In the age-old dance between innovation that identifies possibilities and verification that interrogates credibility, humanity advances – each step a part of an intricate and often unseen journey. Today, this dance has accelerated. We wield unparalleled technological power, yet paradoxically, we feel more fragile than ever. This fragility is linked closely to the evolving concept of ‘the human,’ which tends to dwell on its own vulnerability. As Naomi Klein in “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate” (2014) says, acknowledging our vulnerability is the first step to averting our potential downfall Nicholas Taleb echoes in “Antifragile” (2012): Disorder and the prospect of destruction serve as catalysts for resilience.
In Africa, the influence of globalization and new emerging technologies has further complicated our narrative. Data-driven technologies often introduce a non-African perspective, leaving Africans to react retroactively, exacerbating a sense of disembodiment from our African perspective. In Nigeria, this dance between innovation and verification takes a treacherous turn, disrupting culture, triggering uncontrolled urban migration, intensifying unchecked climate urgencies, and oftentimes, it is never fully realized.
Amid these forces of globalization, migration, and cultural erosion, self-exploration offers a path toward embracing our vulnerability. We challenge you: Do you dare to dream?
Today, the arts take center stage in this pivotal role. Free thinkers, philosophers, cultural historians, and sociologists craft abstract and immaterial ideals, nourishing Africa’s cultural self-knowledge and providing the foundation for the technology and commerce sectors. The transformation of our intangible culture into material form, in the face of the technological boom and globalization, is beautifully captured in the works of the “Dreaming New Worlds” project.
An open programme with the public spanning 6 months, based on the design thinking framework, “Dreaming New Worlds” champions antifragility, nurturing individual ethos, autonomy, and cultural understanding as we navigate this ever-evolving world.
In the exhibition, four groups propose their dreams: Drumming New Worlds take a daring experimental voyage through time to document the rich history of the talking drum, situate it in the present cultural climate and demystify this indigenous technology. With its essence in mind, they have designed a Talking Drum of the future. Alter.Native offer new grounding in virtual reality to experience the consequences that comes with the choices we make. Waters of Rebirth make use of speculative fiction, old material beads, and new immaterial artificial intelligence to offer an appreciation and future for Okere people of Warri, Delta State after a catastrophic flood which threatens them today. Lastly, the Wayfinders offer us a new perspective to look at data. Logging and crunching quantitative data on various stressors faced by Lagosians, they have created an immersive experience that qualifies their findings to offer an opportunity for compassion and manifestoes that affirm individual responsibility and strength.
The participants, ranging from scientists to curators and historians and from filmmakers to sculptors, provide the starting points for imagining the world we aspire to inhabit. Indeed, science is not merely about discovering facts; it is an art form for creating knowledge. Taking a more independent yet collective approach, these diverse teams meticulously explore and cultivate their unique points of synergy. Their creations are infused with a passionate dedication to shape the realms of Tech+Art collaboration, ethics and originality that unite them in a shared vision. Together, they spark an inspiring narrative of resilience, urging us to embrace our vulnerability as we forge a path toward a brighter, more interconnected future.
Information, understanding, and critical thinking are our essential tools as we come together to script our narrative to this new world. Let us boldly embrace our vulnerability, setting forth on a journey through the ever-shifting landscape of art, technology, and humanity. Together, we will shape a brighter future.
57 Raymond Njoku
13th December 2023 – 3rd January 2023 10am-5pm