Black Quantum Futurism start their Collide residency at CERN
As winners of the last edition of the Collide Award, Rasheedah Phillips from Black Quantum Futurism arrived to CERN for the first phase of their residency in Geneva, which will be followed by a stay in Barcelona. She will work with scientists, engineers and laboratory staff to develop their Collide winning-project CPT SYMMETRY AND VIOLATIONS.
In February, the Philadelphia-based collective Black Quantum Futurism formed by Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips were selected as the winners of the Collide Residency Award, following an international open call. Collide is Arts at CERN's flagship residency programme, organized since 2019 in collaboration with Barcelona’s Institute of Culture and Barcelona City Council as part of a three-year collaboration. The residency entails a research period at CERN, followed by a developmental phase hosted at the Hangar Centre for Art Research and Production in Barcelona and in dialogue with various scientific laboratories.
“We both have a deep interest in quantum physics, time, and time travel, as well as an interest in researching Black and Afrodiasporan cultural traditions and religions. Black Quantum Futurism was a way for us to create artistic projects and do research at the intersections of all of those interests.” the artists explained in an interview with Arts at CERN. Their multidisciplinary practice spans writing, music, film, visual art, installations and creative research projects, developing practical tools for allowing access to pasts and futures and deconstructing traditional linear temporalities and calendar methods.
During their residency, they will work on their proposal entitled CPT SYMMETRY AND VIOLATIONS. In physics, CPT symmetry stands for charge, parity, and time reversal symmetry. The acronym also carries another meaning in the phrase “Colored People’s Time”. CPT, in that sense, is often used as a negative stereotype to refer to Black people as being chronically late. In their essay Dismantling the Master’s Clock, BQF have analysed Colored People’s Time as a split spatio-temporal consciousness and traced it back to an ancestral reckoning of time and a current-day survival mechanism.
Taking the double meaning of CPT, Black Quantum Futurism want to examine time and temporality at various scales and dimensions – personal, interpersonal, communal, global and cosmic. In their own words, “The project 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.”
Their most recent site-specific installation Ancestors returning again / this time only to themselves is on view at the Hatfield House of Fairmount Park Conservancy in Philadelphia until 19 September. It debuts Write No History, a short film featuring found and archival footage of The Temporal Disruptors, members of an ancient Secret Society of Black scientists, healers, and writers transporting a “quantum time capsule” between the future, past, and present. Presented as a video and sound installation, the Hatfield House is transformed into a gallery of artefacts from the society.
Collide is organized in collaboration with Barcelona City Council and the Institute of Culture of Barcelona as part of a three-year collaboration (2019-2021). The next call for proposals will be launched in autumn 2021.