k. funmilayo aileru


k. funmilayo aileru — pronouns are xi, xem, and xyr(z) — is a queer, black native artist, curator, and critic. xi uses many different materials and media to work with concepts such as enslavement, dispossession, and genocide. Much of xyr work examines historical and contemporary relationships between technology, Black liberation, and Indigenous sovereignty. xi experiments with expanding and transforming social constructs through speculative perspectives and criticisms. 

aileru is a Rhode Island native from the South Side of Providence and a member of the Narragansett Nation. xi is a co-founding member of blackearth collective + lab.


I inhabit a horrendous nightmare that is eclipsed by the legacy of alien invasion. I am a descendant of both alien abductees and survivors of alien experimentation. For this reason, my creative practice is situated in a postcolonial, speculative space that is beyond Earth. My Blackness, Indigeneity, and Queerness expands beyond the bounds of my earthly tether to death and the dying. This practice is not a vehicle for escapism, but is a mechanism to actualize radical imagination. 

As Mars is positioned as the New Frontier, I wonder what my social, cultural, and political positioning and experience might look and feel like in an extraterrestrial space. I look to  the aesthetics of science fiction as an appropriate context for workshopping this imposition. I approach this kind of critical thinking to render my wildest dreams. 

Using technological materials and digital media, I queer masculine designations of metal, glass, and wire with feminine attributions and reappropriate popular sci-fi aesthetics to transcend its inherent white supremacy. In the spirit of Audre Lorde, I use the master’s tools not to dismantle his house, but to build my own.

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