EXHIBITION | Black Quantum Futurism + McGilchrist
April 28 – June 28
Thursday, June 18th, 12pm – 1pm
The link will be shared in this event.
Due to quarantine measures, this exhibition has been adapted to an online format.
Black Womxn Temporal Portal (The Future(s) Are Black Quantum Womanist)
– by Black Quantum Futurism (Camae Ayewa & Rasheedah Phillips)
The Black Womxn Temporal Portal is a sculptural portal and web-based platform transporting its user to a temporary temporal sanctuary for self-identified Black women, femmes, nonbinary folks, and girls. The portal draws on their unique, intersectional temporal experiences to resist active erasure from a dominant, linear white future and to activate the plural, subjective, and quantum nature of the future(s) where Black women, femmes, nonbinary folks, and girls exist as safe, loved, and valued. Containing an open access, interactive, nonlinear timescape/tapestry/temporal map/toolkit of Black womanist temporal rituals and tech, the portal prepares us for Black quantum womanist future(s).
– by Olivia McGilchrist
X-cosmos-X looks at water and submersion through screen-based technologies, stimulating a contemplative and immersive experience. Inspired by Barbadian writer and poet Kamau Brathwaite’s notions of ‘tidalectics’ and ‘Caribbean cosmos’, McGilchrist layers videos and 3D water shaders to create fluid and experimental virtual underwater environments which include non-Western spaces. X-cosmos-X is part of a larger research project exploring how Virtual Reality (VR), screen-based, and multi-media installations can trouble postcolonial identities through hybrid representations of human and non-human bodies.
The flow of time, the return of the tides: phenomena with fixed contours, an inescapable rhythm—or is this solidity an illusion?
In Olivia McGilchrist’s virtual realities, bodies and spaces are fluid, their textures overlap, boundaries blur; a cosmogony of elusive incarnations emerges. Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips of the Black Quantum Futurism Collective also manipulate reality, superimposing the past onto the present to open up the future to bodies that have experienced marginalization. Given the complexity of their context, each of these approaches, both imbued with the otherness that makes up the human experience, question the experience of reality and break it down to explore its prismatic dimensions.
For there are also social constructions, human interventions, where time accumulates and the tide breaks. The material of space-time can stretch and compress, liberate or enclose the bodies that pass through it. Their trajectories are not all identical or immune to hardships. Reality is fragmented by the multitude of experiences it contains.
Here, now, but also there, the artists propose turning the senses both inwards and outwards in an immersive experience of deprogramming expectations. In X-cosmos-X, screens and video overlap, multiplying textures and dimensions to inundate the senses. The underwater environments form a fluid topography, eminently immersive, conducive to contemplation; a wandering cosmos, a transitory state responsive to the flow of matter. In Black Womxn Temporal Portal, the virtual mingles with the IRL , forming an Afrofuturist sanctuary where black female, female and non-binary bodies can finally belong. Past, present and future dimensions are incorporated into a timeless vortex, forming a capsule where the mystical memory of a still speculative future can be forged.
These installations form escape routes, allow for breathing. In these openings, the bodily experience is projected into other possible, open realities. Although these places are ephemeral, their experience transcends the framework of the present by offering tools for resisting erasure. Their mirages are moving, but their movement can serve as a guide, a buoy through the tide of time.
 An acronym for In Real Life, as opposed to URL which refers to a website address and by extension to an online virtual reality.
Black Quantum Futurism is a multi-disciplinary collective from Philadelphia comprised of black artists Camae Ayewa (who also performs as Moor Mother) and Rasheedah Phillips (who is also an author, activist, and community advocate).
About Black Womxn Temporal Portal: www.blackwomxntemporal.net
About Black Quantum Futurism: https://www.blackquantumfuturism.com/about
Olivia McGilchrist is a Franco-Jamaican white multimedia artist and educator who addresses issues of identity and incarnation through virtual reality and video installation.
Marilou Craft is an author / translator / playwright / feminist / black / queer / Montrealer.
Photos: Courtesy of Olivia McGilchrist and Black Quantum Futurism – Camae Ayewa & Rasheedah Phillips (details)