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Mon, Apr 04


New York

Black Quantum Futurism: Time Zone Protocols

Black Quantum Futurism: Time Zone Protocols
Black Quantum Futurism: Time Zone Protocols

Time & Location

Apr 04, 2022, 7:00 PM – Apr 18, 2022, 11:00 PM

New York, 66 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA

About the Event

Developed out of Rasheedah Phillips’s ongoing practice as a member of Black Quantum Futurism and their 2020–2022 Vera List Center Fellowship project, the exhibition Time Zone Protocols and the accompanying Prime Meridian Unconference explore the “Protocol Proceedings,” that were developed at the 1884 International Prime Meridian Conference (IPMC). They trace the creation of written and unwritten political and social agreements, protocols, and rules that underlie Westernized time constructs. Time Zone Protocols aims to illuminate the impacts that oppressive time protocols and policies have on marginalized Black communities in the US, and how they help to catalyze and perpetuate systems of oppression that deny Black communities access to and agency over the temporal domains of the past and present while proposing protocols for new, equitable futures.

The exhibition debuts three new clocks developed as part of Black Quantum Futurism’s Arts at CERN residency project, “CPT Symmetry and Violations,” and a nonlinear map of significant sociohistorical events in the development of Western time consciousness, with a focus on the IPMC as a critical point on the Western timeline for understanding the backward and forward-reaching impacts of time standardization and colonized time. Designed to host the Prime Meridian Unconference, the exhibition space displays books, posters, video, and research materials from the Time Zone Protocols project, while guiding visitors through an examination of the written and unwritten protocols and rules underlying Westernized time constructs (such as time zones and Daylight Saving Time).

The three-day, hybrid Prime Meridian Unconference brings together artists, architects, musicians, and scholars of physics, geography, technology, and African American studies for interactive talks, workshops, panels, performances, and plenary sessions. From their various disciplinary backgrounds, the participants consider new ways of understanding our relationship to space-time, utilizing specific Black social, geographical, and cultural frameworks that seek to unmap Black temporalities from the Greenwich Mean timeline. Together they explore and unpack the standards and protocols of time that often leave Black people locked out of the past and future, and stuck in a narrow temporal present. Confirmed speakers and presenters include: Asia Dorsey, Dr. Walter Greason, Joy KMT, Kendra Krueger, Ingrid Lafleur, V. Mitch McEwen, Moor Mother, Dr. Danielle M. Purifoy, Ingrid Raphael, Dr. Thomas Stanley, Ujijji Davis Williams, and Dr. Celeste Winston. The Unconference will produce alternative principles, protocols, or values that relate to the possibilities of reshaping, remapping, or dismantling and creating new time zones or protocols of time to be more equitable and less oppressive to Black people and communities, enabling them to survive, thrive, and access their futures and pasts, and more expansive, healthier presents. These protocols will be explored using Colored People’s Time as an ontological framework and alternative theory of temporal-spatial consciousness.

Preceding the exhibition and Unconference is the launch of Developed in collaboration with the design practice Partner & Partners, the site documents the ongoing Time Zone Protocols research project and sets the stage for the exhibition and Prime Meridian Unconference. The site, which includes interactive ways of marking and tracking alternative temporalities, documents ongoing research and the findings and rewritten protocols from the Unconference and bridges this iteration of Time Zone Protocols with Black Quantum Futurism’s forthcoming Creative Capital project Time Zone Protocols: Confederate States. The Unconference will be livestreamed on this and the Vera List Center’s website.

Phillips will also convene a group of Time Zone Protocols Surveyors—individuals who together with the artist will meet in the two months leading up to the exhibition and Unconference to examine and discuss TZP research materials, which includes an archive of readings, images, sounds, and videos on time zones, time, temporality, prime meridians, and temporal oppression as experienced by Black communities. The Surveyors, selected through a call for applications, attend and contribute to the Unconference, collectively developing protocols, resolutions, temporal tools, time zones, and markers. These principles and new protocols are compiled and shared, with attendees taking the principles back to their communities with a commitment to working toward upholding them and creating liberated futures, new space-times, and environments where these shared principles can be utilized and honored.

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