Beatriz Cortez, Chitra Ganesh, Cauleen Smith, Stacy Lynn Waddell and Saya Woolfalk: Future Texts

Beatriz Cortez, Chitra Ganesh, Cauleen Smith, Stacy Lynn Waddell and Saya Woolfalk: Future Texts

SJ Weiler Fund

(1) Chitra Ganesh, Sultana’s Dream (detail), 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Durham Press. (2) Beatriz Cortez, The Fortune Teller Machine, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth & Council. (3) Stacy Lynn Waddell, The Dawn of our Kindred Sower of Parable (for Octavia E. Butler), 2020. Courtesy of the artist. (4) Cauleen Smith, Egungun: Ancestor Can’t Find Me (video still)2017. Courtesy of the artist. (5) Saya Woolfalk, ChimaCloud Access Point (3) (detail), 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

October 14, 2020
Beatriz Cortez, Chitra Ganesh, Cauleen Smith, Stacy Lynn Waddell and Saya Woolfalk
Future Texts
September 25–December 18, 2020

A project of Ten at Seven curated by Candice Madey

Ten at Seven is an annual curatorial project hosted by the SJ Weiler Fund, a foundation supporting the visual and performing arts. Presenting contemporary and historic artworks by artists of culturally diverse backgrounds who engage with history, politics, and social issues, the project comprises an exhibition, a publication, and gatherings hosted by collector Susan Weiler in her West Village home. This year, the installation will be available for viewing online and in a forthcoming publication.

Ten at Seven’s second exhibition, Future Texts, presents Beatriz Cortez, Chitra Ganesh, Cauleen Smith, Stacy Lynn Waddell and Saya Woolfalk, and is inspired by sociologist Alondra Nelson’s eponymously titled essay exploring the social and racial biases embedded in the systems of science and technology. Written in 2002, around the advent of Web 2.0, Nelson’s essay critiques theoretical frameworks of a networked world—such as Marshall McLuhan’s concept of the “global village” and oversimplified views of the “digital divide”—which she believes present technological progress as oppositional to black culture. She further probes the racially coded visual cues of science fiction, futurism, and so-called primitivism, and examines how these narratives relate to systematic racism inscribed in broader American history and culture.

Nelson advocates for a new futurism in which more diverse voices express their histories and reclaim programmatic power of their technologies and their tools. She finds inspiration in Ishmael Reed’s 1972 novel Mumbo Jumbo, in which Reed questions who owns the right to determine the knowledge systems of the future, insisting that, “We will make our own Future Text.”

In this spirit, Future Texts explores notions of progress and technology as defined by artists and their processes. The exhibiting artists are equally grounded in their unique cultural traditions, proposing personal visions of the future that redress history and expose and revoke the cultural and gendered biases of outmoded techno-narratives.

A related zoom conversation, ”FUTURE TEXTS: Imagining Utopia in a Time of Crisis and Change,” took place in June. Moderated by Dr. Saisha Grayson (Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum) with participants Chitra Ganesh, Dr. Alondra Nelson, Cauleen Smith, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Saya Woolfalk, the conversation asked: How can artists, writers and thinkers engage and provoke radical new ideas for our world? What lessons can we learn from our predecessors to guide us in reinventing a more equitable future for all?

RSVP for Beatriz Cortez, Chitra Ganesh, Cauleen Smith, Stacy Lynn…
SJ Weiler Fund
October 14, 2020

Thank you for your RSVP.

SJ Weiler Fund will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.