New podcast series focuses on Afrofuturism

Here's a new podcast series that will provide you with a good primer on Afrofuturism. It was created as part of Carnegie Hall's Afrofuturism Festival from Spring 2022, is hosted by the festival's curators, and features writers, artists, scholars, and more exploring the history and present-day iterations and manifestations of Afrofuturism. — Read the rest

The BBC on Afrofuturism

The BBC has published a long and welcome feature on Afrofuturism, the term coined by former Boing Boing guestblogger Mark Dery to describe (in the words of Steve Barnes) "science fiction, fantasy and horror created by or featuring the children of the African diaspora (people of African origin living outside of the continent)."

Grace Jones to headline OUTLOUD Pride Music festival

WEHO Times and Rolling Stone recently announced that Grace Jones would headline the Saturday lineup for the OUTLOUD WeHo (West Hollywood) Pride Music festival on June 2 and 4, 2023.

"Outloud is a show created for queer people in queer communities. It was born out of a need to support a struggling community of queer artists," Outloud founder and CEO Jeff Consoletti tells Rolling Stone. — Read the rest

New book about the album cover art of Sun Ra's Saturn label

Coming this fall: a new 240-page book about the incredible album cover art of Sun Ra's Saturn Label. It's edited by Irwin Chusid and Chris Reisman, and published by Fantagraphics.

Drawn from private collections around the world, this is the first comprehensive collection of the Saturn label's printed record covers, along with hundreds of the best hand-designed, one-of-a-kind sleeves and disc labels decorated by Sun Ra and members of his Arkestra.

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Read Mark Dery's fabulous evisceration of a paleoconservative's hand-wringing review of the Met's Afrofuturist exhibition

"Before Yesterday We Could Fly": An Afrofuturist Period Room is an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that, according to the museum, is "powered by Afrofuturism—a transdisciplinary creative mode that centers Black imagination, excellence, and self-determination—this construction is only one proposition for what might have been, had Seneca Village [a Black settlement destroyed to make way for Central Park in in 1857] been allowed to thrive into the present and beyond." — Read the rest

Pedro Bell, the psychedelic painter behind Funkadelic's visual vibe, RIP

Pedro Bell, the visionary painter whose astonishing psychedelic art (and liner notes) appeared on numerous Funkadelic albums and shaped the P-Funk mythos, died on Tuesday at 69. Free your mind, and your ass will follow. From the New York Times:

"The artwork of Pedro Bell was an essential component of the alternately utopian and dystopian world of P-Funk, which placed African-American reality in the context of a science fiction future that was both scary and hopeful," (art curator Pan) Wendt said by email.

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An appreciation for Samuel Delany

Samuel R "Chip" Delany is a science fiction pioneer: a brilliant literary stylist with dazzling ideas who was one of the field's first openly queer writers, and one of the first Black writers accepted into the field. He is one of the fathers of afrofuturism.

Music Appreciation: Global Bass

A Tribe Called Red bounce up and down as they play a ferocious remix of their track “Indigenous Power” made by Monterrey, Mexico based producer Javier Estrada, along with a stream of rap, dancehall, cumbia and miscellaneous unknown vicious styles. It’s a hip-hop party, it’s an “Electric Pow Wow”, to use the name of the group’s party night in Ottawa; it’s 21st century cosmopolitanism in full effect: a perfect example of the bringing together of worlds that is Global Bass.

Mark Dery guestblogging on Boing Boing

I'm delighted to welcome Mark Dery as our guestblogger for the next two weeks. Mark is a cultural critic and author whose work I've enjoyed for almost twenty years. In my library, his books share a shelf with the best nonfiction by Ballard, Burroughs, and Eco. — Read the rest