Arts like painting, quilting, sculpture, film, and other media have exploded with Afrofuturist themes in recent years. Because Afrofuturism draws on themes from science and technology, many of these art works include math and computing knowledge in their patterns of color and shape, or the way they link sound and image. In the next part of this website you will have the opportunity to try your hand at creating these patterns yourself, and modifying the algorithms to make new patterns of your own design.
Sanford Biggers combines quilting and sculpture in his piece titled "Krubics Rube". The "tumbling blocks" pattern uses designs similar to freedom quilts giving us an indications of the deeper meaning of the work. The 3D sculpture design and fabric changes on the sides of the blocks provide the viewer with a constantly changing view walking past.
Saya Woolfalk’s "ChimaTEK" includes a hybrid human-plant creature that demonstrates the workings of a synthesizing machine. Woolfalk draws on museological, ethnographic, and ritualistic vocabularies, blending high and low aesthetics to provide a light-hearted look at a possible future.
Xenobia Bailey’s "Mandala" consists of crocheted, colorful concentric circles, shapes and repeating patterns that draw influences from in African, Native American and Eastern philosophies. Her choice of crochet reflects the 1970s "Funk" aesthetic, and the dignity of labor in African American hand-crafted traditions.
Nontsikelelo Mutiti investigates African hair braiding as a metaphor and rule-based framework for production. The act of braiding informs modes of making where juxtaposition, layering, and repetition produce a range of meanings.