Snapshots of Mayday
The tension in our bodies, sparked by the future’s difference from the present, is the precursor to art. You see something that isn’t there, and then you create it. At the nexus of uncertainty and competence, all this energy & vision & where can it be put? The Philadelphia Museum of Art, as a keeper of history, is a residence for such stories transformed into engraved gestures, scraps of fabric, splashes of paint and more.
The Futures atmosphere, somewhat ironically, has been the atmosphere that has been least effective at managing its time. We are a process-oriented team, and as Philadelphia Assembled has ramped up into a production-oriented focus, we’ve found ourselves a little lost.
"President-elect Donald Trump is bringing along with him a Senate and Congress dominated by Republican majorities with strong proto-fascist elements. Many people are understandably distraught considering the threats to immigrants, LGBT people, Muslims, women’s reproductive rights, and the implications for poor and marginalized Black communities.
Last week I met with Ron Whyte, a Futures collaborator and friend of mine, for coffee to discuss programming for the public phase of Philadelphia Assembled. We talked about finding specific ways to empower engaging in the future.
Uncertainty isn't the problem. The problem is what we do with it. The stories of manifest destiny and colonialism are diseases, namely spoken through white, male bodies. They belong to nobody. Decolonization means not letting someone else speak an intention (in-tension…) through you.
Philly loves a story. These days, a meme is worth a thousand words. Futures aims to gather and tell our stories, no bullshit. You from here or nah? Who hasn't been challenged to prove their cred in this tough-loving town? Feeling the history of the land as an unbroken thread, extending from before white colonizers even got here, helps us understand where we might be able to go, together.
Futures are visions without bodies, yet. Tomorrows are the horizons that we walk toward. When each tomorrow comes around, it's suddenly today, and here we are running around, the envisioned future of yesterday etching its beauty and struggle into our bodies.