Online Reading Sessions
16 February 2021


Join us for a series of reading sessions dedicated to the artistic practice of Black Quantum Futurism! Together we will analyze texts, listen to music and explore the visuality of the collective’s fascinating work. Black Quantum Futurism is an interdisciplinary creative practice between Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips. Founded in 2014, it weaves quantum physics, afrofuturism, and Afrodiasporic concepts of time, ritual, text, and sound to present innovative works and tools offering practical ways to escape negative temporal loops, oppression vortexes, and the digital matrix. The research projects of BQF focus on  the recovery, collection and preservation of communal memories, histories and stories to develop and enact a new spatio-temporal consciousness. The collective has created many community-based projects, performances, experimental music projects, installations, workshops, books, short films and zines, including the award-winning Community Futures Lab.

Reading/Listening Session: Reimagining black identities through (free) music

How can music function as a liberatory and subversive tool, a space to reimagine black, afro-diasporic identities and tempor(e)alities?

The third reading session will be moderated by Paloma Nana. Together we will discuss two texts:

Chapter "Alter Destiny, Free Black Music And The Temporal Culture Of The Maroons" by Thomas Stanley, published in BQF theory and practice vol. 1 (pp. 37-48). In his text Stanley elaborates on the integral tempor(e)ality of the Garinagu dugu rite as he explores the potential of free black, transatlantic music to oppose (Western) civilization and its capitalist matrix.

We will also read "The Invention of African Rhythm" by Kofi Agawu, an essay that critically reflects on the obsession of Western (musicological) discourse with ‚African rhythm’. While we discuss the texts we will actively listen to music.

We have created a music playlist on the Youtube account of Temporary Gallery that you can access before the actual session starts:

We also recommend you to watch the film Space Is The Place (1974) by Sun Ra that evolves around the notion of ’Alter Destiny'. You will find it in the playlist as well.

Please read the texts in advance. The texts will be sent to all participants after registration.

The reading sessions accompany the exhibition A Sequence of Events in the Lives of the Dormant, curated by Lara Khaldi and Aneta Rostkowska at the Temporary Gallery, Centre for Contemporary Art in Cologne. The text “Activating Retrocurrencies and Reverse Time-Bindings in the Quantum Now(s)” by Rasheedah Phillips from Black Quantum Futurism was published (in English, German and Arabic language) in the exhibition booklet and is accessible here.

The reading sessions are developed in collaboration with Jana Dormann, Siddhartha Lokanandi (Hopscotch Reading Room), Paloma Nana and Denzel Russell. Black Quantum Futurism will join one of the subsequent sessions in 2021.

The admission to every reading session is free, but we would be grateful for a donation to our institution. Even small donations count. You will find our bank details here:
In case you need a donation certificate, please write to:

About the Reading Sessions:
“The need for discussion and its important function does not come from the desire or craving to push someone’s views on any matter (though it is true that many discussions are held for this reason), but from the limitations and imperfections of the creative and, in particular, cognitive powers of an individual.”
Roman Ingarden, A few words on a fruitful discussion, 1961

Recent studies have shown that due to our increasingly digitized lifestyle we are losing focus after about eight seconds. This is less than the average attention span for the notoriously poorly concentrated goldfish. To combat this condition, Temporary Gallery introduces this season, a new informal, (self-) educational initiative - reading sessions. Their goal is to deepen and intensify discussion of the themes related to contemporary art and art theory as well as the program of Temporary Gallery.

Bild / Image
Tamara Lorenz