Hannah Catherine Jones, Owed to Humana, video still, 2020. Courtesy the artist.
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Obsidian Coast is excited to present Owed to Humana, an online commission by Hannah Catherine Jones, as the final tide of (Extra)Terrestrial Currents. Owed to Humana is a composition of sound, text and moving image transmitting queer diasporic experience in search of Black liberation.
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Departing from a sphere of Black joy and solidarity on the Earth’s surface, Owed to Humana traverses the atmosphere and drifts through our solar system towards Pluto and the Andromeda Galaxy, the neighbour of Milky Way named after an Ethiopean princess in Greek mythology. On this voyage, Jones’ layered mediation traces the tentacular and ubiquitous reach of whitesupremacist, patriarchal colonialism, always at work to confine the entire realm of existence, from earthly to extraterrestrial to metaphysical, into its own insular logic. Though entirely arbitrary, the culture of whiteness is a forceful edifice that seeks to engulf everything in order to control all time, thought and matter. Turning to celestial bodies that subvert this colonial rule, Owed to Humana is mapping an escape from the all-consuming event horizon of whiteness to imagine an otherwise – an otherwise where there are new myths for the cosmos, new ways of relating with the world, and new paths to liberation.
Owed to Humana is the latest iteration in Jones’ ongoing body of work, The Oweds, made specifically for online presentation with a hyperlinked transcript that opens up an infinite web of notions, salutations, histories and divinations. The Oweds are a temporal form of (self-)reparation, a method of connection with ancestry through sonic ritual, using combinations of voice, theremin, stringed instruments and visuals which are sometimes orchestrated though predominantly improvised.