To be something abnormal meant that you were to serve the normal. And if you refused, they hated you... and often the normal hated you even when you did serve them.
Okorafor, Who Fears Death.
For this inaugural Curator’s Choice in The Curated newsletter, I am paying tribute to women and queer influencers, pioneers of sci-fi literature such as Octavia Butler and Ursula K. Leguin, and more recently Nnedi Okorafor and N. K. Jemisin. This Curator’s Choice is inspired by people who think outside the normative boxes of our world and explore the potential for societal changes through science fiction(s).
Indeed, sci-fis is a genre that not only allows us to think of alternative worlds, other bodies, and different embodiments, it also is a means to address and criticize current political frameworks and socio-political contexts. Additionally, I am considering the importance of the artist’s role in imagining the future of spaces, species, universes and so on, as they are the ones who often bring essential perspectives that help us unlearn repeated mistakes.
This NFT binds the collector to proudly show their allyship to the Black Trans community, not only by agreeing to all of the terms and conditions set out in the work itself, but also by printing a still of it and displaying it for two years.
Of all the artists featured in this selection, London-based Slade-educated Braitwaite-Sherley is one of the strongest. They are approaching contemporary issues by making us aware of our imperialist, colonial, transphobic, and racist environment and creating work that seeks to build an archive of the Black Trans experience using technology to imagine lives in environments centered on Black Trans bodies.
We Are At The End Of Something depicts humans, machines, and animals in the MetaPort (a trans-reality transportation hub) embarking on a journey into the potential of virtual realities in the face of climate change. It draws compositional inspiration from classical paintings such as Raphael.
Keiken, is a collective co-founded by Isabel Ramos, Hana Omori, and Tanya Cruz, that takes its name from the Japanese word for experience and who has recently been collaborating with designer and CGI artist, Ryan Vaultier.
Dance I is an excerpt from the artist’s digital video, The Hollow Sound of Longing, which features a furry creature, between a human and an animal, evolving in different surreal environments, dancing, drinking, crawling, and resting to a sometimes rhythmic, sometimes eerie soundtrack in a self-reflective trance.
Eva Papamargariti is an artist, designer, and art director, who grew up in Greece. She holds a Diploma in Architecture from the University of Thessaly (2012) and a Master Degree on Visual Communication Design from the Royal College of Art, London (2016). She has exhibited in established institutions internationally and collaborated with major entertainment and fashion brands.
Nepenthe Valley models a series of locations blending grand architecture, natural landscape, and soundscape produced by Lek. The series is featured in HORIZONS, a collection of NFTs presented in a partnership between virtual platforms SO-FAR and AORA, which brings places of individual restoration and contemplation into Web3, through meditation, wellbeing, breathwork, and self care.
Lawrence Lek is a simulation artist based in London whose digital environments, installations and performances invite viewers to consider the impact of technology on reality.
This is the first graphic from the BioTech Creatures series, an archeology of the future in reverse where technology and flesh melt into one into a fantastical creature.
Eternal Engine is an artistic duo composed of Jagoda Wójtowicz and Marta Nawrot, who define themselves as two digital witches, cyber fairies of techno-culture, and new media artists, who create graphics, 3D animations, VR, music videos, and games by moving fluently into glitch, post-internet, and cyber-feminist discourse.
In this artwork, a trapped creature illustrates the concept of "Xenotransplantation," the transplantation of living cells, tissues, or organs from one species to another, and from animal to human. The singular eye is a metaphor of the vicious and selfish observation of humans.
WJX (Wang Jingxin) works in 3D rendering and design. They describe their hyper-surreal artistic style as meta-real, more real than the real world.
Sabrina Ratté practice includes video, animation, installations, sculptures, audio-visual performances and prints. She investigates the influence of digital and physical spaces and the interplay between these surroundings and subjectivity.
With Horizon, she explores the themes that run through her work in ever-changing forms: the influence of architecture and the digital environment on our perception of the world, the relationship we have with the virtual aspect of existence, the fusion between technology and the organic world.