Illustration by Allie Linn

not (yet) futura free is a compilation of ten multidisciplinary projects that slowly unfold beginning in May 2020. The project archives new work by twelve artists centering collaboration, adaptation, healing, and intuition.

Through speculative storytelling, poetry, and research the project weaves together the disparate mythologies a place just beyond reach. We imagine possible worlds, past, present, and future, inspired by the scholarship of Kara Keeling who uses the term "poetry from the future" to describe a felt presence of the unknowable. Each project uses different sensorial vocabularies and codes to describe the unknown/known feelings of worlds that are grounded in care, ecology, and multiplicity. We share a longing for intimacy, rest, and pleasure, and a deep desire for a world free from oppressive systems.

This project is ongoing. Each artist's page will be updated regularly as stories emerge throughout the spring of 2020 and beyond.

not (yet) futura free is organized by Nathalie von Veh and brought to life through the graphic design of Composite Co.

The generative proposition that another world is possible, the insistence that such a world is here now and it listens, with others, for the  poetry, the refrains, the rhythms, and the noise such a world is making.”

Kara Keeling
programs

Introduction to the project
Saturday, May 2, 2020 from 3:30–4:00pm ET

Artist talk with Nina Q. Allen, Rex Delafkaran, and Ashley Shey
Moderated by Nathalie von Veh
Sunday, May 17 from 4:00–5:30pm ET

Natural dye workshop with An Ly
Friday, May 22 from 4:00–5:00pm ET

Artist talk with Mojdeh Rezaeipour, Sera Boeno, and Hannah Spector
Moderated by Nathalie von Veh
Saturday, May 23 from 2:00–3:30pm ET

Everything I Hold Is Wet
Performance by Rex Delafkaran
Friday, May 29 from 6:00–7:00pm ET

SM/: system building
Performance by Ashley Shey
Sunday, May 31 from 7:00–8:00pm ET

Reflections on the project
Friday, June 12, 2020 from 3:30–4:30pm ET

Screening with Mojdeh Rezaeipour
Thursday, June 25, 2020 from 8:00–9:00pm ET

about the curator

Nathalie von Veh is a multidisciplinary curator, researcher, and storyteller. She is interested in how shared languages shape our relationships to each other and the planet, and how they can embrace mystery to imagine other worlds and possibilities. Her work is embedded in speculative fiction, mythology, and poetry from the future, which describes a "felt presence of the unknowable". She seeks to tell stories that convey the unknown/known feeling of an abolitionist, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, queer, and feminist world. Through storytelling and friendship, her projects weave together the disparate mythologies of a place just beyond reach. She is the Resident Storyteller and Regrants Manager at Washington Project for the Arts and recently graduated with her MFA in Curatorial Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art.

notes on curatorial practice

MICA's MFA in Curatorial Practice prepares students to determine how curators will shape the cultural life of our global society. The first MFA of its kind in the country, this program offers a hands-on curriculum that balances collaboration and socially engaged practices with academic research in history and theory. Students work in a variety of experimental contexts and formats, proposing alternative models of exhibition-making, institution-building, and social justice through art. Designed to forge connections among artists, institutions, and communities, the program fosters contemporary art and culture in collaboration with diverse audiences, and links local issues to international discourse. By creating real-world collaborative and individual exhibitions, our students raise awareness, bridge societal gaps, and catalyze exchanges across various disciplines, both inside and outside the artworld.

notes from the curator

This project would not be possible without the generous support and guidance of so many. It all started thanks to Gee Wesley who first introduced me to Kara Keeling’s essay “Looking for M–” which I kept coming back to, eventually centering the project around her description of “poetry from the future”. In the spring of 2019, I started conversations with participating artists Arrin Sutliff, Ashley Shey, Rex Delafkaran, Hannah Spector, and Nina Q. Allen about our shared interests and goals. From the beginning, conversation built over studio visits, group meals, and walks grounded and shaped the project. Over the next six months, I continued to bring more collaborators in, following my intuition based on how our practices aligned. Throughout fall of 2019 and into spring of 2020, the project was planned to be an immersive exhibition and series of programs. That all shifted as we collectively adapted to a new reality due to COVID-19. I’m grateful for the ways that this challenged and strengthened my practice.

Special thanks to Christian Dutilh and Jacob Weinzettel of Composite Co. who intuitively understood my vision and created this site. This project would simply not be possible without you.

Deep thanks to all of you who have contributed to the project in one way or another through your support, friendship, and conversation. I am so grateful for my peers and mentors at MICA, my friends and family, mentors, and collaborators. Special thanks to Allie Linn, Gee Wesley, José Ruiz, Zoë Charlton, and Vicky Kiechel. Shout out to Jordan Martin and Tsedaye Makonnen for their brilliance and support during this period of curatorial adaptation.

This project is only the beginning, sowing seeds for future collaborations, friendships, and work to come. Thank you for following along and supporting!

You can contact me with any inquiries or questions at nvonveh@mica.edu

for further exploration