For Staying Power, Black Quantum Futurism proposed a multi-part sound sculpture and installation that builds on their ongoing Community Futures Lab and other related projects that bring together the past, present, and future of the neighborhood into new or reconfigured non-linear relationships. Their project, “Reclamation: Space-Times,” includes a monumental-sized “Oral Futures Booth,” in the shape and form of a Black Grandmother Clock which also serves as an audio recorder that collects and holds memories and future visions  from residents and passersby, alongside nearby “Sonic Shades” accessible through directional speakers that radiate as listeners move toward the “Tree of Life” mosaic within The Village of Arts and Humanities’ Mediation Park.

Prompted by a brief questionnaire, visitors are invited to record their own visions for the futures of housing, land and public space in the community. At the same time, the booth offers memories of housing and land that may have been erased or are at risk of being erased from public and communal memory. Throughout the exhibition, Black Quantum Futurism will collect sounds and recordings through the Oral Futures Booth prototype monument and incorporate them into an evolving soundscape, merging archival sounds of the Village and former Ile Ife Humanitarian Center, song snippets, and voices of the neighborhood that plays from the Sonic Shades. Black Quantum Futurism aims “to create an outdoor installation for residents to participate in the reclaiming of space and time (i.e. histories, presents, and futures) within their own neighborhood through the marking, mapping, voicing, and storage of space and time that can continue to be  reclaimed by later residents.” Each sound sculpture is wrapped with collages designed by Black Quantum Futurism, incorporating and interpreting archival images from the Ile Ife Humanitarian Center, the predecessor to The Village at this site. The installation also includes a version of the “Kindred Temporal Library” featuring books, zines, and Housing Futures toolkits. In addition to their installation and accompanying materials, Black Quantum Futurism will also stage a performance event as a part of the Staying Power performance festival on June 12, 2021.

Artist Statement
Reclamation is defined as the process of claiming something back or of reasserting a right. As the neighborhood surrounding The Village of Arts and Humanities undergoes rapid change over the next several years, Reclamation Time explores the process by which current and former residents can reclaim land, space, time and memory in the neighborhood.   

Through this vision and theme we created an outdoor installation for residents to participate in the space-time reclamations (i.e. histories, presents, and futures) within their own neighborhood through the marking, mapping, and storage of space and time that can later be reclaimed by residents. These spaces and times are both personal and communal, global and universal. The outdoor installation will be an interactive and open space that gives voice to various temporalities (experiences of time), spatialities (experiences of space and place), and identities.

The methodology and lens of the project draws from speculative fiction, oral histories and futures, and BQF theory and practice as tools and language to shape and share past and future narratives, and as tools for community activism and empowerment. Through the context of speculation and Black Quantum Futurism imaginaries, the outdoor installation will be activated by residents as a safe space for visioning and testing of technologies for community sustainability, housing justice, resilience, and resistance.

–Black Quantum Futurism