press release

They are here. They are from the future. And the future is African. Two Afronauts have landed with their spaceship in the TONSPUR_passage of the MQ Wien and are contacting passers-by. As historians from the future they are undertaking a study of the strange species of people that inhabeted Europe in 2016. They are researching the roots of what they call the Nation Under A Groove – the African-centered world nation of the future. One passer-by immediately mistakes them for drug dealers because they are African, and directs racial abuse at them. However as more highly developed beings from the future they are blind to skin colour. With another passer-by, they analyse the desperate attempt to construct difference. Is racial distinction in this society a fetish, or part of a primitive cult? The Afronauts show the woman their Mothership, and give her a glimpse of the future. They explain what society in the future will have to do with the groove. Funk music is an interactive system with no hierarchy between the musical elements. The Afronauts are looking for its musical origins, which extend back to the Afro-American music of the 1970s by Sun Ra and Parliament/Funkadelic. They both ask passers-by how much they know about the first signs to appear in Europe that the future of the planet would be decided in Africa. Do we know about today’s currently developing informal parallel economies, like System D in Namibia, which avoid the power of corrupt governments and neo-colonial Western corporations? About the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Portuguese in the booming economy of Angola? The Afronauts try to find out what went wrong in our time, why Europe could develop later into the planet’s problem province.

Paul Plamper, born in Ulm, Germany in 1972, lives and works in Berlin.