Dwell in Other Futures

Selection of works by participants in Dwell in Other Futures. Full credit below.

Posted by Liam Otten April 25, 2018


Visions of the future can shape how we see the present.

On Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28, local and nationally known artists, architects, poets, and scholars will gather in St. Louis for Dwell in Other Futures. The two-day event will explore how collisions of race, urbanism, and futurism might spark fresh ideas about the city that is and the city that is to come.

“Speculating about the future helps us to understand that we’re not on an inevitable trajectory,” says Tim Portlock, associate professor in the Sam Fox School. “Speculation can provide a sort of roadmap for getting to the future that we want.”

Portlock co-organized the conference with Rebecca Wanzo, associate director of the Center for the Humanities and associate professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies in Arts & Sciences; and Gavin Kroeber, founder of the Studio for Art & Urbanism.

Guest speakers are scheduled to include: legendary science fiction author Samuel Delany, one of the first African-American writers to find popular success in the genre; Treasure Shields Redmond, the St. Louis-based poet and activist; and Sophia Al-Maria, the Qatari-American artist, writer, and filmmaker who coined the phrase “Gulf Futurism” to describe aesthetics and popular culture of the post-oil Persian Gulf.

“Afrofuturism and St. Louis are definitely starting points, but we also want to think nationally and globally,” Portlock said. “How can cities around the world continue to survive and thrive—not just materially, but also socially?”

The Autumnal City

Dwell in Other Futures will begin at 7p Friday at the Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s .ZACK arts facility, 3224 Locust St. Delany is scheduled to lead a conversation on The Autumnal City, followed by a pop-up exhibition featuring new commissions from Damon Davis, Sam Fox School alumna Addoley Dzegede (MFA15), the collaborative duo Basil Kincaid & Reuben Reuel, and Sam Fox School faculty members Jonathan Hanahan (assistant professor) and Alix Gerber (Louis D. Beaumont Visiting Assistant Professor).

The festival will continue at 1p Saturday at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd. Events are to include You're the Only Reason I'm Staying Here, a new commission by artist Katherine Simóne Reynolds; landscape performances led by Sam Fox School assistant professor Eric Ellingsen and Species of Space; Autumn Knight's performance The La–a Consortium; and an artist talk by Mendi + Keith Obadike.

Events will conclude at 5p with a series of performative Manifestos for a Future St. Louis. Presenters are to include: the art collective ARTC; urbanist Michael R. Allen, a senior lecturer in the Sam Fox School and Arts & Sciences; performer Maxi Glamour; musician ICE; poet Alison C. Rollins; and designer, Washington University alumna, and Sam Fox School lecturer De Nichols.

Dwell in Other Futures is free and open to the public, but capacity is limited and attendees are encouraged to register in advance. For a complete schedule or to RSVP, visit https://dwellinotherfutures.com.


Dwell in Other Futures is sponsored by The Divided City—an urban humanities initiative at Washington University in St. Louis funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—and presented in partnership with the Center for the Humanities, the Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program at WUSTL, Fabricatorz Foundation, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Law, Identity & Culture, projects+gallery, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Saint Louis Fashion Fund, Saint Louis University, and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

Dwell in Other Futures is made possible by the generous support of Adrienne Davis, Ken and Nancy Kranzberg, and Susan Sherman.

Image Credit

From left: Works by Reuben Reuel and Sophia Al-Maria (top row); Damon Davis, Basil Kincaid, and Katherine Simóne Reynolds (middle row); and Addoley Dzegede and Autumn Knight (bottom row).