This is an ongoing interactive installation that uses Artificial Intelligence and data to both explore issues in Black Critical Thought, in particular “social death” associated with Black experiences and its reproduction in Algorithms and to use art to humanize Black trauma and experiences. This installation seeks to explore restorative justice as a missing component in our discussion of ethics.
In parts of the African continent, textiles are used to bury the dead wrapping them in dignity. It’s a promise of life, reunion, and continuation.
The Asante use red and black as funeral colors that express deep mourning. In Kongo cosmography life is represented as four moments (four discs at the end of each corner of a rectangle) between the interconnected twinned worlds of the living and the living dead. Amongst Nguni diviners, red and black are colors used by diviners in communication with the ancestral world.
This installation explores restorative justice by exploring African spiritual conceptions of continuity, harmony between the community members living and dead, and restoration as a sacred duty. It uses the names of ~92,000 once enslaved Africans to generate a unique number for each name and each unique number is used in a series of mathematical functions to generate art in the form of African funeral and spiritual cosmology. It wraps the departed ancestors in Sub-Saharan African motifs from West, Central and Southern Africa.
Each pixel of the canvas is described mathematically and generated in parallel.
To the ancestors and missing community members. A promise of continuity and reunion. Dignity restored. In African thought life extends beyond this immediate world. It is a constant communion with the living, the living dead and both worlds. The ancestors are important in life’s relationship and a oneness exists between their world and ours. To honor them is to honor ourselves. Ubuntu is a philosophy infinitely extending to both the twinned and interconnected worlds of the living and the dead.