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Black Quantum Futurism: Temporal Deprogramming
Institute of Contemporary Arts
13 – 25 August 2019

Black Quantum Futurism, ShadowGrams 1, 2019

Philadelphia-based interdisciplinary artists Black Quantum Futurism (BQF) present a new installation and accompanying live programme of music, performance, spoken word, talks and workshops.

Black Quantum Futurism’s practice is centred on a radical artistic methodology inspired by Afrofuturism, Afrodiasporan traditions of consciousness, and quantum physics. Through activism, artistic research, music, film and community-based writing projects, BQF offer practical techniques to empower marginalised communities, assisting individuals to overcome social injustices and oppressive linear time constructs. Through focusing on the recovery and preservation of communal memories, histories and stories, BQF aim to transform negative cycles into positive ones using artistic and holistic methods of healing.

Taking place over two weeks in the ICA’s Lower Gallery, Temporal Deprogramming features recent BQF works, including zines, video works, a listening station and a large-scale Black Quantum Futurism ‘event map’, which visualises BQF’s ‘intersectional time orientation’.

Contributions from invited artists will form the live programme, which features work by artists Barby Asante, D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem, and The Otolith Group, musicians Nkisi and Elaine Mitchener, and feminist activists East End Sisters Uncut.
Formed in 2014, Black Quantum Futurism is an interdisciplinary creative practice between Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips, based in Philadelphia. BQF weave quantum physics, Afrofuturism, and Afrodiasporic concepts of time, ritual, text and sound to present innovative works and tools offering practical ways to escape negative temporal loops, oppression vortexes and the digital matrix. In 2016, BQF founded Community Futures Lab, a community arts space in North Philadelphia. BQF is a 2018 Velocity Fund Grantee, 2018 Solitude & ZKM Web Resident, 2017 Center for Emerging Visual Artists Fellow, 2017 Pew Fellow, 2016 A Blade of Grass Fellow, and a 2015 artist-in-residence at Neighborhood Time Exchange, West Philadelphia. BQF has presented, exhibited and performed at Red Bull Arts, New York; Serpentine Galleries, London; Philadelphia Art Museum; Open Engagement; MOMA PS1, New York; Bergen Kunsthall; Le Gaite Lyrique, Paris; and Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, among others.

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a musician, poet, visual artist and workshop facilitator, and has performed at numerous festivals, colleges, galleries and museums around the world, sharing the stage with King Britt, Roscoe Mitchell, Claudia Rankine, Bell Hooks and more. Camae is a vocalist in three collaborative performance groups: Irreversible Entanglements, Moor Jewelry and 700bliss. In late 2016, she released her debut album Fetish Bones on Don Giovanni Records, and in 2017 she released The Motionless Present, commissioned by The Vinyl Factory x CTM. Recent festival performances include Borealis, CTM Festival, Le Guess Who?, Unsound Festival, Flow Festival, Rewire and Donaufestival.

Rasheedah Phillips, Esq. is a Philadelphia-based practising legal services attorney, artist, cultural producer and writer. Rasheedah’s writing has appeared in Keywords for Radicals, Villanova Law Review, The Funambulist Magazine and other publications. Rasheedah is the founder of The AfroFuturist Affair, a founding member of Metropolarity Queer Spec Fic Collective, co-founder of Black Quantum Futurism, and co-creator of the award-winning Community Futures Lab, which utilises themes of oral history, Afrofuturism and communal memory in an area undergoing redevelopment, gentrification and mass displacement. Phillips is a recipient of the National Housing Law Project 2017 Housing Justice Award, 2017 City & State Pennsylvania 40 under 40 Rising Star award, and 2018 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity. She is the self-published author of Recurrence Plot (and Other Time Travel Tales) (2014), and the editor of the anthologies Black Quantum Futurism: Theory & Practice Vol. I (2015) and Space-Time Collapse I: From the Congo to the Carolinas (2016).

Black Quantum Futurism: Temporal Deprogramming is kindly supported by:
Installation opening times:
Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 9pm

Installation ticket £4
Free for members
Free installation ticket with every programme or cinema ticket
Free for all on Tuesdays


Tuesday 13 August 2019, 6:30pm
Marking the opening of Temporal Deprogramming, Black Quantum Futurism present an interactive lecture exploring the history of linear time constructs, time travel, and notions of the future.

Thursday 15 August 2019, 6:45pm
Discussing their artistic practices and Black futurist imaginaries, artists Black Quantum Futurism and The Otolith Group explore how civil rights and Black liberation movements have reappropriated notions of time and temporality.

Saturday 17 August 2019, 2:00pm
Black Quantum Futurism × East End Sisters Uncut: Community Futurisms – Gentrification and Temporal-Spatial Warfare
Artists Black Quantum Futurism and feminist direct action group East End Sisters Uncut present a workshop examining housing futures.

Saturday 17 August 2019, 6:00pm
Black Quantum Futurism × D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem: High Priestess of the Intergalactic Federation, Special Envoy to Mars
D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem presents an interactive performance-lecture-experience followed by a performance by Black Quantum Futurism.

Sunday 18 August 2019, 7:00pm
Nkisi and Moor Mother: New and Old Sounds
An improvised performance by London-based producer, musician, DJ and curator Nkisi followed by a live set by electronic musician and poet Moor Mother.

Wednesday 21 August 2019, 7:00pm
Elaine Mitchener and the Rolling Calf
Led by vocalist Elaine Mitchener, The Rolling Calf trio perform improvised electroacoustic scores alongside screenings of seminal experimental films.

Thursday 22 August 2019, 6:45pm
Black Quantum Futurism × Languid Hands: The Fullness of Time + H-E-L-L-O
Curatorial duo Languid Hands present a screening of filmmaker and multimedia artist Cauleen Smith’s The Fullness of Time and H-E-L-L-O.

Sunday 25 August 2019, 3:00pm
the bird is singing us an invitation to meet our future: A Workshop with Barby Asante
Artist, curator and educator Barby Asante invites you to join her in exploring a reading of the Adinkra communicator, Sankofa, from a Black feminist perspective.