|Creators||Triscott, N., Bunsie, Z., Steward, G., Mathison, T. and Gould, G.|
|Collaborators||Poblete, N.S. (Designer) and Santomauro, A. (Curator)|
Dreamed Native Ancestry (DNA) by artist-led group Mission//Misplaced Memory, commissioned by Arts Catalyst, was an installation and programme critically addressing and re-thinking contemporary issues around race, migration, biopolitics and culture, through an Afrofuturist science fiction narrative and deep history perspective.
Triscott was responsible for the project concept with writer Gaylene Gould and then its development in close collaboration with writer Zaynab Bunsie, and artists/musicians Gary Stewart and Trevor Mathison, as well as the selection and commission of the design by Nina Shen Poblete and curation with the artists and Arts Catalyst team of the events programme.
Dreamed Native Ancestry (DNA) inhabits an imagined scenario, drawing on Afrofuturist philosophies, to explore and celebrate the stories, experiences and knowledge of migrants and their families and diaspora peoples through a lens of technoculture and science fiction. The name of the installation playfully challenges shifting ideas around how we define identity – from biographical narrative and social context, to the authoritative, seemingly concrete, answers given by modern biometrics, such as ancestry DNA testing - to probe into complex questions of who we are and where we come from. The installation centred on a golden table, proposed by Triscott as a reference to the Voyager golden records – two phonograph records sent on the Voyager spacecraft (launched 1977), containing sounds and images selected to portray life and culture on Earth, intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form - only this time turning our attention back onto ourselves as a human species and our deep history, and intended as an evolving archive for humans today and in the future.
During an 8-week residency, at the initiation and invitation of Triscott, the project brought together the diverse King’s Cross community with artists, scientists and experts to re-think urgent contemporary issues around race, migration and culture and their public perception. The interactive installation collected visitors’ ancestry stories and memories of migration through sound recordings, images, physical artefacts, films, music, performances and discussions. A programme of workshops and talks led by artists, scientists, ethicists and other experts involved the public in deep discussions around understandings of race and migration and what new understandings can be reached through new scientific knowledge. Each week, these talks were followed by live sound performances by artists Dubmorphology (Stewart and Mathison) that ‘remixed ’ migrant memories, stories and wisdom into futuristic sonic and visual projections.
The work was curated by Nicola Triscott, commissioned by Arts Catalyst and supported by Arts Council England.
|Keywords||art, music, race, migration, biopolitics, evolutionary genetics, history, Afrofuturism|
|Year||23 Nov 2017|
|Funder||Arts Council England|
|Web address (URL)||https://artscatalyst.org/dreamed-native-ancestry-dna|
|Image credit||Nicola Triscott|