Art Futures Dream Tank is a participatory workshop with Decolonize the Art World, for imagining regenerative futures for museums.
Museums are more than a physical space or institutional actors. The museum is an exercise in worldbuilding, extracting forms of cultural knowledge to create the core of the artworld as we currently know it.
Through group discussion, Guerrilla Theorizing and speculative design, participants will name the ways we experience 'museum' and begin to tangibly dream beyond it. We will be working with facilitators brontë velez, Neema Githere, Sabrina Citra and Yaa Addae.
The resulting discussions and inventions will be compiled into the Art Futures Playbook, and published online.
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Yaa Addae, also known as yaa the plant, is a Ghanaian-British multidisciplinary strategist. The emancipatory potential of play is central to their practice, as is dreamwork. Rooted in indigenous African invention, Yaa works to reimagine cultural infrastructure and expand means of producing art histories. Drawn to collective knowledge-making, Yaa experimented with frequent collaborator Muna Mohamed to create ‘Black Diaspora Literacy: From Negritude to Drake’, a 10 week course on the interconnectedness of Black cultural production throughout the diaspora. Later, they were a researcher for The Mobile Museum and Cultural Encyclopedia of African Art: Ghana Volume, powered by Ano Institute of Arts and Knowledge. Currently based in Accra, Ghana, they mostly daydream about regenerative creative ecosystems via an art futurist studio, A-kra, which offers an online anticolonial art theory school (Decolonize The Art World) and rhizomatic residency program (The Imaginarium).
Sabrina Citra is a researcher whose subjects lie in the intersections of academia, art and the social sciences. She is currently affiliated to King’s College London, where alongside Prof. Andy Sumner, she is collaborating to further multidisciplinary learning and research by propelling the use of social science fiction as a research methodology. Having been born and raised in Indonesia, Sabrina carries with her a strong belief in a communitarian philosophy within arts and cultural-based engagements. This has transcended into Sabrina’s work to develop an emphatic-based approach to activism and design, which has been integral to her work as a campaigner in Durham People of Colour Association and as creative director of Blink Magazine. She is currently a co-dreamer of Decolonize The Art World and working to build a digital archive for an exploration of Indonesian culture. She dabbles in digital design by experimenting with coding.
Neema Githere is a guerrilla theorist and curator hailing from Nairobi, Kenya whose work explores indigenous cybernetics. Their curatorial work focuses on data healing endeavors to illuminate the links between technology, nature and spirituality. Other projects of theirs include Afropresentism - a term they coined in 2017 to articulate digital diasporic cultural production in the here and now - and Radical Love Consciousness, a collective that focuses on re-indigenization through grassroots learning networks.
brontë’s work and rest is guided by the call that “black wellness is the antithesis to state violence” (Mark Anthony Johnson). As a black-latinx transdisciplinary artist, designer, trickster, and wakeworker, their eco-social art praxis lives at the intersections of black feminist placemaking & prophetic community traditions, environmental justice, and death doulaship. They embody this commitment of attending to black health/imagination, commemorative justice and hospicing systems of oppression through serving as creative director for Lead to Life, educator for ancestral arts skills and nature-connection school Weaving Earth, and quotidian black queer lifemaking ever-committed to humor & liberation, ever-marked by grief at the distance made between us and all of life.
What is Guerilla Theory?
Coined by Neema Githere, Guerilla Theorizing “affirms conversation as the highest form of theory. It is a movement to unschool our voices, to free our world, and disregard the illusion of writing 'rules', and communicate our truth to life.” (Radical Love Consciousness, 2020).
Do I have to identify as an artist or cultural worker to apply?
No, art futures involve all of us and the many ways creativity takes shape. Come as you are, open to all.
What can speculative design look like?
Have a look at Rafael Sergio Smith‘s Explorations, Afrotectopia Imagineer Exercises here (outcome) and here (wordmap), and Investing In Futures: Beyond Policing.
Where can I learn more about the power dynamics of the art world?
Decolonize the Art World shares colonial art histories and anticolonial interventions on their instagram page @decolonizetheartworld, and are continuously updating an open source syllabus.
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Each year, Autograph has an Open Call for event proposals from emerging cultural producers who are working on a new or early stage project. For successful applicants, Autograph provides a budget, curatorial fee, and support to help make the event happen. We're proud that Art Futures Dream Tank is a result of our 2020 Open Call.
Images, from top: 1) Art Futures Dream Tank designed by Shani Asiko. 2 ) Yaa Addae. 3) Sabrina Citra. 4)Neema Githere. 5) brontë Velez