Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The African Cosmogram Matrix in Contemporary Art and Culture


Published on

For the Afrofuturism in Black Theology symposium at Vanderbilt Divinity School, October 18, 2014.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

The African Cosmogram Matrix in Contemporary Art and Culture

  1. 1. Dr. Nettrice R. Gaskins, Boston Arts Academy
  2. 2. “Kongo and Yoruba cosmology (indicates) a connection to and contiguity with the spirituality of African continental space.”
  3. 3. ORIGIN MYTHOLOGIES Artists, particularly in Afrofuturism, re-contextualize and assess history and imagine the future of the African Diaspora via science, science fiction, technology, sound, performance... and their own world views.
  4. 4. KALUNGA (WATER) LINE Kalunga is Kikongo for “threshold between worlds” and is often associated with the Atlantic Ocean. The Kalunga line is a line under the Atlantic Ocean where the living became the dead and the only way back to life was to re-cross the line.
  5. 5. CROSSROADS (Cosmograms) have been evident in West African cultures and have been elaborated upon, showing complex intricate patterns or simplified into abbreviated X’s, or even V’s implying an arc of travel or motion.
  6. 6. FUNKENTELECHY Afrofuturist art resonates with P-funk’s Funkentelechy, or a sense of completeness or utopia. These works re-position or direct the viewer/listener to ensure that everyone is on ‘the One.’
  7. 7. QUESTIONS Image Credits: Jean Michel-Basquiat. “King Alphonso,” 1983. Kikongo Cosmogram. Courtesy Duane Deterville and SFMoMA. Ellen Gallagher. “La Chinoise, (detail)” 2008. Kahlil Joseph, with Flying Lotus. “Until the Quiet Comes (still),” 2012. Maxwell. “Embrya,” 1998. Parliament. “Motor Booty Affair (inner cover),” 1978. Sanford Biggers, with David Ellis. “Mandala of the B-Bodhisattva II,” 2000. Brides of Frankenstein. “Funk or Walk,” 1978. Xenobia Bailey. “Sister Paradise's Apron (detail),” 2000. Saya Woolfalk. “ChimaTek,” 2014. Jean Michel-Basquiat. “Tuxedo,” 1983.