poet Henry Dumas, and “God,” whom the cosmic jazz theorist reportedly listed as the author of The Source Book of Man’s Life and Death (otherwise known as the King James Bible).”

*Support Joy Kmt and bekezela mguni’s Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception Creating the World: “We transform the world with words, stories, art, ritual & activism. The Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception is dedicated to producing work that disrupts time as we commonly understand it and centralizes the humanity and stories of black women. The TOIP also works to create environments that are slightly alternate other-worlds, using soundscape, storytelling, poetry, interactive ritual and visual arts.  When you pledge, you support innovative creation, workshops, ritual and art that is about creating space by and for black women….We will also keep you updated on the progress of the work of the Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception, which includes Testify, a traveling interactive performance-ritual-, workshops like Liberation Science, Shrining, You as Tabernacle, and more. We hope to bring it to your city soon!”

*Upcoming events from CCCADI:

Spirituality and Social Justice in Brazil- A Panel Discussion on August 15th: “The Schomburg Center, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), Home Slice Magazine and Veterans of Hope co-present an evening celebrating African ancestry and activism in Brazil through the lens of Iyalorixá Valnízia Pereira, a priestess and activist from one of the most prominent candomblé terreiros (ritual temples) in the state of Bahia, Brazil. As Iyalorixá of the Terreiro do Cobre, Valnizia Pereira is responsible for the preservation of sacred rites, ritual music, dance, pharmacopeic knowledge and liturgical African languages that have been passed down to her for more than seven generations.”

Mulheres de Axe, Celebration of the Sacred Power of Women of Spirit on August 27th: “Silvana Magda and Brazilian Week join with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and Senator Bill Perkins to present “Mulheres de Axe”, an event shedding light on the Brazilian women, the keepers of Afro Brazilian sacred traditions who have formed a network to challenge and combat misrepresentation of their historic sacred traditions and practices, violence against women, condemn racial discrimination, gentrification and the lack of resources available to youth and families of economically poor and disenfranchised communities. Visitors will enjoy a display and discussion of Ritual Candomble Dresses of Mulheres de Axe (Women of Axe) representing the different Orixas, African Yoruba Divinities, of the varied Candomble Temples of Brazil, a musical presentation of the diverse rhythms honoring the varied Orixas of Candomble, a panel discussion, and more.”

*Check out Floyd Webb’s timeline, Afrofuturism:Reframing Afrofuturism, a Historical, Spiritual and Conceptual History. Also, “The Strange Story of Afrofuturism” on Cool Accidents and “Afrofuturism: Space Is the Place” on Viva Scene.

*Afrofuturism takes flight: from Sun Ra to Janelle Monáe” on The Guardian: “A new generation of artists are exploring afrofuturism – Outkast and Janelle Monáe take the philosophy to the mainstream, while Flying Lotus and Shabazz Palaces push jazz and hip-hop to their extremes.”

*Conversation on Chronicles of Harriet about the relevance and problems of the term Afrofuturism.

Continue reading Moving on the Wires: Recent News and Posts

Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts


Barbados Coat of Arms Source: Fun Barbados

These are from the past two weeks:

*Please Donate to my blog! Any amount will be appreciated! Either click on the donate button on the side or send donation to my Paypal using my email: svfreebird87@gmail.com. Thank you!

*Also, reminder to please donate and/or share my fundraiser for Atlantic Impact’s Abroad for a Cause Challenge. Here is my blog post about it from yesterday.

Barbados cultural fact for the day: Since Kara Walker did the Marvelous Sugar Baby sphinx, did you know that sugar cane is an important industry in Barbados. Its coat of arms has a fist of a Barbadian holding two sugar canes that are crossed to resemble St. Andrews Cross.

*Speaking of Kara Walker, there is a lot of discussion and controversy surrounding the work she did (as usual with her work). The intention of her piece at its core is deep and though-provoking, highlighting the exploitation of black people to produce cash crops, like sugar, the sexual exploitation and degradation of black women, but also the simultaneous fascination with and sacredness of black women in the use of the sphinx pose, the exploitation of lower wage workers like those who used to work in the Domino Factory, and the refinement of certain products like sugar (another is vanilla) that mimics the erasure of black and brown people. Hilton Als discusses more in The New Yorker. Still, although I get it, the danger of art is always that other will not because they do not know the historical context and it will become a spectacle. Already many are mentioning how people are taking pictures, smiling and laughing around the artwork instead of contemplating it. It’s a tightrope issue of intention of art and the audiences’ reception of it.

*I was wondering what happened to the HowDoYouSayYamInAfrican’s (The YAMS collective) film showing at The Whitney; it seemed to have disappeared. This is what happened. Mainstream institutions being racially problematic -check!

*Fact Magazine’s “Space is still the place: King Britt re-interprets Sun Ra classic for 100th birthday celebrations:” As part of Dark Matter Coffee’s launch of Astro Black, King Britt released a music mix in honor of Sun Ra’s 100th birthday coming up soon. King Britt will do a special performance in Chicago for Ra’s birthday and the following day, which is his birthday, there will be a 100 Saxophones for Sun Ra event. Also, DJ Hank Shocklee posted “The Cosmic Vibrations Of Sun Ra: Audio Documentary.”

Manny Vega Artwork will be at CCCADI exhibition
Manny Vega Artwork will be at CCCADI exhibition

*CCCADI (The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute) will be hosting a series of events starting Thursday with a pop-up exhibition at the 1885 historical landmark firehouse on 125th street that they are renovating as their new space. The event, “The Spirit of El Barrio: Past, Present, and Future,” starts at 11am and will feature artists “Adrian Roman, Edgardo Miranda, Manny Vega, Oliver Rios and Yasmin Hernandez, with a special live painting by guest artist Edgardo Larregui. Some of the works of art will incorporate Augmented Reality technology, providing a small preview to one of the future opening exhibitions of CCCADI.”

Update: Due to a large volume of people wanting to attend, there will be two tours of the popup exhibition. The first will have speakers Marta Moreno Vega, the founder of CCCADI, and Senator Bill Perkins, and the second tour will have New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

I will be there, too!

Continue reading Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts

Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts


*Please DONATE to my blog! Any amount is appreciated! You can click the paypal button at the side panel or send it to my email svfreebird87@gmail.com through paypal. I was not able to do this post last week because my computer malfunctioned, so this is a combined post for the past two weeks.

*If you haven’t seen it already, the trailer for Oya: Rise of the Orisha premiered this week!
It looks like the film will be epic! Inspired by the Yoruba religion of West African and its goddess/warrior-spirit of winds, storms, fertility, magic and guardian of the underworld, Oya, the synopsis of the story follows Ade “one of the few people with a connection to one of the gods, Oya. She has been tasked with the job of protecting the innocent and that means keeping the door to the gods shut. If the doorway to the gods is opened, they will wreak chaos upon us as retribution for our abandonment of them. To keep the door shut, she must find ‘the key,’ a young girl with the potential to open the doorway, and keep her safe.

The adventure unfolds with a host of memorable characters and a string of unexpected twists, Ade, goes in search of the key, battling against those who wish to open portal and unleashing a horde of forgotten gods and goddesses into the world, with powers and skills beyond our comprehensive and supernatural gifts which will change the course of history for mankind, forever.”

Take a look at Black Girls Code Episode 2:

Continue reading Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts

Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts


*Please DONATE to my blog at the side of my blog to fund trademarking and future merchandising, and to continue my ability to attend future events. Doing this costs money!!! Anything helps!!! Thank you!!!!

*New Submission Guidelines on Contact and Submissions Page.

Update: *Unnamed Press announced the NYC launch of PEN Fellow Deji Bryce Olukotun’s book Nigerians in Space. He will be in a conversation with Joel Whitney of Guernica and Al Jazeera at Word Brooklyn on February 26th at 7pm. For more information click here.

Rigamo

*The Clutch’s “Calling All Nerds, Geeks, Afro-Punks and Other Such Off-Beat Black Folks…” list

*Saul Williams and Sanford Biggers will be in conversation at the Studio Museum on Thursday, February 2 at 7pm. They will explore “the sonic, visual and textual in their practices in the context of Afrofuturist aesthetics.” The day after, Columbia University along with the Studio Museum will be presenting John Akomfrah’s film about Stuart Hall, who recently passed away. Buy tickets for the Williams and Biggers talk here.

*Frances Bodomo’s Afronauts will be part of The Film Society at Lincoln Center and MOMA’s New Directors/New Films festival in March. Tickets for general audiences go on sale March 10.

*Che Grayson and Sharon De La Cruz’s Rigamo Film and Comic Book project. The project is about a Kera Moore, “a young girl who accidentally stumbles upon a secret ability: her tears bring people back to life. However, there is one caveat: when she brings someone back to life, she ages by multiple years.”

*Wax Poetics’ “Not Just Knee Deep:  Deep in conversation with Shock G” of Digital Underground talks about his influences, like George Clinton in this interview: Part 1 Part 2 and Part 3.

*Bitch Magazine’s “Black to the Future:” Women in Afrofuturism featuring Janelle Monae, Missy Elliot, THEESatisfaction, Ebony Bones and Martine Syms.

*Shadow and Act’s “Interview: Exploring the Unseen with M. Asli Dukan (Director of ‘Invisible Universe’)

*Fantastic Four Reboot Casting: Is It Progressive?

Continue reading Moving on the Wires: This Week’s News and Posts