The Digital Diaspora: Liberating Black Creativity @ Superchief Gallery
The Digital Diaspora is an art exhibition, public installation, and fundraising NFT auction taking place over the weekend of Juneteenth (6/19/21) in New York City. Celebrating the work of Black artists from around the world, The Digital Diaspora explores new territory in the avant garde NFT space. Curated by Award-winning artist and activist Diana Sinclair, TDD builds off the pioneering work of Alondra Nelson to expand the scope of Afrofuturism.
Sinclair, in partnership with Towards Utopia, has laid out an ambitious and far-reaching program, beginning with an in-person opening event at Superchief Gallery NFT on June 19th. At x pm the same day, a 17 lot auction launches on Foundation (foundation.app), the proceeds of which will in part benefit GLITS —which provides housing and guidance for Black trans people—and Herstory Dao, a digital collective dedicated to the funding and preservation of creative projects by Black women and Non-Binary artists. Additionally, selected works from the exhibition will be displayed on LinkNYC screens across the city.
“It’s especially appropriate for an art show promoting Black artists to be held on the day that celebrates Black freedom,” says Sinclair. “Black freedom allowed for the growth of Black art in America, yet there’s still work to be done to give more Black artists even greater exposure to a wider audience. Now we can add digital platforms and technology to our efforts to not only widen the space for Black artists, but to address the intersectional marginalization of Black people.”
The institutional support for TDD reflects both the rapid evolution Afrofuturism has undergone this century as well as the confidence the wider art market has in Diana Sinclair and the 17 artists she has assembled.
“Following Itzel Yard’s groundbreaking sale on Foundation last month,” notes Lindsay Howard, Foundation’s Head of Community, “we're excited to support Towards Utopia in their effort to uplift and center Black artists. The auction will partially benefit herstoryDAO, an organization committed to furthering the careers of Black femme artists, which will have lasting impacts on the NFT community at large.”
The exhibition and auction will present the work of Black artists who are leaders in the NFT space, many with prominent sales on Foundation. The artists include: BLACKSNEAKERS, Dada Boipelo, Em0n33y, Itzel Yard aka ix shells, Ludrick J. Fortune aka Jae, Kai Morton, LATASHÁ + JAH., Lauren Washington aka Lomedia, Edwin Harmon IV aka LUZ, Lyonna Lyu, Nicholas-Constantine Cephas, Moonsundiamond, Serwah Attafuah, Moyosore Briggs, Tyler Givens aka tyl000rd, & Yosnier.
About Diana Sinclair, Curator
Diana Sinclair is, for the lack of a better term, a true prodigy. Only 17 years old, she first began making art seriously at nine, and had her debut professional gallery show at 14. Late last year she was named a Photography finalist in the YoungArts national competition, and her work focusing on Black and/or gender identity persuasively champions her commitment to social activism; indeed, at its fundamental core, Sinclair’s artistic expression and activism is change, supports change, or creates change.
About Towards Utopia
Towards Utopia is a trans-feminist, anti-racist organization focused on art, education, and resources. They provide funding to the Black Trans community, and other groups in need, by raising money on behalf of boots-on-the-ground organizations. They also provide material resources to the community by participating in mutual aid events that bring food and clothing to people directly. They use social media to provide the public with anti-racist education and highlight available resources to POC and gender non-conforming individuals such as grants and employment opportunities. Their 2020 print sale, featuring artists such as Nan Goldin, Richie Shazam, Ryan McGinley, Charles Caesar, and Lia Clay, raised nearly $100,000, benefitting GLITS, FOR THE GWORLS, and SWOP.
Foundation (http://foundation.app) is a platform that aims to build a new creative economy—a world where creators can use the Ethereum blockchain to value their online expression in entirely new ways, and build stronger connections with their supporters. Foundation bridges crypto and culture to foster a network of mutual support between artists, creators, and collectors. We’re forging a community-driven path, providing culturally pioneering curation, and sharing our tools with the rapidly evolving community of developers who are excited to define this future with us. We want anyone and everyone who cares about the future of digital expression to be a part of it.
Since launching in February 2021, creators have directly earned over $75M in NFT sales on Foundation overall, and almost 500 artists have earned more than $20,000. There are more than 5,000 unique bidders on the site. Real-time updates on our fast-growing market live in the Foundation terminal.