Black Quantum Futurism to Create an Artwork at Large Hadron Collider

The collective will be working with scientists at CERN as part of their residency

Black Quantum Futurism at Community Futures Lab (Philadelphia).
Kenzi Foto / CERN

A multidisciplinary art group Black Quantum Futurism from Philadelphia will be taking part in a residency at CERN, the European nuclear research organization that operates the Large Hadron Collider. The duo of musician Camae Ayewa, known under her artistic alias Moor Mother and community activist Rasheedah Phillips were one of the winners of the annual competition Collide, where their proposal was selected out of 564 entries.

During a two-month residency in the summer of 2021, Black Quantum Futurism will be working with scientists from CERN on a new artwork: CPT Symmetry And Violation, based on the physics concept of charge conjugation, parity transformation, and time reversal.

"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," explain the artists. "Through the project we will connect with scientists based at CERN to learn more about their investigations of time in physics—specifically through studying experiments being done on CPT symmetry, CERN scientists' investigations into quantum theories of gravity, and other phenomena of quantum physics as it concerns inquiries into time."

Black Quantum Futurism is a multidisciplinary collaboration between artists Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips. The duo explores the intersections of futurism, creative media, DIY-aesthetics, and activism in marginalized communities through an alternative temporal lens. They use writing, music, film, and visual art within creative research projects that center the idea that quantum mechanical interpretations of time are more in line with Afrocentric ways of thinking than those of the prevailing Western schools.

CERN is a European nuclear research organization and the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, based in Switzerland and France. Their main project since 2008 is the Large Hadron Collider—the world's largest and highest-energy particle collider and the largest machine in the world.

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