• Courtesy of the artist
  • “A Star Is a Seed”

I first encountered the term Afro-Futurism when I met the artist Hebru Brantley, who told me in an interview, “I consider myself an Afro-Futurist. I think my work merges the new and neon with more traditional brushstrokes and techniques.” Earlier this week I visited Cauleen Smith’s MCA exhibition “A Star Is a Seed.” While Smith does not define herself as an Afro-Futurist, “A Star Is a Seed” is a meditation on experimental musician and Afro-Futurist Sun Ra. Like Brantley, Smith is a black Chicago-based artist whose work celebrates the Chicago landscape and imbues old traditions with new ideas. Smith’s “A Star Is a Seed” is a series of stories told through both a home-movie aesthetic and calculated digital design.