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February 24, 2021

Black Quantum Futurism wins the Collide Residency Award

CERN

Black Quantum Futurism at Community Futures Lab (Philadelphia). Image: Kenzi Foto.

Rosa Barba. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Tania Candiani. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Dennis Dizon. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Arts at CERN, in Geneva, has announced the winners of the Collide Residency Award. Black Quantum Futurism, the collective based in Philadelphia (US), will complete a two-month residency at CERN, followed by one month at the Hangar Centre for Art Research and Production in Barcelona, in connection with the city’s scientific laboratories.

The jury also awarded three Honorary Mentions to Rosa Barba (Italy), Tania Candiani (Mexico) and Dennis Dizon (The Philippines). They will participate in the Guest Artist programme of Arts at CERN, which consists of a short exploratory stay at CERN to further their artistic research in connection with science.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021, Arts at CERN brings together disciplines to foster experimentation through the arts in dialogue with fundamental science. Through residency programmes, art commissions, and exhibitions, Arts at CERN focuses on the interactions between artists, scientists and engineers around the Laboratory’s rich culture.

Collide is the flagship programme of Arts at CERN, organised in collaboration with a leading city in science and a pioneering cultural institution. Since 2019, Arts at CERN, Barcelona City Council and the Institute of Culture of Barcelona have been working together to foster dialogue between art and science at the highest level. The Collide Residency Award is an annual competition that invites artists worldwide to submit proposals for a research-led residency. Artists are invited into the Laboratory to think, discuss, be inspired, and comprehend the challenges of fundamental research and the big questions that inform physics today. Through these processes, the artists develop innovative engagements with CERN’s research and community.

Black Quantum Futurism is a multidisciplinary collaboration between the artists Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) and Rasheedah Phillips. Through various writing, music, film, visual art, and creative research projects, the duo explores the intersections of futurism, creative media, DIY-aesthetics, and activism in marginalised communities through an alternative temporal lens. During their residency, which is planned for summer 2021, Ayewa and Phillips will extend their futurism research and produce a new artwork based on their proposal CPT Symmetry and Violations. In physics, CPT symmetry stands for charge, parity, and time reversal symmetry. The acronym CPT also holds another meaning in the phrase 'coloured people’s time', often used as a negative stereotype to refer to Black people as being chronically late.

“The project seeks to understand the way 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,” explains Black Quantum Collective. “Through the project, we will connect with scientists based at CERN and Barcelona to learn more about their investigations. Quantum physics has much to offer to the imagination about how we can redesign time to be more equitable, particularly for marginalised communities who are typically denied access to control over their temporal modes and timescapes.”

The scope of this proposal will include a research period at CERN and a second developmental phase in Barcelona. In dialogue with various scientific laboratories and hosted at Hangar, the artists will have the opportunity to expand their research and test its applications through Barcelona’s scientific and cultural network.

Collide received a total of 564 proposals from 79 different countries. The diversity, reach and quality of the projects were remarkable, and the decision was challenging. The jury was composed of Mónica Bello, curator and head of Arts at CERN; Stefanie Hessler, director of Kunsthall Trondheim; Lluis Nacenta, director of Hangar; Rosa Pera, independent curator; and Helga Timko, accelerator physicist at CERN.

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