Cauleen Smith

Cauleen Smith: Black Utopia LP (for Sun Ra)

“Her constellational approach to filmmaking parallels Sun Ra’s freestyle compositions and spiritual belief in the astral world, while reawakening the political possibilities of black experimental culture.” —Art in America

Jack H. Skirball Series

Premiered at Chicago’s threewalls artspace, Black Utopia LP is a deeply original off-shoot of the years of research artist and filmmaker Cauleen Smith devoted to Afrofuturism—a cultural movement that mixes science fiction, fantasy, non-Western religion and Afrocentrism. Chicago legend Sun Ra (1914–93) and his Arkestra were a key figures in this movement. Smith produced over 800 35mm slides: images of objects found in archives, recorded in contemporary Chicago or appropriated from occult, astronomical, and historical sources. The slides are projected in a 90-minute performance to the sounds of both sides of an LP Smith recorded—a collage of lectures, rehearsals and live performances by Sun Ra, mundane ephemera, as well as commissioned contributions from Chicago artists Krista Franklin and Avery R. Young.

In person: Cauleen Smith

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud.

Associated Images: 

MON 4/15
8:30 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff