What is the project about?
Hail the New Prophets emerges from my ongoing interest in the godfather of Afrofuturism, Jazz musician Sun Ra. I am interested in what it means to be a forward thinker, a soothsayer, or someone who speculates on the future.
Sun Ra, through his music and performances, embodied this. Using Sun Ra as a reference I want to start a conversation about future thinking and prophecy.
Why is it called Hail the New Prophets?
The title is in part a reference to Charles Atlas’s 1986 film, Hail the New Puritan. The film is a fictionalised documentary about the dancer Michael Clark, set against the backdrop of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.
I’ve always loved the title and how the word ‘hail’ is declarative; it’s a welcome or a salute that recognises the arrival of something significant or important. As the initiator of this project, that is how I see my role, welcoming the arrival of new voices.
Why an open call?
I’m interested in projects that provide opportunities for an arrangement of voices. Over the last few months, people around the world have lived through strange and difficult times that previously very few people predicted.
Despite the unity of circumstances people have gone through, there have been unique and differing experiences. With this project I’m interested in the diversity of responses. It’s a way of capturing a snapshot or mapping a sample of perspectives.
What will happen with the messages I send you?
The messages that people send me will form part of a number of mixes of sound, music, images and video. This will be broadcast from an intergalactic Mothership arriving at Bold Tendencies in 2021.
The edits will weave together the many intergenerational contributions we hope to have. Hopefully, these will speak to peoples hopes, fears and ambitions. I encourage people to be as ambitious and playful as possible.
What does the symbol of the spaceship come from?
The spaceship symbol comes from a design by Whit Mather for the Mothership in the film Space is the Place (1974) which stars Afrofuturist Jazz musician, Sun Ra.