Present & Future
Fantastic Futures, 2010-Present
Online Sound Archive
The Future is Fantastic (If You Want It), 2012
Multi-channel sound performance
New Museum Press Release
Fantastic Futures is a team of students, artists, doctors, and future leaders from Iraq and the United States. For their recently completed Rhizome Commission, Fantastic Futures created a free and open online sound archive that examines concepts of time through the recording, collaging, and sharing of sounds between these two countries. The website serves as a platform to subvert unjust structures of power used to divide them by instead supporting each other and offering a means through which their stories might be heard.
For the accompanying public engagement, Fantastic Futures created a participatory performance of the website, enacted by humans wearing sounds. To further explore shared experiences of time, memory, and trauma between countries in conflict, audience members were blindfolded for a portion of the event to enhance a synesthetic experience—listening to light. By slowing down, and possibly stopping time altogether, Fantastic Futures attempted to create a space for careful listening and contemplation.
Active Members include (listed by collaborations): Gabby Guglielmelli and Sarah Albayaty. Yousif Ability, Ibrahim Hayder Al-Zararee, and Adam Fernandez. Caeser Alward, George Monteleone, and Ali Salim Abood. Rafal Al Nasiri and Dena Soukieh. Hussein Basheer Hassafa, Ali Sameer, and Phil Stearns. Duaa Al-Musawi, Forqan Kadhem, and Solgil Oh. Sarah Al-Qadir and Or Zubalsky. Phuong Nguyen and Idil Yakut. Hala Almahdi, Al-Nasir Bellah Ishrak Al-Nasiry, and Sable Elyse Smith. Oras M. Alani and Daniella Krihely. Zaydoon W. Ali, Julio Hernandez, and Ali Nabil. Ban Alwan, Cindy Liang, and Nadeen Al-Sheikh. Teeba Alqassab, Ahyoung Moon, and Lina Thamer. Omar Greene and Tiba Mohammed. Dergam Haitham, Andrew Persoff, and Bahir Salah Ali. Shahad Al-Ebady, Huong Ngo, and Ma’an Thwainy. Mohammed Nayyef and Taha Asaad Albaiaty. Yossor Jamal and Radhwan Al Heety.
Photographs by Phil Stearns