An Idea Called Tomorrow

Seneferu and Kwahuumba

Karen Seneferu Techno-kisi, 2009
Karen Seneferu & Asual Kwahuumba
An Idea Called Tomorrow, 2009

Technology has become the primary vehicle to navigate multiple discourses.  But to some cultures, a future embedded in technology alone is not possible without engaging multiple mediums of communication for a sustainable future. Thus, collaboration will be at the center of inclusive change.

The ancient force and form of the Nkisi is to protect. Out of the Congo Basin in Central Africa, the Nkisi literally means sacred medicine; the Nkisi takes a variety of forms from sculpture to container to a charm. Seneferu’s piece Techno-kisi is the first of its kind for the entire piece is made up of charms symbolic of individual community members in need of healing while multi-media, the center of the power force, protects the community.

The technology symbolizes the belly. In this case, the console created by Buglabs shows a slide presentation of people Kwahuumba and Seneferu interviewed on film, named after the exhibition: An Idea Called Tomorrow.  In collaborating with Buglabs, Seneferu attempts to unhook the seat of power, by enclosing the images of those who are often times outside of it.

In a third element of the project, Kwahuumba and Seneferu recorded interviews of people from a broad cross-section of society to answer the questions “what is a sustainable future” and “who and how is it determined?”  They were interested in looking at historically excluded communities who have been deterred from participating in the dialogue and the actions needed for change. They interviewed a wide range of activists both prominent to the world of the Green Movement, such as Majora Carter, an environmental justice advocate, who promotes green-collar jobs as a route out of poverty to Tyrone Stevenson, aka “Scraper Bike King,” a youth from East Oakland California who created a mobility craze that has gained worldwide fame by incorporating art and an eco-green philosophy to change his community. There are other diverse individuals who are just as relevant. What they all have in common is that they point out that in order for us to have a sustainable future, that “everyone on the planet must be seen as having a particular value that should be shared with the world.”

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