Modern Griots Recap: Sanford Biggers and Saul Williams in Conversation

Aker: Futuristically Ancient

Sanford Biggers’ Ghetto Bird Tunic

Brooklyn Museum assistant curator Rujeko Hockley moderated a conversation at the Studio Museum last week with artists Sanford Biggers and Saul Williams and their relationship to afrofuturism. Here are some notes from the conversation:

*Rujeko thinks of Afrofuturism as a process rather than a label, using it as a label may be too restrictive. But its potential lies in its expansiveness and ability to push boundaries.

*Saul Williams views it as useful for congregating art and artists and that it helps with present pressing circumstances, but is also wary of the label becoming restrictive because others will see that name and think its not for them. He claims that we have always been futuristic and fantastical, before descriptors like Afro or African, from the Dogon finding the stars to bebop to Jimi Hendrix to the art in Haiti to him using his imagination while staring…

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