Symposium – Altered-Worlds: Black Utopia and the Age of Acceleration

Fri, May 14 @ 1pm-5:30pm (ET)
Tickets $25
Interspace Festival passes:
$25, $35, $50 ($75 value)

“To create high art—work that is functional and aesthetically “cool” or pleasing—in the face of those who would deny its very existence, declaim it as “primitive,”… is itself an act of resistance that subverts the master narrative that suggests our work is imitative or inconsequential, incapable of rising to the level of “the universal” or incapable of being seen unless they frame it so”.- Sheree Renée Thomas
Organized by co-curator Reynaldo Anderson and New York Live Arts, the symposium seeks to create a temporal space to celebrate Black Speculative Art at the intersection of accelerating technological innovation, a rising tide of neo-fascism, Jim Crow 2.0, and a world ravaged by the pandemic. New York Live Arts and the Black Speculative Arts Movement are rushing into the future to explore and imagine a world of alternative possibilities.

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1:00 – 1:05pm:  Welcome by Bill T. Jones


1:05  –  1:20pm:  Afrofuturism 2.0, High Culture and the Black Atlantic World
Opening remarks by Reynaldo Anderson


1:20 – 2:20pm:  New Suns Rising: The Black Speculative Arts Movement and Future Time
w/ Danilo Deluxo, Tasha Dougé, Andrea Hairston, John Jennings &
Tiffany E. Barber (moderator)
Panelists share ideas, challenges and experiences of Black Speculative production and politics during the pandemic and the acceleration of social change.


2:20 – 2:35pm:  Afro-Rithms From The Future (ARFTF): Democratizing the future where Black Futures Matter
w/ Ahmed Best & Lonny J. Avi Brooks
Developed by Afrofuturist Podcast co-creators Lonny J. Avi Brooks and Ahmed Best and game designer Eli Kosminsky, the game Afro-Rithms from the Future provides players with the tools to imagine and create a foundation for more equitable futures.


2:35 – 3:35pm:  After The Dark Winter
w/ Robyn Maynard, Ingrid LaFleur, John T. Maddox IV, Andrew Rollins & tobias c. van Veen (moderator)
What is the shape of future politics to come in the Black Atlantic world after the pandemic passes and the increasing threat of fascism? What are the implications of the open political repression or Jim Crow 2.0 by right wing politicos to suppress the vote?


3:40  – 3:55pm:  Calculating the Sensory Aesthetics of Black Liberation from Stacey Robinson

Calculating the Sensory Aesthetics of Black Liberation is Stacey’s art practice as a visual analysis and the beginnings of theorizations in the hope to define Blackness, liberation, and nationhood via the messages within his inherited album collection, the visual art, and collected writing of radical thinkers who inspired his art practice for the last three decades.


3:55 – 4:10pm:  Black Quantum Futurism: CPT Symmetry* and Violations
from Rasheedah Phillips
BQF’s Artist residency with CERN seeks to understand the ways in which quantum physics can influence how people think about, experience, and measure time in everyday reality, exploring the possibilities that quantum physics offers beyond the limitations of traditional, linear notions of time.
(*Charge, parity, and time reversal symmetry is a fundamental symmetry of physical laws under the simultaneous transformations of charge conjugation (C), parity transformation (P), and time reversal (T). CPT is the only combination of C, P, and T that is observed to be an exact symmetry of nature at the fundamental level.


4:10 – 5:10pm:  “Where There Is A Woman There Is Magic”: Forecasting the Speculative Vision of Black Women
w/ Natasha A. Kelly, Danielle R. Littlefield, Florence Okoye, Niama Safia Sandy & Sheree Renée Thomas (moderator)
Ntozake Shange’s powerful quote speaks to the resourcefulness and innovation of women. Black women were adversely affected by the pandemic. What are their challenges and how have they triumphed as they work to build a transformative future?


5:10 – 5:20pm:  Coda – Reynaldo Anderson