Astro Black is a multi-channel video installation informed by cultural theories of Afrofuturism. Taking the cosmic jazz musician Sun Ra as a point of departure, this ongoing speculative history seeks to draw out the nexus of science fiction and social politics in Black Atlantic culture.
This episode of Astro Black maps the intergalactic legacy of Sun Ra and George Clinton in the sci-fi futurism of early hip-hop. Set in 1974 in the South Bronx, Destination Planet Rock begins in a neighborhood centre where Sun Ra is explaining his ideas about the intersection of race, myth and outer space. The three future originators of hip-hop – DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash – are abducted and transported across the galaxy to Planet Rock where they are schooled in the alien language of turntablism. Returning to planet Earth, the abductees unleash the supersonic technique of scratching and the sci-fi electro sound of the track 'Planet Rock'.
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