Future Perfect

A screening and workshop exploring future imaginaries from the New Right to the AfroFuturist Affair


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Politics / Economics
  • Social Justice

Organizing Institutions


Opens to public





4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104


0% Formal - 100% Informal

Slought is pleased to announce "Future Perfect," a screening and workshop exploring future imaginaries from the New Right to the AfroFuturist Affair, on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 from 6-8pm. The event will feature the Philadelphia premiere of Daniel Tucker's feature-length video essay Future Perfect: Time Capsules in Reagan Country (54 minutes, 2015), followed by a dialogue between the artist and author Rasheedah Phillips, creator of The AfroFuturist Affair, exploring the liberatory potential of language, and the relationship of writing to social justice and alternative conceptions of the future.

The conversation at Slought takes place just over ten years after Ronald Reagan's death, and twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and his departure from the office of the President of the United States. It will begin with an exploration of a speech delivered by former President Ronald Reagan following the end of his Governorship in California on August 19th, 1976 at the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. In this speech, Reagan talks of the difficulty he found in writing a letter for a time capsule to be sealed in Los Angeles and opened one hundred years in the future. The video essay Future Perfect: Time Capsules in Reagan Country revisits this historical moment, as well as Reagan's future imaginaries - his science fiction imagination and rhetoric - through visits to Reagan-inspired monuments and time capsules throughout California.

The conversation at Slought will then move from the New Right imaginary of Reagan's era, which sought to impose a conservative vision upon society, to the AfroFuturist imaginary of Black speculative fiction writers today, who seek to enable a more progressive vision for society. In their recent collection Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements (2015), editors Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha introduce the term visionary fiction to distinguish "science fiction that has relevance toward building new, freer worlds from the mainstream strain of science fiction, which most often reinforces dominant narratives of power." The event will thus explore the power of language in envisioning better worlds, and the relationship between language, identity, imagination and power. The evening will conclude with a short writing workshop led by Rasheedah Phillips and The AfroFuturist Affair.

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Rasheedah Phillips is a public interest attorney, author, advocate, and Afrofuturist who lives and works in Philadelphia. She is the creator of The Afrofuturist Affair, and one of four founding members of Metropolarity Spec Fic Collective. She recently published her first speculative fiction collection, Recurrence Plot (and Other Time Travel Tales).

Daniel Tucker makes documentaries, publications and events inspired by his interest in social movements and the people and places from which they emerge. Tucker directs the Social and Studio Practices department at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia.

"Black Quantum Futurism is an approach to living and experiencing reality by way of the manipulation of space-time in order to see possible futures and/or collapse space-time into a desired future in order to bring about that future's reality.

This vision and practice derives its facets, tenets, and qualities from quantum physics, futurist traditions, and Black/Afrifan cultural traditions of consciousness, time and space. At the point where these three traditions collide exists a creative plane that allows for the ability of African-descended people to actually see 'into,' create or choose the impending future."

-- Rasheedah Phillips, from "Constructing a Theory and Practice of Black Quantum Futurism" (The Afrofuturist Affair, 2015)