BADS_Lab: Black Arts and Decolonial Sciences

computational generated image of mushroom rhizome
May 10 to May 20 2024 | 18:00 | Watershed Art & Ecology, 1821 South Racine Avenue Chicago, IL, 60608


From 10 May through 20 May 2024, the Fyrthyr, in collaboration with Center for Concrete & Abstract Machines (CCAM), will install a pop-up atelier/lab for fugitive planning and wake work at Watershed Art & Ecology, and conduct a series of participatory experiments in the Black Arts and Decolonial Sciences.

Open call

Fythyr and CCAM hosted an open call for fellows for this project. Please find more here:

Call for Fellows [closed]

Timetable of Public Events

Friday May 10Talk: Muindi Fanuel Muindi - (De/Re)constructing Worlds5:00-6:30pm
Saturday May 11Futurhythmachines: House DIY SYNTH WORKSHOP12:00-4:00pm
Saturday May 11Futurhythmachines: House Panel with Thomas DeFrantz, Meida McNeal, and Duane Powell + Reception to follow4:00-7:00pm
Monday - Tuesday May 13 - 14Public Open Studio Hours4:00-6:00 pm
Tuesday May 14Talk: TJ Demos – Ruins, Pyramids, Chutes: Radical Futurisms5:30-7:00pm
Thursday - Friday May 16 - 17Public Open Studio Hours4:00-6:00pm
Saturday May 19Public Showcase & Closing Reception2:00-6:00pm

Event Description

The “brute matter” and “brute facts” of Colonial Science are not givens: they are made by Colonial Science via processes of “brutalization”.

Colonizers submit beings to scientific study because they intend to brutalize them, to make efficient use of force as they transform beings into perversely pleasurable and profitable objects for collection and consumption.

It is only when beings resist brutalization in remarkable ways that Colonial Science calls in the specialists in complexity, chaos, and indeterminacy as reinforcements, for the purposes of risk management and damage control. Colonial Science then endeavors to marginalize those beings that are remarkable for resisting brutalization, writing them off as special cases, as cases for specialized know-how, and rendering them inaccessible to the multitudes.

BADS_lab (Black Arts and Decolonial Sciences) is an experimental gathering for artists, philosophers, scientists, technologists, and organic intellectuals who are intent upon (i) deconstructing the colonial practices of brutalization and specialization that have entrenched themselves in the modern techno-scientific imagination, and (ii) (re-)constructing “other-whys” that enable scientists and technologists to approach beings otherwise than brutalizing and specializing them. This specific iteration of the project will focus on liberating the phenomena of “time” from colonial practices of brutalization and specialization.


Jared Brown

Jared Brown is an interdisciplinary artist born in Chicago. In past work, Jared broadcasted audio and text based work through the radio (CENTRAL AIR RADIO, 88.5 FM), in live DJ sets, and on social media.

Ladipo Famodu

Ladipo Famodu is an artist, designer, chemist, and capoeirista. He is interested in kinaesthetic learning, where knowledge is exchanged through the manipulation of objects, or by moving one's body. Much of his work employs playfulness and surrealism in an attempt to undo the tethered logics of anti-blackness and modernity. He is currently working with wire sculpture, performance, and fine jewelry.

Letaru Dralega

Letaru Dralega is a Ugandan Jamaican British artist and researcher interested in the material/immaterial dichotomy, particularly in African and Afrodiasporic ontologies. She experiments with collage, painting, installation, and sound to examine themes of memory, belonging, and the postcolonial condition.

Nimrod Astarhan

Nimrod Astarhan is an artist, technologist, and educator. Their practice is based on a post-conceptual approach toward sculpture, installation, and media art, utilizing collaborations, digital technology, and electronic mechanisms. Their research-creation involves activating non-visible portions of the electromagnetic spectrum contextualized through material, diasporic, historical, and philosophical lenses.


Muindi Fanuel Muindi

Muindi Fanuel Muindi is a performance artist, philosopher, and poet, with Lacustrine Bantu roots in the Rift Forests of Eastern Congo and the Mara Wetlands in Tanzania. He is the author of six books of experimental poetry and prose.

Hyperion Çacatzin Yvaire

Hyperion Çacatzin Yvaire lo Saga (ha/li/he) is a detribalized Indigenous (Atakapa Ishak) and Louisianan Kréyòl father, researching post-studio artist and kinmaker investigating alternative sovereignties and new territories emerging from climate chaos. Li practice is aimed at the eradication of Indigenous-settler divisions, White Supremacy, and Christian personhood’s grip over humans and nonhumans alike. Li artwork explores the afterlives and aftershocks of collision through investigating administrative, legislative, technological, and wave phenomena.

Ylfa Lund Muindi

Ylfa Lund Muindi is a naturalist and theatre practitioner living and working in Seattle Washington (occupied Duwamish land). Through her work, an intertwining of advocacy, performance and ecological research, Ylfa acts as both an archivist of and an agitator for empathic and ethical relations between humans and nonhuman others.

Juan Eduardo Flores

Juan Flores is an artist and technologist interested in motion and sound as a way of exploring the relationship between control and entropy. He is interested in stress testing systems, whether minimal or complex, investigating the transformations that happen during the process of getting from point A to point B.

Kim Nucci

Kim Nucci is a Chicago-based media artist, composer, and technologist. As a musician, they perform on electronics, modular synthesizer, and saxophone and create interactive installations using architectural interventions, sculpture, arduino and other microcontrollers as a visual and sound artist.

Garrett Laroy Johnson

Garrett Laroy Johnson is a Chicago-based sound and media artist, researcher, and theorist. His transdisciplinary work engages Guattarian process theory, politics and the production of subjectivity, computation and materialism, and post-psychoanalysis.

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