On Black Futures looks for those other modes of being in the world – geographically, aesthetically, temporally, speculatively – that expand how we understand blackness in relation to futurity and the fantastic as fundamental to black thought and black being.
On Black Futures is a two day symposium held on February 3-4, 2017 and hosted by The Graduate Certificate Students in the Department of African & African American Studies at Duke University. A full description of the symposium and presenters is available here.
Running for three weeks in February BAMcinématek presents “One Way or Another: Black Women’s Cinema, 1970-1991.” The series opens February 3-5 with a screening of Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust. The series also highlights films by Barbara McCullough, Zeinabu irene Davis, Alile Sharon Larkin and Monona Wali, all whose work was likewise highlighted in “The L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black American Cinema,” a film series co-hosted by liquid blackness and Emory’s Department of Film and Media Studies in the Fall 2013.
In the January 23rd issue, The New Yorker highlights the exhibition of Arthur Jafa’s video piece, Love is the Message, the Message is Death at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise as “required viewing.” Jafa previewed the piece before the screening of his film, Dreams are Colder than Death at the Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta as part of a 2016 SCMS conference event hosted by liquid blackness last spring.
Read the full New Yorker piece here.
liquid blackness supports the efforts of the #J20 Art Strike, an act of noncompliance on Inauguration Day. For more on the rationale behind the strike, read Coco Fusco’s op-ed for Hyperallergic. In the days ahead and as a sign of solidarity, liquid blackness will continue to share the op-eds of other contributors to Hyperallergic in support of the strike .
liquid blackness is pleased to announce that the 2015 publication, L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema edited by Allison Field and Jan-Christopher Horak and published by University of California Press will be awarded best edited collection at the 2017 SCMS annual conference. The awards ceremony will be held Friday, March 24th at the Fairmont Chicago. Faculty coordinator of liquid blackness, Alessandra Raengo’s essay, “Encountering the Rebellion: liquid blackness Reflects on the Expansive Possibilities of the L.A. Rebellion Films,” is included in the collection and describes the research which culminated in “The Arts and Politics of the Jazz Ensemble” project.
Papers to be presented by liquid blackness faculty advisor, Alessandra Raengo and editorial staff member, Jenny Gunn were recently included in a CAA News article highlighting the emphasis on intersections of race and art at the 2017 annual College Art Association Conference in New York City. The papers of other friends of liquid blackness including Lauren Cramer, Derek Conrad Murray, Deborah Willis and Sarah Cervenak were also highlighted.
Read more here.
Arthur Jafa’s “Love is the Message, The Message is Death” is currently screening in an exhibition for Gavin Brown Enterprise (GBE) at 429 WEST 127TH Street, New York now through December 17. As described from GBE’s website:
The viral outgrowth of an aborted found-footage exercise, the 7-minute video [Love is the Message, The Message is Death] is an alternately mirthful-cum-melancholic-cum-cardiac-arresting meditation on race-agency wrapped in a visually sermonic recitation of race tragedy wrapped in a nuanced and feverish exultation of diverse Black American lives at various states of collapse and regeneration–a spectrum of community including those identified by Jafa in an earlier project as “The Uncommon Folk.”
To read the full description click here.
Faculty coordinator of liquid blackness, Alessandra Raengo will present a paper entitled, “Black Liquidity and the Weaving of Black Sociality,” at the SLSA 2016 Annual Meeting. Dr. Raengo will present on the “Network Ephemerality” panel on Friday, November 4, from 1:30 PM-3:30 PM (Panel G Ansley 7) in the Westin Peachtree hotel in downtown Atlanta. Read below the paper abstract in full:
While the resilience of the “racial panopticon” and anti-black violence has moved several “Afropessimist” scholars to understand blackness under the rubric of “social death,” the ascendance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement vindicates instead the opposing “Afro-optimist” position, which affirms the generative capacity of black social life. “Black Liquidity and the Weaving of Black Sociality” examines this tension in Arthur Jafa’s essay film Dreams are Colder than Death (2013), a meditation on the legacy of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech,” conducted through interviews with African-American intellectuals and artists. Woven together with lyrical, slow-motion images of ordinary black people, water and cosmological images of deep space, these voices reflect on the ontology of blackness and its relationship to life, death, and the concept of the human. Eventually, through the words of Fred Moten, the film questions the possibility to love black people once blackness is solely understood within the “afterlife of slavery.” This paper reads the film’s rhizomatic structure, which effectively performs the very networks of solidarity, grief, and grievance sought by #BLM, as the evidence of such love. Through its aesthetic liquidity, i.e. the film’s facility to move across scale –from the minute to the cosmological, from the familial to the collective—and the way it disjoins some of the very conditions for black surveillance—voices strategically recorded independently from the image; faces hardly visible because shot against intense light sources—the film claims for blackness the expansiveness that institutes radical networks of black love.
The New Yorker recently published, “The Profound Power of the New Solange Videos.” The article establishes a lineage similar to that of the work of liquid blackness by looking at the role of Arthur Jafa in Solange’s new work and how that is in conversation with his work with Julie Dash, and by extension, Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and the work of Kahlil Joseph. It also highlights the importance of the music video format and gestures towards a sort of liquid black aesthetic visible in the work of Japanese-American video director, Hiro Murai. Read the full article here.